Jacqueline Stevens, professor of political science and legal studies at Northwestern University, will draw on her academic background and her experience as founding director of the Deportation Research Clinic at the Buffett Institute, for her Constitution Day talk on the HWS campus, addressing some of the most pressing issues in national and international politics and policy.
“Jackie Stevens is a courageous political theorist,” says Jodi Dean, professor of Political Science. “This courage appears in everything she does, from her path-breaking critique of the family through her activist work on immigration and deportation. I’m excited that she is coming to HWS because she can demonstrate how to put the law to work on behalf of justice.”
A 2013-14 Guggenheim fellow, Stevens is the author of “Reproducing the State” (Princeton University Press, 1999), and “States Without Nations: Citizenship for Mortals” (Columbia University Press, 2009). She is currently completing a work of literary non-fiction that narrates contemporary experiences of borders in conversation with the fantasies of America appearing in the accounts of the Spanish conquistadors and British explorers Miguel Cervantes parodied in “Don Quixote.”
Stevens’s talk, titled “Government Illegals: Deportation and the Rule of Law,” will be held in Stern 103 on Monday, Sept. 14 at 4:30 p.m.
“I am very thrilled that HWS has been able to secure Dr. Stevens as our Constitution Day speaker,” says Assistant Professor of Political Science Justin Rose. “Our Office of the Provost always hosts thoughtful and engaging speakers. Dr. Stevens’s upcoming talk is beyond relevant at this present moment. One need only listen to dialogue stemming from the presidential primaries, or turn on the television and witness the horror confronting the Syrian migrants to see understand its relevancy. It is becoming increasingly clear that all members of democratic nations must have a frank conversation about immigration, borders and social justice. Dr. Stevens will not only provide our students with her insightful observations, but she will also challenge them to think in new and uncomfortable ways about the demands placed upon us by our fellow human beings.”
A scholar of political theories and practices of membership since antiquity, Stevens is currently studying how deportation law enforcement engages European fantasies of conquest in the 12th to 17th centuries as well as the quotidian of government documents revealing contemporary illegalities, including practices resulting in the unlawful deportation of United States citizens from the United States. Her research on deportations has been the basis of successful lawsuits challenging government misconduct.
Her work has appeared in Political Theory, American Political Science Review, Journal of Political Philosophy, Social Text, Third World Quarterly, and many other scholarly venues, as well as in The Nation magazine and the New York Times. Reports on her work also have appeared in the New Yorker, NPR, CNN, and numerous other venues.
Stevens received her Ph.D. in political science from the University of California at Berkeley and graduated Phi Beta Kappa and with highest honors from Smith College.