International Book Blitz
4:00 PM16:00

International Book Blitz

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Listen to Harvard authors present their global books in a café-style setting. A panel of Weatherhead Center Faculty Associates will each give an eight-minute “speed talk” about their recent book, launching us into compelling issues from around the world, featuring stories and research from Kenya, Japan, India, the United Kingdom, and Mexico, to name a few countries represented thematically in this two-hour event. Refreshments will be provided.


Robert H. BatesEaton Professor of the Science of Government, Emeritus, Department of Government; Professor of African and African American Studies, Emeritus, Department of African and African American Studies, Harvard University.
Book | The Development Dilemma: Security, Prosperity, and a Return to History. Princeton University Press

Jason BeckfieldChair; Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, Harvard University.
Book | Political Sociology and the People’s Health. Oxford University Press
Sugata BoseGardiner Professor of Oceanic History and Affairs, Department of History, Harvard University.
Book | The Nation as Mother: And Other Visions of Nationhood. Penguin Books

Ieva JusionyteAssistant Professor of Anthropology and of Social Studies, Department of Anthropology, Harvard University.
Book | Threshold: Emergency Responders on the US-Mexico Border. University of California Press
George Paul MeiuJohn and Ruth Hazel Associate Professor of the Social Sciences, Departments of African and African American Studies and Anthropology, Harvard University.
Book | Ethno-erotic Economies: Sexuality, Money, and Belonging in Kenya. University of Chicago Press

Pippa NorrisPaul F. McGuire Lecturer in Comparative Politics, Harvard Kennedy School; Laureate Research Fellow and Professor of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney.
Book | Cultural Backlash: Trump, Brexit, and Authoritarian Populism. Cambridge University Press

Daniel M. SmithAssociate Professor, Department of Government, Harvard University.
Book | Dynasties and Democracy: The Inherited Incumbency Advantage in Japan. Stanford University Press

This event is part of Worldwide Week at Harvard, celebrated from October 20–27, 2018.


Michelle Nicholasen

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Ieva Jusionyte at Harvard Book Store
3:00 PM15:00

Ieva Jusionyte at Harvard Book Store

Harvard Book Store welcomes Harvard assistant professor IEVA JUSIONYTE for a discussion of her latest book, Threshold: Emergency Responders on the US-Mexico Border.

About Threshold

Emergency responders on the US-Mexico border operate at the edges of two states. They rush patients to hospitals across country lines, tend to the broken bones of migrants who jump over the wall, and put out fires that know no national boundaries. Paramedics and firefighters on both sides of the border are tasked with saving lives and preventing disasters in the harsh terrain at the center of divisive national debates.
Ieva Jusionyte’s firsthand experience as an emergency responder provides the background for her gripping examination of the politics of injury and rescue in the militarized region surrounding the US-Mexico border. Operating in this area, firefighters and paramedics are torn between their mandate as frontline state actors and their responsibility as professional rescuers, between the limits of law and pull of ethics. From this vantage they witness what unfolds when territorial sovereignty, tactical infrastructure, and the natural environment collide. Jusionyte reveals the binational brotherhood that forms in this crucible to stand in the way of catastrophe. Through beautiful ethnography and a uniquely personal perspective, Threshold provides a new way to understand politicized issues ranging from border security and undocumented migration to public access to healthcare today.


“At a time of nativist talk and wall building, Ieva Jusionyte’s breathtaking Threshold weaves a fiercely honest and personal narrative of first responders along the Sonora-Arizona border. A wonderful read that defies rhetoric and exposes an illuminating, sobering truth.” —Alfredo Corchado, correspondent and author of Midnight in Mexico: A Reporter's Journey through a Country's Descent into Darkness

“The US-Mexico borderland—barren, desolate, fierce—is a teeming terrain, with its desert ‘capillaries circulating life without regard to who is legally entitled to it’: migrants, smugglers of people and of drugs, federal agents. It’s a militarized double war zone (‘drug war,’ ‘war on terror’) and a zone of epic human struggle and tragedy, but it's also a place of breathtaking natural wonders. Ieva Jusionyte’s captivating account of often-collaborating US and Mexican firefighting and rescue units on both sides of the border yields startling and original insights. This beautifully written, lucid book demonstrates how powerfully close observations, precise descriptions, and stories of landscape and people can transmit thought and feeling, and earned knowledge, too.” —Francisco Goldman, author of The Art of Political Murder: Who Killed the Bishop?

Threshold makes a fundamental contribution to anthropology by providing a new perspective on something often presented as familiar and well understood: the US-Mexico border. The emergency responders with whom Jusionyte works have a distinctive perspective on the terrain on both sides of the border and on the different state agencies operating in the area. Her observations concerning the landscape as a tool of the state and especially of state violence are arresting, allowing us to see statecraft at the border in an entirely new way.” —Shaylih Muehlmann, author of When I Wear My Alligator Boots: Narco-Culture in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands

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El umbral: Infraestructura táctica, emergencias y rescate en la frontera México-Estados Unidos
4:00 PM16:00

El umbral: Infraestructura táctica, emergencias y rescate en la frontera México-Estados Unidos

La criminalización de la inmigración desde la década de los 90, agravada por la preocupación por el terrorismo después del 11 de septiembre, llevó al gobierno de Estados Unidos a designar la frontera con México como una fuente de amenazas e iniciar ahí una “guerra de baja intensidad.” El muro fronterizo es un componente clave de lo que la Patrulla Fronteriza llama “infraestructura táctica”—un arma contra aquellos que cruzan a Estados Unidos sin documentos. Basada en trabajo etnográfico, esta charla se enfoca en el análisis histórico y social de los efectos negativos de la militarización fronteriza, demostrando que en lugar de aumentar la seguridad nacional, el reforzamiento fronterizo erosiona los fundamentos de la seguridad pública en las comunidades binacionales a lo largo de la frontera.

La plática tendrá lugar a las 4 pm, en el Auditorio de Industrias Creativas del Centro de Biotecnología del campus central del Tec de Monterrey.

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The Border Wall: Life and Injury on the Frontlines
6:00 PM18:00

The Border Wall: Life and Injury on the Frontlines

Free Public Lecture

Location: Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Ieva Jusionyte, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Social Studies, Department of Anthropology and Committee on Degrees in Social Studies; Faculty Associate, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University

The idea of building a wall on the U.S./Mexico border serves as a potent symbol across the political spectrum—a means of assuaging social and economic anxieties by placing them onto a remote frontier. Ieva Jusionyte will consider how an anthropological analysis of the state, borders, and security can help people understand the meaning and impact of such a wall. Drawing on ethnographic research with emergency responders who rescue those injured in government actions against drugs and unauthorized migration, she will discuss how deploying “tactical infrastructure” (of which the wall is but one piece) changes everyday life on both sides of the border.

Presented by the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology. Free event parking at 52 Oxford Street Garage.

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Under the Wall: Infrastructure as Security and as Threat on the U.S.- Mexico Border
5:30 PM17:30

Under the Wall: Infrastructure as Security and as Threat on the U.S.- Mexico Border

Presentation at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies

Speaker: Ieva Jusionyte, Assistant Professor, Anthropology, Harvard University

Moderator: Diane Davis, Charles Dyer Norton Professor of Regional Planning and Urbanism, Chair, Department of Urban Planning and Design, Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Politics of security on the U.S.-Mexico border have expanded from traditional concerns with drug trafficking and unauthorized migration to a paradigm of “all threats and hazards,” which includes wildland fires, floods, and toxic spills that can spread downwind, downhill, and downstream from Sonora to Arizona.⁠ Based on ethnographic research with emergency responders – firefighters and paramedics – in northern Mexico and southern U.S., the talk will examine the violent entanglement between statecraft, law, and topography, and trace its injurious effects on those who inhabit or trespass the militarized desert terrain of urban borderlands.

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