Border Languages: Rumors and (Dis)Placements of (Inter)National Politics

What happens to politics when the subject cannot be located precisely, in time and space, and thus rationalized and individuated? How might collective and diffuse mechanisms of political voice and engagement contribute to a better understanding of life in the margins of modern geographies? This article advances the argument that rumors might provide us with an important exemplar of discursive imaginaries that at once interrupt and reconfigure politics. Borrowing from the work of Veena Das, it explores “the perlocutionary force of rumors” among displaced communities in urban and rural areas of South America. I argue that rumors are a medium of communication particularly suited for refugees and displaced communities and also a fundamental mechanism for coping with social trauma and of reconfiguring the terms of presence/absence under which these groups live.


Carolina Moulin Aguiar,

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