Rihan Yeh

Rihan Yeh

University of California San Diego

Rihan Yeh is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at UCSD. She studies the effects of the Mexico-US border on public life in Tijuana; her first book is titled Passing: Two Publics in a Mexican Border City (2018).

Talk Information:

(Non-)Citizenship: An Interrogation at the Mexico-US Border
May 19, 2023 | 9:00 AM

This talk examines the narrative of a young, ethnically Mexican US citizen about an interrogation she was submitted to by immigration officers upon entering the country of her birth. Through its fixation on the exchange of questions and answers, I argue, the interrogation divides and ultimately disappears the subject of interrogation, thus transforming a bureaucratic process into a site for the manifestation of state sovereignty, classically understood as arbitrary and unmeasured. At the same time, the narrative nests the interrogation within a larger story concerning an attempted kidnapping that the narrator underwent in Mexico. Together, the linguistic interruptions and impasses of the interrogation and of the narrative of the kidnapping speak to the constitution of a transnational system of governance that operates on the basis not of differential rights but of differential vulnerability to violence.