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Lectures and Events

The Political Science department regularly sponsors a variety of exciting events.  Every fall the Constitution Day Lecture is held, in which an eminent political scientist or legal scholar comes to campus and speaks to students about vital issues in American politics.

Additionally, Political Science department hosts Brown Bag Lunch Series and Lunch with Faculty events. More details on the event pages.

Lunch with Faculty Series: "American Policing on Trial: The George Floyd Case
" with Keith Reeves

  • Monday, April 19, 12:00-1:15pm

Brown Bag Lunch Seminar Series: "Reimagining Borders" with Osman Balkan

  • Monday, April 26th, 1:00-2:15pm



Viral Borders: A lecture by Prof. Nicholas De Genova (University of Houston, Department of Comparative Cultural Studies)

  • May 4th, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
  • Please contact Osman Balkan ( for Zoom login details. 
  • Abstract: In the specific context of the COVID-19 public health emergency, states on a global scale have resorted to a logic of “national” quarantine to justify border closures, and tactics of migrant and refugee immobilization, more generally.  Such misguided conceptions of the public health responsibilities of the state are enacted as purportedly protective measures intended to exclusively safeguard the nation-state’s citizenry. As exercises in bombastic nationalism, such measures become crudely “populist” occasions for re-bordering “the people.” Notably, in the context of the mass expulsions enforced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the equation of migrants with contagion has sometimes also characterized the reaction against returning emigrants or deportees even in their countries of origin, where they are similarly figured as invasive and unwelcome external vectors of disease and viral transmission. Thus, the feckless bordering of the pandemic has served to unleash a pandemic of viral borders.

    Amidst the chaos and confusion of the pandemic, and even against the considerable forces aligned to immobilize their migratory projects, which may to greater or lesser extents compel them to revert to a kind of “standby” mode, migrants’ subjective autonomy remains an incorrigible force. And waiting to be re-activated, their mobilities remain an intractable and always potentially disruptive constitutive power.

    Nicholas De Genova is a world renowned scholar of borders, migration, race, citizenship, and labor. He is the author and editor of six books, including The Borders of "Europe": Autonomy of Migration, Tactics of Bordering (Duke University Press, 2017), The Deportation Regime: Sovereignty, Space, and the Freedom of Movement (Duke University Press, 2010), and Working the Boundaries: Race, Space, and "Illegality" in Mexican Chicago (Duke University Press, 2005). 

    Sponsored by The President's Fund for Transformative Racial Justice, The Tri-Co Global Ethnographies Workshop, and the Departments of Political Science and Sociology / Anthropology. 



You can see a few of our recent events here!