"Witnessing Migrant Futurities," a talk by Annie Fukushima, University of Utah (Title TBA)


Peel 3487 Seminar Room, 3487 rue Peel, Montreal, QC, H3A 1W7, CA

Technology and migration in global processes have created the opportunities for imagining social life. A homeland futurity encompasses the critical analysis of the contemporary world and possibilities in a future, with a particular emphasis on such imaginings as determined by nation-states. Current US rhetorical strategies of imagining a future of their homeland have propagated ‘discourses of emergency’ which are part of a ‘risk management program designed to extract profit from projections of an ever-susceptible border.’ This presentation will grapple with homeland futurity in anti-trafficking discourse and practice. Fukushima examines multiple sites –policies, campaigns, media, qualitative data, and websites–to trace how homeland futurities emerge in US anti-trafficking efforts. Fukushima’s presentation illuminates how migrant laborers are impacted by a discourse of threat and containment regarding the border. However, migrant laborers and collaborators are innovating to enact migrant futures. Therefore, this presentation illustrates through the example of Contratados.org how technology in the anti-trafficking movement may facilitate opportunities of future visioning by migrant laborers beyond a homeland futurity, to enact a migrant futurity.

About the author

Dr. Annie Isabel Fukushima is Assistant Professor in the Ethnic Studies Division in the School for Cultural and Social Transformation at the University of Utah. She is author of Migrant Crossings: Witnessing Human Trafficking in the U.S. (Stanford University Press, 2019). Dr. Fukushima’s research scholarship covers issues of migration, violence, race, gender, and witnessing, where her scholarly works have appeared in peer-reviewed journals and chapters in peer-reviewed anthologies: Human Trafficking Reconsidered: Rethinking the Problem, Envisioning New Solutions (2014), Frontiers: Journal of Women’s Studies, Special Issue on Transnational Feminisms (2015), Documenting Gendered Violence (2015), Feminist Formations: Special Issue, Mobilizing Vulnerability: New Directions in Feminist Studies & Human Rights (2016), Gender: War (2017), VOCI: Human Sciences Semi-Annual (2018), Biography (2019), The Subject(s) of Human Rights: Crises, Violations, & Asian American Critique (2019), Journal of Human Rights & Social Work (2020), and Journal of Human Rights Practice (accepted 2019, forthcoming 2020). Dr. Fukushima is currently leading up a project on Visualizing Gender-Based Violence funded by the University of Utah’s Vice President of Research office seeded grants (2020) and a Global Learnings Across Difference Grantee (2019 – Present). Her expertise on immigration, violence, and human trafficking is recognized across the continental US where she has served as an expert witness on human trafficking, immigration, and violence for a range of courts (immigration, civil, and criminal), in California, Colorado, Utah, and Washington, United States. Dr. Fukushima values praxis, having implemented community-based research projects funded by the San Francisco’s Department on the Status of Women (2018), the Salt Lake City’s Mayor’s office (2018), to assess the needs of survivors of violence. Dr. Fukushima is also the co-editor and co-founder of the Institute of (Im)Possible Subjects and the web-platform migratorytimes.net.