Stephanie DeGooyer, "Before Borders: A Legal and Literary History of Naturalization" (Johns Hopkins UP, 2022)


How can the novel be a way to understand the development of nation-state borders? An important work in the intersections of law, literature, history, and migration, Stephanie DeGooyer's Before Borders: A Legal and Literary History of Naturalization (Johns Hopkins UP, 2022) offers fascinating insight into understanding naturalization. Tracing the idea of naturalization as it can be understood as a legal fiction and through literary fiction, DeGooyer offers a compelling approach to understanding naturalization as a generative mechanism for national expansion. Through a careful and engaging analysis that spans from Mary Shelley to court proceedings, De Gooyer's Before Borders is a compelling read that will be of great interest for those interested in histories of migration, creative approaches to studying the state, and ways to approach law through and alongside literature.

Stephanie DeGooyer is Assistant Professor and Frank Borden and Barbara Lasater Hanes Fellow in the Department of English & Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina. Her research focuses on the intersections between law and literature.

Rine Vieth is an incoming FRQSC Postdoctoral Fellow at Université Laval. Interested in how people experience state legal regimes, their research centres around questions of law, migration, gender, and religion.

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Rine Vieth

Dr. Rine Vieth is an incoming FRQSC Postdoctoral Fellow, where they will be studying how anti-gender mobilization shapes migration policy, particularly in regards to asylum determinations. They hold a PhD in Anthropology at McGill University, a MSc in Social Anthropology from the LSE, and a MA in Islamic Law from SOAS.

Their research interests include state governance, human rights, bureaucracy, and religion, with a particular emphasis on how people understand and experience law. When not making their way through a pile of policy documents or coding data, they enjoy gardening on their Montréal balcony.

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