Spring 2020 Colloquium Series: Alex E. Chávez

2-21-20 Chavez

Chávez Verses and Flows: Migrant Lives and the Sounds of Crossing

Alex E. Chávez
Nancy O’Neill Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Notre Dame

In his award-winning book Sounds of Crossing: Music, Migration, and the Aural Poetics of Huapango Arribeño (Duke 2017), Dr. Alex E. Chávez explores the contemporary politics of Mexican migrant cultural expression manifest in the sounds and aural poetics of huapango arribeño, a musical genre originating from north-central Mexico. In this presentation, he draws on this work to address how Mexican migrants voice desires of recognition and connection through performance, and the politics such desires attain amidst the transnational context of migrant deportability. As a researcher, artist, and participant, Chávez has consistently crossed the boundary between scholar and performer in the realms of academic research and publicly engaged work as a musician and producer. In this presentation, he draws on these experiences to address the politics of his intellectual and creative work and how he engages both to theorize around the political efficacy of sound-based practices, the “voice,” and the disciplinary futures of borderlands anthropology.

Friday, February 21, 2020
4:15-6:15 PM | room C415A
The Graduate Center | 365 Fifth Ave.


Spring 2020 Colloquium Series: Feb. 7 Nina Glick Schiller

2-7-20 Schiller

Dispossession: A Conjunctural Analysis

Nina Glick Schiller, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology

Abstract: Analyses of emerging processes of capital accumulation through dispossession can illuminate both ethnographic research and struggles to build inclusive movements for social justice at a global conjunctural moment of racist authoritarianism and the rise of a neo-fascist “right’.  After examining the current moment and debates about the nature and contemporary significance of accumulation by dispossession, I link these debates to the anthropology of migration, cities, and social movements.

3.3 Cymene Howe & Dominic Boyer


Aeolian Futures: Wind and Power and in the Anthropocene

Dominic Boyer and Cymene Howe (Department of Anthropology, Rice University)

In a time when fossil fuels have been exposed as among the greatest ecological threats to life on earth, renewable energy forms like solar and wind power are increasingly promoted as instruments of our collective salvation. But our fieldwork in Southern Mexico on the politics of wind power development has yielded evidence of a more complex story. The stakeholders in Mexican renewable energy are many, ranging from all levels of government, to international industry and finance, to indigenous ranchers and fisherfolk in a region that has, in only a decade, come to be home to the densest concentration of on-shore wind parks anywhere in the world. Some in the Isthmus indeed believe that wind power will not only bring clean energy to Mexico but also upward mobility and economic prosperity to one of the poorest regions of the country. Others are fiercely critical of what they regard as just another effort to extract land and resources for the benefit of those outside the region. In our analysis, we argue against a singular interpretation of “wind power” and toward a surfacing of the multiple effects and ways of wind’s mattering in the Isthmus (and beyond). We call for attention to the “aeolian politics” from which ideas and projects of wind power emerge and we evaluate the multiplicity of “aeolian futures” that might await us. Some of these futures, we argue, may break with the trajectories of the Anthropocene. Others will not.