Presenting ROCLA’s May Program:
“A Perspective on the Migrant Caravan: Religion, Civil Society, and the Politics of Naming”
Presented By: Professor Martha Balaguera

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Wednesday, May 1st at 7:00 PM
Downtown Presbyterian Church*
121 North Fitzhugh St., Rochester

The Central American migrant caravans of 2018 and 2019 have brought renewed attention to the contemporary refugee crisis in the Western hemisphere. They have also brought stigma to the word “caravan” and a debate over the appropriate forms of political engagement on the part of migrants and their allies and advocates.

In this talk, Professor Martha Balaguera will address the politics of naming surrounding the so-called “caravan,” and provide her perspective on the collective and public migration of thousands of displaced Central Americans across Mexico en route to the United States. In the process, Balaguera will discuss the historical origins and religious foundations of migrant caravans in southern Mexico, and the larger debates that the word “caravan” conjures with respect to the humanity of migrants.

Martha Balaguera is an Assistant Professor of Political Science who teaches at the University of Toronto-Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. She was a Visiting Fellow at the Center for US-Mexican Studies, University of California San Diego, during the 2017-2018 academic year. Martha’s work focuses on social movements in violent contexts, with an emphasis on transborder forms of activism in the Americas from a feminist perspective.

*The church is accessible to those with mobility impairments and looped for the hearing impaired.