CFP Security/Mobility Workshop, 25-26 September 2014, Amsterdam

Between Imagination and Authority

A workshop to be held at the University of Amsterdam
25-26 September 2014

Confirmed key note speakers:

Prof. dr. Louise Amoore, Professor in the Department of Geography, Durham University
Dr. Debbie Lisle, Senior Lecturer in International Relations and Cultural Studies, Queen’s University Belfast
Prof dr. Luis Lobo-Guerrero, Professor of History and Theory of International Relations, University of Groningen


Research across the humanities and social sciences has provided a growing understanding of contemporary practices of governing security and mobility. Building on these literatures, this workshop aims to deepen that knowledge by exploring the different ways in which security/mobility are imagined to operate in the context of preemptive modes of security. In order to do so, we propose to study the material and discursive manifestations of these security/mobility imaginations and the particular forms of authority they exercise. What are the effects of ‘architectures’—in the broadest sense—of borders, databases, infrastructures, discourses and bureaucracies? For instance, how does the checkpoint perform and reinforce imaginaries of access, control, filtering and facilitation? According to which logics do authoritative discourses produce social and political subjects that are deemed trustworthy or threatening? And how do algorithms calculate and indicate who is harmless/-ful and who should be rendered im-/mobile?

In bringing together a highly interdisciplinary group of researchers, we aim to foster innovative ways of studying security and mobility. The meeting seeks to advance understanding of how political power and authority are being transformed in the face of contemporary security regimes and their material manifestations (e.g. smart border initiatives, trusted traveler schemes, PRISM, asylum procedures, the construction of border fences, checkpoints and detection camps). We also seek to interrogate the ways in which the exclusionary effects of these regimes can potentially be resisted and/or circumvented.

We invite paper proposals from scholars across the social sciences and humanities analyzing security/mobility imaginaries and their material manifestations. Themes of interest include (but are not limited to):

– anti-terrorism discourses and politics;
– immigration, asylum and refugee policies;
– concrete mobility architectures and technologies;
– private security, procurement and trade;
– cooperation and competition in military/police operations;
– the space of the camp;
– naturalization and denaturalization laws;
– bureaucracies and expertise.

Please submit paper abstracts of max. 300 words by June 13, 2014 to Marie Beauchamps

The workshop is sponsored by the NWO Vidi project ‘European Security Culture,’ the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA), the Amsterdam Centre for Globalization Studies (ACGS) and the University of Groningen (RUG). Please contact Marie Beauchamps ([log in to unmask]) or Marijn Hoijtink ([log in to unmask]) for more information.

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