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McKelvey School of Engineering

Brown School

Americanist Dinner Forum: What Else Can Borders Do? Architecture, Infrastructure, and Enactment

Tuesday, November 14, 2023 | 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Keuhner Court at Weil Hall, Keuhner Court

International borders affect you every day. They can reveal a nation’s ability or inability to guarantee your quality of life—patterning our access to food, goods, and services. In the United States and elsewhere, they play a role in determining whether you are a birthright citizen or an unauthorized migrant. Their perceived stability (or lack thereof) often underlines immigration debates and determines the reach and breadth of military interventions.

This conversation led by Professor Stephen Leet (Sam Fox—Architecture) and Professor Elaine A. Peña (A&S—Drama, AMCS, and Anthropology) will reflect on those realities but they will also ask: what else can borders do? Thinking with and beyond securitization narratives, they will emphasize the ways in which walls, fences, bridges, and ports of entry can be reconceptualized to prioritize humane treatment and cross-border cooperation as well as be repurposed to serve the public at large after a crisis event (e.g., natural disaster). They will use the U.S.-Mexico border as their primary reference point, but they will also draw attention to border architecture and enactments across the globe. Audience participation is encouraged.

Stephen Leet - Professor, Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, WUSTL. Stephen Leet teaches architectural design studios and history/theory seminars on architecture, film, and photography.

Elaine Peña - Professor of Performing Arts and American Cultre Studies, WUSTL. Elaine Peña's research centers around the study of borders, the study of religion, and the study of hemispheric Latinx performance.

This event currently has a waitlist, please contact Alison Eigel Zade (ealison@wustl.edu) to be added to the list.


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All are invited for dinner and conversation on Tuesday, November 14th at 5:30pm at Keuhner Court in Weil Hall.
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