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On Citizenship Management: The Curious Lives of the “Included-Outs”

Sun, May 24, 16:30 to 17:45, Caribe Hilton, Conference Room 7


In Hong Kong where my research takes place, postcoloniality has brought about new ruptures and shifting boundaries of citizenship in economic, cultural, and legal terms. Questions of home and belonging, and the implicated politics of dislocation and marginalization, have plagued two visible groups: the Chinese Mainlanders whose personal and cultural fortunes have been transformed by opportunities presented by the permeability of the city-border, and the foreign domestic helpers whose right of belonging has been caught in the discrimination of immigration laws. My argument is that their fates are conjoined by what I call the state of being “included-out,” something augmented by nebulous doctrines of citizenship rights as well as by legalized and informal forms of cultural racialism. Working through a few landmark human rights cases, I hope to outline the biopolitical continuum of the “included-out,” and draw wider implications for the question of bare life in outside belongings.