College of Humanities

Amy Reed-Sandoval - Reproduction as Resistance at the Mexico-U.S. Border: A Philosophical and Ethnographic Assessment

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm

Sierra Hall - Whitsett Room

Reproduction as Resistance at the Mexico-U.S. Border

In this paper I employ the tools of philosophy and ethnography to explore, from the perspective of the women who do so, the act of crossing the Mexico-U.S. border while visibly pregnant in order to give birth in the United States. I draw from ethnographic research (particularly semi-structured interviews) I have conducted in December 2016 and January 2017 in Ciudad Juarez and El Paso with women who have crossed the border while pregnant and for this purpose, as well as with prenatal care providers (particularly midwives and OB-GYNs) who serve them on both sides of the border. I argue that the so-called "birth tourism" to which Trump refers is, in fact, an act of resistance against gendered/sexist anti-immigrant policy in the United States. To make this argument I draw from James Scott's theory of resistance in Weapons of the Weak, as well as Mariana Ortega's work in In Between on the interconnectedness of "home," the "politics of location," the "multiplicity of the self," and Latina identity.

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