Anthropology and the Proliferation of Border and Security Walls Task Force (APBWTF) - Participate & Advocate
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Anthropology and the Proliferation of Border and Security Walls Task Force (APBWTF)

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Committee Charge


This group will:

  1. Consult the scholarly literature to arrive at and prepare a written summary of a consensus definition of “border wall” and “security wall.”

  2. Investigate and prepare relevant evidence that documents the global proliferation of border and security walls, as well as the impacts of these walls. This includes, but is not limited to, the displacement of native peoples; increased militarization; forcing migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers to take more dangerous routes; the division of communities and families; an increase in violence and death; environmental impacts, and the adverse effects of wall construction on archaeological and cultural heritage sites.

  3. Produce a report to the membership that summarizes the evidence it has reviewed and the implications for key policy recommendations concerning the public benefits and burdens of constructing and maintaining such walls.

  4. Consider possible recommendations for actions the Association might take in support of work to stop or slow the global proliferation of walls that serve as barriers to international cooperation and cause increased violence and unnecessary suffering. Any recommendations the group produces will be accompanied by an analysis of the likely financial and other implications for the Association if the Executive Board were to enact such recommendations.

  5. Explore the feasibility of preparing engagingly illustrated materials for public consumption concerning the use, proliferation, impacts and consequences of border walls, both in the past and today.

Membership and Appointment

Chair: Josiah Heyman Director, Center for Inter-American and Border Studies Professor of Anthropology University of Texas at El Paso

Roberto Alvarez, University of California, San Diego

Robin G. Nelson, Department of Anthropology, Santa Clara University

Zahir Ahmed, Professor, Department of Anthropology, Jahangirnagar University

Julie Peteet, University of Louisville, Dept of Anthropology 

Reinhard Bernbeck, Freie Universität Berlin

Katherine E. Hoffman, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Northwestern University 

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