Introduction: Thanatic Ethics: The Circulation of Bodies in Migratory Spaces - HAL-SHS - Sciences de l'Homme et de la Société Access content directly
Journal Articles Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies Year : 2023

Introduction: Thanatic Ethics: The Circulation of Bodies in Migratory Spaces


Postcolonial studies has long sought to understand migration and displacement as empowering without acknowledging the material realities of refugee migrations. This Special Issue responds to what the co-editors see as the urgent need for postcolonial and migration studies in general, and diaspora studies in particular, to consider the consequences of restrictive migration policies. Perhaps an even greater scandal of postcolonial and migration studies has been the failure to engage with the urgent question of migrant deaths. It is estimated that since 2014, more than 50,000 migrants have lost their lives while making perilous journeys across land and sea; over 60 per cent remain unidentified. The Thanatic Ethics project, from which this Special Issue emerged, seeks to make visible the bodies of the dead, or to understand why and how they are sometimes caught between hyper-invisibility and hyper-visibility. It attempts to memorialize the migrant dead and thereby do justice to them and ultimately to the living. It also considers the methodologies used in order to make these migrant dead visible, and the forms of representation that may bring about such visibility. Emerging from the eponymous trans- and interdisciplinary project, this Special Issue titled “Thanatic Ethics: The Circulation of Bodies in Migratory Spaces” moves away from the celebratory tone of transnational and migration studies and their focus on migrants’ cross-border agency, instead shedding light on the fatal consequences of migration policies. This Introduction begins with a brief overview of the extant scholarship on death in migration. It continues with an attempt to define thanatic ethics and describe how it affects the relations between the dead and the living as well as between the living themselves. We conclude with a presentation of the essays curated in this Special Issue.
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hal-04055466 , version 1 (20-11-2023)


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Bidisha Banerjee, Judith Misrahi-Barak, Thomas Lacroix. Introduction: Thanatic Ethics: The Circulation of Bodies in Migratory Spaces. Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, 2023, pp.1-20. ⟨10.1080/1369801X.2023.2190917⟩. ⟨hal-04055466⟩
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