Un/Settlement: Counter-Memories of Migration and Railways in Southern Mexico

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Simmons, Victoria




The Ferrocarril Panamericano (Panamerican Railway) has long served as a space of livelihood, exchange and integration for the communities of the Pacific Coast of southern Mexico. Nevertheless, in recent decades, the historic vitality of this railway, its passengers and communities has been buried under narratives of migrant criminality, terror, and victimhood. As a means of lightening the contemporary weight of security imaginations, this dissertation draws on archival and interview data from diverse locations in Mexico to offer a series of counter-memories of migration on the Ferrocarril Panamericano in southern Mexico. Each counter-memory aims to foreground memories that have been buried and to reconnect historical knowledges that have been separated from one another. It reconnects studies of migration and governance with histories of settlement, transport and state-making. It also highlights the expulsions and dispossessions of today in connection with the transit migration phenomena.


Latin American History
Political Science




Carleton University

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