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Simpson Center for the Humanities

Fall 2020

HUM 597 A

Art, Migration and the Borders of the Political

(1 credit, C/NC)

Instructor: José Antonio Lucero (Jackson School of International Studies/Comparative History of Ideas)

Description: How can art shape public engagement with immigration and border policies? Can public mourning be politically productive? In the wake of protests over the violence of the carceral state, this course explores the place of art in politics through an engagement with the work of MacArthur Foundation fellow Jason De León (UCLA) and Mexican filmmaker Raúl Paz Pastrana. This seminar will also be part of a broad set of activities that include the installation of Hostile Terrain 94 in the Henry Art Gallery, part of a coordinated pop-up exhibition that will take place in 94 different locations across the US, Mexico, Central America, the Mediterranean, and Europe. Seminar members will be able to participate in shaping the installation and imagining similar interventions. We will also screen Border South, a new film directed by Paz Pastrana and produced by De León that explores the lives of migrants traveling through Central America and Mexico as well as the workings of a global migration system that often invisibilizes their lives and deaths.

Course Meetings: Sessions meet remotely and synchronously. There will be four meetings: 10:30am-12pm on 10/ 9, 10/16, 10/30 and 11/6/2020.

Questions? Please contact José Antonio Lucero at

We are carefully monitoring the University of Washington guidelines regarding the COVID-19 situation as we prepare for Fall 2020. At present, we are planning to meet in person, but we will adjust as necessary to ensure the health and well-being of our community. Should we need to cancel or alter the course meetings, we will provide adequate notice to potential participants. 

HUM 597 C