Dr. Robin Reineke, SoA 2016 Dozier Award Winner
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Haury Room 216
"The Corporeal Politics of Dead Bodies on the U.S.-Mexico Border"
Abstract: From their disposition at scene of discovery to condition upon release for final burial, the bodies of deceased migrants along the U.S. side of the border with Mexico reveal a particular politics of the dead that has heavy bearing on the living. This paper centers the materiality of the border dead to consider how their disposition—before death, during death, and well after death—provides evidence of various forms of state violence. The observations for this ethnographic and material analysis of border dead comes from nearly 10 years of research at the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner, and the Colibrí Center for Human Rights, both in Tucson, Arizona. At each stage in their social trajectory, these dead bodies are ambiguously hyper-visible or invisible, harmed or reconstituted, and evincing or evading. What is not ambiguous, however, is the history of violence revealed by a material and social analysis of the dead in the borderlands.