COLLOQUE “Crossing Sexual Borders” — 13 et 14 juin 2019, Saint-Denis

  • 13 et 14 juin
  • Amphithéâtre de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (MSH) Paris Nord, 20 Avenue George Sand, 93210 Saint-Denis
    (Métro: ligne 12, station Front Populaire)
  • Colloque en anglais
  • Organisation: Éric Fassin (Paris 8 University, LEGS) et Manuela Salcedo (Défenseur des droits-CNRS, LEGS)
  • Comité d’organisation:
    Lucas Monteil (Paris 8 University, LEGS)
    Caroline Ibos (Rennes 2 University, LEGS)
    Anne-Cécile Caseau (Paris 8 University, LEGS)
    Seba Cesaro (Paris 8 University, LEGS)


Sex has to do with borders. This can involve very different logics. Migration may be the result of intimate relationships, for example through family reunification. Sex can also make migration possible – in particular in the case of sex work. However, these two logics are not always so easy to distinguished. For example, binational marriages are alternately considered as the cause or as the instrument of migration.
This is due to the fact that, conversely, borders have to do with sex. Migration is sometimes a way to flee from persecution based on sexual or gender identity. Indeed, States often use sex to define borders, and accordingly decide whether to let people in, or keep them out. Forced marriage, polygamy, and genital mutilations are used as arguments to open borders to the persons who are recognized as victims, and close them for those that are held responsible for their plight.
without borders and the borders of sex multiplicity of agents – not only migrants, but also the various intermediaries, from judges to activists, including interpreters. It has consequences on individuals who migrate, as sexual identity does not exist independent of these power relations: the subjectivation of migrants is thus inseparable from State policies.
Finally, the sexualization of migration is both an empirical reality and a symbolic one: sex is also a discourse that produces borders as it draws a line between “us” and “them.” For example, on the one hand, “brown women” deserve “our” protection; on the other, “brown men” can threaten “our” women, and thus justify closing borders, as was the case after the Cologne attacks.
This conference will not isolate one aspect or another among these diverse issues; on the contrary, it is intended to make them resonate together. This conference is part of the project on “Gender and Sexuality in Migration,” and it is supported by the CNRS research center LEGS, along with the MSH Paris-Nord and the Université Paris 8.

Télécharger le programme de l’évènement ici