Back to All Events

FREE SCHOOL : A Conversation on Constraining Human Mobility: Slavery, Immigration Controls, and National Citizenship


With Marcus Rediker (History, University of Pittsburgh), Radhika Mongia (Sociology, York University), and Nandita Sharma (Sociology, UHM)

WHEN : Wednesday, April 10. 12 noon–1:15pm

WHERE : UHManoa, Burns Hall, Room 2118

Moderated by Marcus Rediker, this conversation between Radhika Mongia and Nandita Sharma will explore states’ constraints on human mobility, the important difference that the form of state power takes in how this mobility is regulated and restricted (e.g imperial- versus nation-states), the historical relationship between the end of slavery and the start of what we now know as immigration controls, as well as the significance of the rise of nationalisms and the wholesale legitimacy attached today to the lack of free human mobility across state borders. How constraints on human mobility shape ideals of political membership as well as ideas of societal belonging will be discussed in relationship to how citizenship and immigration controls organize capitalist markets for labor power. 

Marcus Rediker is the Dan and Maggie Inouye Distinguished Chair in Democratic Ideals at UH and Distinguished Professor of Atlantic History at the University of Pittsburgh. His histories have won numerous awards and appeared in fifteen languages. His most recent book is The Fearless Benjamin Lay: The Quaker Dwarf who became the First Revolutionary Abolitionist (Beacon Press, 2017). Radhika Mongia is Associate Professor of Sociology and faculty with the graduate programs in Sociology, Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies, Political Science, and Social and Political Thought at York University, Toronto. Her research is situated at the intersection of history, law, and political theory and explores the makings of the global modern. Among other venues, her research has appeared in journals such as Public Culture, Gender & History, Cultural Studies, and Comparative Studies in Society and History.

Radhika Mongia is the author of Indian Migration and Empire: A Colonial Genealogy of the Modern State (Duke University Press and Permanent Black Press, 2018). Her participation is supported by the Rama Watumull Collaborative Lecture Series, Centre for South Asian Studies.

Nandita Sharma is Associate Professor of Sociology at UH Manoa and an activist scholar whose research on human migration, nationalism, racism and global capitalism is shaped by the social movements she is active in, including No Borders movements and those struggling for the planetary commons. She has a forthcoming book, Home Rule: National Sovereignty and the Separation of Natives and Migrations (Duke University Press).