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Tag Archives: Borders





Thursday 19th February 2015, 3-5pm, Lecture Room 213, Brunel University, London

Irregular immigration is at the forefront of global struggles for economic opportunity, for political rights and for security. Pressed by the increasing influence of both global governing institutions and transnational corporations, along with rising cultural diversity, anxiety about the coherence of the imagined national community within Western nations has increased. This anxiety, along with the global economic downturn and concurrent rises in unemployment, is contributing to the sharpening of ideological policing of national borders, with new legislation targeting irregular immigrants and sympathy for the predicament of those immigrants falling. In turn, the plight of those driven by poverty, environmental insecurity and concerns over security to attempt to gain entry into Western nations outside of official channels has become increasingly fraught, with an estimated 2,500 migrants having drowned in the Mediterranean so far this year (as of October 2014).

For Slavoj Žižek these flows of irregular migrants exemplify a shifting of the borders of political and economic exclusion. Having identified the troubling presence of ‘new forms of apartheid’ most prominently found in the slums, sweatshops and construction projects of ‘the developing world’, this surplus of humanity is increasingly apparent on the borders of the Western world.  Arguing that this surplus is not an aberration in the development of global capitalism, but represents its ‘universal singular’ moment, Žižek suggests that as the ‘part with no part’ of the nation political community, irregular immigrants hold a uniquely disruptive presence.

This workshop brings together prominent Žižekian theorists to discuss the trauma, difficulties and radical political potential of the disruptive presence of irregular immigration and the ‘new forms of apartheid’ of the 21st century.


Mark Devenney, University of Brighton

Heiko Feldner, University of Cardiff

Chris McMillan, Brunel University

Fabio Vighi, University of Cardiff


Organised by Chris McMillan. For more information, contact



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Queen Mary College


\\\\///\\ Counter/Mapping QMary ////

////////////////\\\////////The university and border technologies

To begin by asking ‘what is the university’ requires an investigation of the function of the university not only as a knowledge factory but also as a border. Our investigation of what the university produces as knowledge, hierarchies and power exposes the border/s that operate in, on and around the university. That ‘the university is a border’ is made possible by the operation of a filter mechanism. The counting of bodies, money in and money out, who can and can not enter, what are we when we leave, the limits of what is and is not knowledge and the complicity with national and global border regimes – who and what is stopped at the border?

A group of students, staff and researchers at Queen Mary University have set out to map the ways in which migration, border technologies, surveillance and monetary flows intersect with the university as our place of work and study. Joining us in the project are the <Counter-Cartographies Collective from the University of North Carolina>, who will help to explore the dynamics and possibilities of mapping as method and action.

From Thursday 13 May – Monday 24 May we will gather to discuss, research and take action to produce a counter map of Queen Mary University. As part of our practice we will be facilitating <three public workshops> to expand the participation and possibilities of the project. These workshops as well as the counter mapping production process are open to all who are interested and are free to attend – please see below for the programme and contact details. The venue for all events will be room 4.08 in the Francis Bancroft Building of Queen Mary Campus and is accessible.

//////Thursday 13 May, 2pm
\\\\\\\\\\Imaginaries of the university

<Opening event of the Counter/Mapping QMary project>

The Counter-Cartographies Collective will present their work on the neo-liberal university and discuss their maps, methodologies and actions. This session will address our imaginaries of the university – current and potential – and will conclude with a drift around QM campus.

\\\\\\\\Thursday 20 May, 2pm
//////////How to make a counter-map

<Workshop: mapping as method, practice and action>

The Counter-Cartographies Collective will facilitate a workshop on radical collaborative mapping skills using available open source mapping software and web-based data-mining techniques. Free and open to all, email us to register.

///////Monday 24 May, 4pm  
\\\\\\\\\\\The politics and potential of counter-mapping

<Presentation and open discussion>

In this event, Counter/Mapping QMary project will present their map of Queen Mary. This presentation will be followed by an open discussion of the methods and politics of mapping the university as a site of migration, education and labour struggles. Invited interlocutors: The Students not Suspects Campaign (Goldsmiths), No Cuts at Queen Mary Campaign, Jane Wills, David Pinder, Ishani Chandrasekara, Miguel Mellino, John Hutnyk, Alberto Toscano

Counter/Mapping QMary
Facebook: countermapping qmary

\\\The Counter///Mapping QMary Project is generously supported by the School of Business and Management and the Geography Department at Queen Mary University.


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