Critical Conversations: Borders and Human Rights 2023

Pacific Centred Map, DEMIS Mapserver/Wikimedia

In 2023, CHRR’s long-standing Critical Conversations Series focused on the Centre’s latest research theme, “Borders and Human Rights.” The three-part virtual series explored issues including colonialism, water, transnational movements, and resistance.

Talking Borders, Colonialism, Resistance, and Human Rights

On Feb. 17, 2023, CHRR welcomed Harsha Walia and Dr. Alex Wilson for a conversation entitled Talking Borders, Colonialism, Resistance, and Human Rights.

Walia and Wilson shared their perspectives on diverse issues. These included: The most meaningful and powerful forms of resistance to colonial, radicalized, or gendered borders that they have witnessed or participated in, the people and communities that are most effected by radicalized, colonial and gendered borders and who is crucial to resisting them, the impact and legacy of Idle No More, the ways in which the logic of borders works through gendered and sexualized logics, as well as imperial and radicalized ones, and the relationship between resistance, research, teaching, and writing.

Click here for bios of the speakers and additional information about their work.

Waters and Borders

Courtesy of University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections

Does water have a border? When do the politics of water cut across borders, and when are they shaped, or even determined, by them? How does water challenge our conventional understanding of borders, including geopolitical ones, and how does it alert us to histories that pre-date the power of the colonial state? Can struggles around water – whether for decent drinking water, or against mega-projects and their impact on Indigenous communities – on different sides of North America’s settler borders be understood in common, or as discrete and different?

In collaboration with the University of Manitoba’s United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6 (Water and Sanitation) Group, on Feb. 28, 2023 the CHRR welcomed Drs. Cary Miller, Teresa Montoya, Emma Norman, Adele Perry, and Nicole J. Wilson for an exploration of borders and the politics of water. 

Click here for bios of the speakers and additional information about their work.

Transnational Movements, Resistance, Identity, and Gender

In collaboration with Global College at the University of Winnipeg, our third critical conversation took place on Apr. 3, 2023 and featured Drs. Lorena Fontaine, Shauna Labman, Rob Lorway, Shayna Plaut, and Lori Wilkinson.

The conversation was wide-ranging and touched on a variety of topics. Panelists identified – based on their research and expertise – the borders that matter, how they matter, who made them and why, as well as what they cross, both literally and metaphorically. They also discussed the limits and power of borders, the ways in which their research (or the subjects of their research) cross borders, the research and/or activism that has most guided or inspired them, and the kind of research that is most needed to meet the challenges of the present.

Click here for bios of the speakers and additional information about their work.