Without Limits: Liberal Arts & Sciences faculty lead “uncomfortable conversations” about citizenship

Adapted from an article by Despina Williams Parker – read the full text in the LA&S Newsletter.

The SUNY New Paltz College of Liberal Arts & Sciences hosted the first event of its “Without Limits” speaker series this fall, on the subject of how citizenship is defined and who receives it.

“The Politics of Belonging: Reflections from New Paltz Faculty” featured panelists César Barros (Languages, Literatures and Cultures; Latin American and Caribbean Studies), Nicole Carr (Black Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies; Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies) and Sharina Maillo-Pozo (Languages, Literatures and Cultures; Latin American and Caribbean Studies; Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies).

The speakers focused thoughts on citizenship through both global and local lenses.

Barros shared notions of citizenship as politics, using national conversations about issues related to national identity, immigration and patriotism as a framework for an argument about the need to continually analyze and struggle for one’s status as citizen.

Carr’s talk focused on citizenship’s frequent use as a tool of exclusion, using lessons drawn from America’s history of race relations to illustrate her points, and connecting those points to the contemporary revival of white supremacist rhetoric and activism in the United States and around the western world.

Maillo-Pozo pushed the conversation into the academy, portraying a different kind of “citizenship” – that of those welcomed into a community of scholars – that she argued could be just as exclusive as citizenship based on national borders.

For more information about the Without Limits speaker series, and to view a recording of this event, please visit the Without Limits website.