Jeffrey Kahn will spend his year at CASBS working on his second book, tentatively titled Ships at a Distance. The project examines how Haitian seafarers have forged complex maritime geographies of mobility and interconnection in the shadow of U.S. extraterritorial surveillance regimes. More broadly, it explores how an ethnographic and historical understanding of Haitians’ shipping and migratory projects can illuminate questions related to the precarity of commodity supply chains, the production of space, and the semiotics of racialization operating in the aqueous border spaces of the globe.
Kahn is associate professor of anthropology at the University of California, Davis. An interdisciplinary scholar with training in law and anthropology, his interests include border policing, maritime commerce, seafaring knowledge, legal geography, semiotics, and ritual economies, among other topics. His first book, Islands of Sovereignty: Haitian Migration and the Borders of Empire (University of Chicago Press, 2019), was awarded the Herbert Jacob Book Prize from the Law and Society Association, the Avant Garde Book Prize from the Haitian Studies Association, the Isis Duarte Book Prize from the Latin American Studies Association, and the Book Prize of the American Political Science Association’s Section on Migration and Citizenship. His more public-facing work has appeared in Boston Review and Slate.