University of Richmond Anthropology Professors Receive National Award for Research on Border Walls and Citizenship

September 1, 2021

UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND — University of Richmond anthropology professors Miguel Díaz-Barriga and Margaret Dorsey have received the 2021 New Directions Award from the General Anthropology Division of the American Anthropological Association for their research on border walls. This award recognizes work that presents anthropological perspectives to the general public through various mediums.

From participating in marches and hearings to creating digital archives and curating art exhibits, Díaz-Barriga and Dorsey have called attention to the transformations in democracy and citizenship associated with border walls. 

“We have studied border communities for more than a decade to better understand how militarization affects the experiences of United States citizens,” said Dorsey.

Through photography — both their own and the work of other anthropologists and photographers — they have documented how militarization has altered the U.S.-Mexico border region. Their projects chronicle the construction of the U.S-Mexico border wall, the increased presence of agents and surveillance technologies in the region, and the destruction of wildlife preserves.

 “We are humbled and overjoyed to win this award recognizing our work in the field and drawing attention to this complex social issue,” said Díaz-Barriga.

They are also the authors of Fencing in Democracy: Border Walls, Necrocitizenship, and the Security State, which received the Association of Latina and Latino Anthropologists’ 2020 Book Award.