Detention, Poison, and Care at City’s Edge

Thursday Lecture Series

November 18, 2021 Thursday, 12:15pm EST The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room, Columbia University Virtual Event

This event has been postponed at the request of the organizers and participants, in solidarity with the ongoing Student Workers of Columbia (SWC) strike at Columbia University. We hope to set a new date in the coming weeks.

  • This event will take place in person at the Heyman Center and virtually over Zoom. We ask that EVERYONE REGISTER VIA ZOOM, even those who plan to attend in person. Please read event description for further details.

  • The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities
  • Free and open to the public
  • Registration required. See details.
  • Each TLS event will have its own Zoom registration. If you wish to attend all events, please register for each lecture individually.

  • Image Credit/Caption: Light projections in Homestead, Florida, by Alessandra Mondolfi

Thousands of migrant children were detained at the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Minors, a detention camp just south of Miami, Florida. While in operation between 2016 and 2019, the camp in Homestead was the largest facility for detained migrant children in the United States. Like many other sites of incarceration, the camp was built on former military land contaminated with toxic waste. This talk asks how race and debility are produced through detention, injurious environmental exposures, and modes of humanitarian care. In investigating the conditions of possibility for the detention camp, it approaches the camp in relationship to other suburban economies, including war-making and care for soldiers on the adjacent military base and the federal and local policing and surveillance of adult migrants. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork with social workers, security guards, and environmental experts, and historical research in military and municipal archives, this talk highlights the camp as a part of the spatial and chemical order of the suburb.

Attendance at SOF/Heyman events will follow Columbia-issued guidelines as they continue to develop. Given the current recommendations, we plan to allow in-person attendance for COLUMBIA AFFILIATES who have conformed with the on-campus guidelines. For everyone else, we're planning to livestream this event, allowing for virtual attendance.

This event also will be recorded. By being electronically present, you consent to the SOF/Heyman using such video for promotional purposes.

Please email [email protected] to request disability accommodations. Advance notice is necessary to arrange for some accessibility needs.