Todd Miller (author of Empire of Borders and Storming the Wall) and Brandon Shimoda (author of The Grave on the Wall) discuss the intersections and implications of America’s current border apparatus and the repeated incarcerations of marginalized peoples throughout its history.
Brandon Shimoda also discusses his book The Grave on the Wall.
About Empire of Borders
The United States is outsourcing its border patrol abroad—and essentially expanding its borders in the process
The twenty-first century has witnessed the rapid hardening of international borders. Security, surveillance, and militarization are widening the chasm between those who travel where they please and those whose movements are restricted. But that is only part of the story. As journalist Todd Miller reveals in Empire of Borders
, the nature of US borders has changed. These boundaries have effectively expanded thousands of miles outside of US territory to encircle not simply American land but Washington’s interests. Resources, training, and agents from the United States infiltrate the Caribbean and Central America; they reach across the Canadian border; and they go even farther afield, enforcing the division between Global South and North.
The highly publicized focus on a wall between the United States and Mexico misses the bigger picture of strengthening border enforcement around the world.
Empire of Borders
is a tremendous work of narrative investigative journalism that traces the rise of this border regime. It delves into the practices of “extreme vetting,” which raise the possibility of “ideological” tests and cyber-policing for migrants and visitors, a level of scrutiny that threatens fundamental freedoms and allows, once again, for America’s security concerns to infringe upon the sovereign rights of other nations.
In Syria, Guatemala, Kenya, Palestine, Mexico, the Philippines, and elsewhere, Miller finds that borders aren’t making the world safe—they are the frontline in a global war against the poor.
About The Grave on the Wall
Award-winning poet Brandon Shimoda has crafted a lyrical portrait of his paternal grandfather, Midori Shimoda, whose life--child migrant, talented photographer, suspected enemy alien and spy, desert wanderer, American citizen--mirrors the arc of Japanese America in the twentieth century. In a series of pilgrimages, Shimoda records the search to find his grandfather, and unfolds, in the process, a moving elegy on memory and forgetting.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
is the author of Border Patrol Nation
and Storming the Wall
, winner of the 2018 Izzy Award for investigative journalism. His writing has been published by the New York Times
, Mother Jones
, the Nation
, Al Jazeera English, and Salon
is the author of six books of poetry, most recently The Desert
(Song Cave, 2018) and Evening Oracle
(Letter Machine Editions, 2016), which received the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. His writings on Japanese-American incarceration have appeared in/on The Asian American Literary Review
, The Margins
, and The New Inquiry
, and he has given talks on the subject at the University of Arizona, Columbia University, Fairhaven College, and the International Center of Photography. He is also the co-editor, with Thom Donovan, of To look at the sea is to become what one is: An Etel Adnan Reader
(Nightboat Books, 2014). Born in the San Fernando Valley, California, he lives, for now, in Tucson, AZ.