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Annotated Bibliography Migrations Institute

Bhandar, Brenna. Colonial lives of property: Law, land, and racial regimes of ownership.
(Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2018).
Bhandar’s work offers an intellectual history of terra nullius dating back to the 16th century, and
uses case studies from the United States, Palestine, and Canada to understand how racial
divisions and property ownership came to be synecdochic to each other. Both in its
methodological attention and its errancy with respect to area, I find Bhandar’s text instructive
and aspirational.
Brathwaite, Edward Kamau. The Arrivants: A New World Trilogy. (Oxford: Oxford University
Press, 1973).
Brathwaite’s Arrivants trilogy is a necessary interlocutor to my work. It offers simultaneously a
song cycle, a theory of history, and an oral history. It epitomizes the kinds of temporal and
geographic errancy necessary to historical work that attends properly to the entangled histories of
indigenous peoples, settlers, forced migrants, and others in the Americas.
Derrida, Jacques. Specters of Marx: The state of the debt, the work of mourning and the new
international. (New York: Routledge, 2012).
Derrida’s text is primarily about justice and Marxism. What does a just relation look like? It is
one that gives without end, that exceeds the transactional market logic of “justesse.” In thinking
about debt and gifts, Derrida’s work is integral and prescient.
Fuentes, Marisa J. Dispossessed lives: Enslaved women, violence, and the archive. (Philadelphia:
University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016).
Fuentes’ book takes up Saidiya Hartman’s method of critical fabulation to offer a history of
Black enslaved women from multiple archives—the archive of the body, the archive of rumor,
the archive of accreted textual evidence. In constructing a narrative that does not emphasize the
written word at the expense of other knowledges, Fuentes’ book is an primer for me in method.
Glissant, Édouard. Poetics of relation. (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1997).
Glissant’s work is a compelling theory of anticolonial and Creole knowledges. I see value in
following Glissant’s threads where they disrupt colonial hierarchies of knowledge and narrative,
namely those around disciplinarity and linearity.
Graeber, David. Debt: The First 5,000 Years. (New York: Melville House, 2011).
Graeber’s book is a comprehensive account of debt mechanisms and the development of
currency that draws upon anthropology, religious studies, history, and economics. Most
fundamentally, it seeks to displace thought experiments that pepper economics with a more
materialist, historically-grounded account of how currency and debt instruments developed. By
denaturalizing and historicizing debts, Graeber’s work has given me a much richer understanding
of debt and financialization, and also offers me a bibliography from which to draw as I continue
my project.
Hartman, Saidiya V. Scenes of subjection: Terror, slavery, and self-making in nineteenth-century
America. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997).
Hartman’s work has long been a cornerstone for my own thinking (as it has been for so many
Black Studies scholars since Scenes of Subjection was published). I find particularly instructive
Hartman’s contention that indebtedness is a tie of duration, that binds together the past, present,
future by requiring abstention in the past and present to finance the future. Paired with Derrida’s
Specters of Marx, these ways of thinking about debt have structured my work.
King, Tiffany Lethabo. The Black shoals: Offshore formations of Black and Native studies.
(Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2019).
Because of disciplinary boundaries, there remains a paucity of texts that develop the
entanglements between indigenous and Black Studies. King’s work is one of the more recent and
most synthetic texts doing this scholarly work by positioning Black and indigenous peoples not
as antagonists (as some are wont to do, such as adherents of Afropessimism) but as sharing
certain forms of relation and dispossession, as entangled in ways that exceed shared vulnerability
to colonial catastrophe. I read King’s work very recently, so I am still working out the
connections it has to my own project, but I am conscious of its contributions.