Book Launch | "Mobile Selves: Race, Migration, and Belonging in Peru and the U.S." by Ulla D. Berg

Thursday, December 3, 2015
6–8 pm

Prof. Ana Yolanda Ramos-Zayas, Suzanne Oboler, Enrique Mayer

Mobility is one of the key axis of social inequality in the contemporary world. In Mobile Selves, Ulla D. Berg examines the conditions under which racialized Peruvians of rural and working-class origins leave the central highlands of Peru to migrate to the United States, how they fare, and what constrains their movement and their attempts to live meaningful lives across borders. Berg studies transnational labor migration not just as an economic phenomenon but also an aspirational project at the heart of the ongoing process of social becoming among people who are simultaneously centrally and peripherally situated in relation to global capitalism, metropolitan modernity, and the legacies of imperial and colonial projects. By exploring how migrants produce themselves as persons between the Peruvian Andes and the United States—through documents, money, and images and objects in circulation—this book documents and theorizes how mobility and technology reconfigure the social in a global and increasingly interconnected world.

Ulla D. Berg (Ph.D., Anthropology, NYU 2007) is Associate Professor in the Departments of Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies and Anthropology at Rutgers University and Director of the Center for Latin American Studies. Her research focuses on transnational migration and mobility in Latin America and among Latino populations in the US. She is the author of Mobile Selves: Race, Migration, and Belonging in Peru and the U.S. (NYU Press, 2015) and the co-editor, with Robyn Rodriguez, of Transnational Citizenship Across the Americas (Routledge, 2014) and with Karsten Paerregaard of El Quinto Suyo: Transnacionalidad y Formaciones Diasporicas en la Migración Peruana (IEP, Lima, 2005). Ulla is also a filmmaker and has directed, produced and edited the documentary Waiting for Miracles (2003), which follows a Peruvian Catholic brotherhood in NYC as it prepares for its yearly procession honoring the Lord of Miracles. She is currently working on three new projects. The first is a documentary about the life and work of the Peruvian poet Domingo de Ramos. The second is a collaborative research project with colleagues in Peru and Ecuador on the effects of U.S. immigrant detention and deportation on vulnerable migrant populations. The third is a long-term ethnographic research project on new elites in Peru.

Prof. Ana Yolanda Ramos-Zayas is the Valentin Lizana y Parrague Chair in Latin American, Black and Latino Studies at Baruch College of the City University of New York.

Suzanne Oboler is Professor of Latin American and Latina/o Studies at John Jay College of the City University of New York. She is Founding Editor of the academic journal, Latino Studies (2002-2012).

Enrique Mayer is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Yale University.

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