Bare Life at the Border: The Complexities of Power, Violence, and Resistance in Nogales, Sonora

Luke Maskarinec


In this paper, Maskarinec examines the U.S.-Mexico border fence as a site where sovereign power is produced and maintained by the spectacle of cross-border violence. By examining the 2012 shooting of sixteen-year-old Jose Rodriguez by border agents, and the competing narratives of the event produced by politicians, artists, protestors, and Rodriguez’s family members, Markarinec urges us to rethink Agamben’s conceptualization of “bare life” in light of the ever-present complexities of power, resistance, and contestation that disappear when we take for granted “the self-reifying myth of the sovereign state”.

2017 Undergraduate Honorable Mention for the Harold K. Schneider Student Prize in Economic Anthropology

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