The Humanities Institute


Founded in 1986, the Humanities Institute presents a thematic program each semester on a topic related to the humanities. As part of Scripps’ tradition of interdisciplinary education, this program includes lectures, conferences, exhibitions, performances, and film series bringing prominent and younger cutting-edge scholars to campus.

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Latest Program

Walls, Borders, Fences

Walls, Borders, Fences

The spring 2017 theme for the Humanities Institute ­– “Walls, Borders, Fences” – interrogates the relationships between social, spatial, and political divisions in a variety of historical and geographic contexts. These contexts include the United States, the U.S. borders with both Mexico and Canada, Israel/Palestine, Europe and the Mediterranean Sea as deadly border, apartheid South Africa, Kashmir, and cities – including Los Angeles and Jerusalem – that are divided along economic, racial, social, and political lines. What can we learn by thinking comparatively across these multiple contexts? How might comparison allow us to ask new questions about critical contemporary issues such as ongoing forms of settler-colonialism, anti-immigration policies and rhetoric, and state-sponsored or sanctioned violence in border zones?

Juxtaposing these contexts reveals the relationship between various forms of violence and borders, walls, and fences. Violence contributes to erecting these boundaries; these boundaries contribute to enacting violent subjugation and military occupation. How can we think about borders, walls, and fences as both material boundaries and networks of historical, ideological, political, and economic conditions that define nation-states, communities, and collectivities? How are borders being reconfigured in the contemporary world in ways that change how we can think about sovereignty, power, citizenship, and violence? How do borders shape the relationships between space and identity?


Upcoming Event

Tuesday Noon – Christian Ramírez

January 31, 2017
12:15 pm

Hampton Room
Malott Commons
Scripps College

Revitalize Not Militarize: the Struggle for Human Rights in the Southern Border

The southern border region is home to some 15 million people living in border communities in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. It is also one of the most militarized border regions in the hemisphere. In this talk, Christian Ramírez, Director of Human Rights and Alliance San Diego and director of the Southern Border Communities Coalition, discusses how border communities are defying negative stereotypes about the borderlands and driving a solution oriented policy agenda in order to advance a vision for a better border.

Christian Ramírez was born in Tijuana, Mexico. Since 1994 Christian has been active on issues relating to US immigration policy and its impact on southern border communities. He has presented in international and national gatherings on the state of human rights in the US-Mexico Border. Mr. Ramirez is a nationally and internationally recognized spokesperson on immigration and border enforcement issues. At the Alliance San Diego, Christian serves as Director of Human Rights and is also the director of the Southern Border Communities Coalition as well.

This event is presented in partnership with the Tuesday Noon Academy, the Intercollegiate Department of Chicanx and Latinx Studies, and the Scripps Politics Department

Free and open to the public.