Migration Stories: The US Visa Lottery and Global Citizenship

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 - 5:30pm

Charlie Piot, Duke University

Global France Seminar and MIT Anthropology present:

Wed. Oct. 25 at 5:30pm
MIT campus, 182 Memorial Drive


More Togolese per capita apply for the US Diversity (Green Card) lottery than those from any other African country, with winners attempting to game the system by adding “spouses” and dependents to their dossiers.  The US consulate in Lomé knows this gaming is going on and constructs ever-more elaborate tests to attempt to decipher the authenticity of winners’ marriages and job profiles – and of their moral worth as citizens – tests that immediately circulate to those on the street.  This presentation explores the cat-and-mouse game between street and embassy, situating it within the post-Cold War conjuncture – of ongoing crisis, of an eviscerated though-still-dictatorial state, of social death and the emptiness of citizenship under such conditions, of a sprawling transnational diaspora and the desires and longings it creates, of informationalism and its new technologies, of surveillance regimes and their travails, and of the way in which mobility/immobility and sovereignty are newly entangled and co-constitutive in the contemporary moment.

Charles Piot is Chair and Professor of Cultural Anthropology and African and African American Studies at Duke University


About the series:

The MIT Global France Seminar aims to bring together MIT faculty, instructors, and graduate students from across disciplines interested in the study of French and francophone cultures around the world. The seminar series is free and open to the public.

Nathalie Etoke
Black in Blue White and Red / Du Noir dans le Bleu Blanc Rouge
Mon. Sept. 11 at 5:30pm
More info

Suzanne Desan
Accidental Revolutionary, Feminist Provocateur, or International Agent? Théroigne de Méricourt, Gender, and Geopolitics in Revolutionary Europe
Thurs. Oct. 5 at 5:30pm
More info

Charlie Piot
Details to be announced
Wed. Oct. 25 at 5:30pm
More info

What literature can do: Literature, shame and politics
Édouard Louis
Fri. Oct. 27 5:30pm
More info