Charles Piot, 'Migration Stories: The US Visa Lottery and Global Citizenship'

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Start:
March 22, 2018 @ 5:30 pm
End:
March 22, 2018 @ 6:30 pm
Contact:
African Studies Center
Phone:
+1.919.962.1522
sewall@email.unc.edu
Venue:
FedEx Global Education Center, Room 4003
Phone:
+1.919.962.2435
Address:
301 Pittsboro St.
Chapel Hill, NC 27516 United States

Charles Piot

More Togolese per capita apply for the U.S. Diversity (green card) lottery than those from any other African country, with winners attempting to game the system by adding “spouses” and dependents to their dossiers. The U.S. consulate in Lomé knows this gaming is going on and constructs ever-more elaborate tests to attempt to decipher the authenticity of winners’ marriages and job profiles – and of their moral worth as citizens – tests that immediately circulate to those on the street. This presentation explores the cat-and-mouse game between street and embassy, situating it within the post-Cold War conjuncture – of ongoing crisis, of an eviscerated though-still-dictatorial state, of social death and the emptiness of citizenship under such conditions, of a sprawling transnational diaspora and the desires and longings it creates, of informationalism and its new technologies, of surveillance regimes and their travails, and of the way in which mobility/immobility and sovereignty are newly entangled and co-constitutive in the contemporary moment. This talk is part of the Thursday Jama series sponsored by the Carolina Seminar in African Ecology and Social Processes. The Thursday Jama is open to all area faculty and graduate students in any discipline. Light refreshments will be served. Please contact Stacey Sewall for more information.

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