Irene López, Kenyon Associate Professor of Psychology, has published an article, “Whiplash: Shifting positionalities and disciplinary cross-fire in the study of borders” in Intervalla. The journal is an annual published, peer reviewed transdisciplinary, open-access academic journal that strives to provide a forum for scholars from all fields to test and circulate thoughts on contemporary matters of human experiences.
How should we engage in the study of borders and what are the ethical challenges involved in the study of migration? Lopez discusses the tensions that academics face when trying to study borders, and describes how a visit to a refugee camp in Lesbos, Greece, exposed disciplinary fault lines that underscored the difficulties of doing collaborative and interdisciplinary work. This essay describes the whiplash that occurred when academics, humanitarian stakeholders, and asylum seekers met each other to discuss borders. Lopez contends that the study of borders requires work that is participatory, transdisciplinary, and multilingual and that border work must center the experience of asylum seekers and decolonize the gaze of academics.