Studying embodied encounters: autonomy of migration beyond its romanticization

Scheel, Stephan. 2013. Studying embodied encounters: autonomy of migration beyond its romanticization. Postcolonial Studies, 16(3), pp. 279-288. ISSN 1368-8790 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article forms part of the attempt to develop the concept of autonomy of migration as an approach that is no longer prone to critique of implicating a romanticisation of migration. Drawing on the example of biometric rebordering, it shows in the first part, that it becomes pertinent to address the two allegations that drive this major critique, as their warranty increases due to the technologisation of border controls. It then introduces a reading of autonomy, which emphasises that moments of uncontrollability and excess of migratory practices can not be thought in isolation of the conditions, in which they emerge. The second part introduces the notion of the embodied encounter as a transmission channel that mediates between the investigation of the situated practices of individual migrants and the assertion of an abstract autonomy of migration, thereby efficiently dissolving the two criticisms that have been raised against the concept of autonomy of migration. What the adoption of this analytical focus affords to acknowledge is, however, that neither migration, nor borders exist as such, but are brought into being in the innumerable encounters between people on the move and the actors, means and methods of mobility control.

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Autonomy of migration, borders, militant research, situated knowledge, performativity

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November 2013Published

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Date Deposited:

19 Jan 2015 10:05

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:05

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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