Borders and Migration

Bordered lives and frontier futures: Reproducing “the minor” in contested times

In the terms of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, borders and bordering can be thought of as a “major”—a seemingly naturalized system of knowledge—through which the boundaries of territorialized nation-states are seen as given and citizenship is framed as a human condition. These border regimes map onto racialized geographies of belonging and exclusion, and work to render such logics as similarly “natural” in the process. Racialized migrants undermine this bordering major, not just at immediate sites of border encounter but also over time, within the socio-spatial landscapes of bordered territories. Through the generative potential of social reproduction, migrants create “minors” that rub against the dominant logics of bordering, and which reflect different future potentialities. In this article I develop a new conceptualization of “the minor” as a process of spatio-temporal remaking: a simultaneous de-territorialization and re-temporalization of the naturalized logics of the major. I argue that the bordering “major” depends on a racist temporal logic of denied contemporaneity, and show how, through social reproduction, migrants gradually re-work themselves into shared frames of futurity, a process that I conceptualize as the development of “frontier futures.”

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Volume 40 Issue 4

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