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Center for Imagination in the Borderlands

The Center for Imagination in the Borderlands is an Indigenous space at ASU where we constellate stories, knowledges, and language across our many borderlands through strategic and exploratory modes of research, conversation, and performance. Essential to our understanding of Indigineity is a kinship with the land, a connection that moves beyond “where we are” or “how we got here” and represents an evolving awareness and practice of relationality with land, water, and other human and non-human life. The imaginations shaped in this desert and in these bordered lands are capable of influencing and catalyzing the futures we believe we deserve.

The CIB is intentionally housed within ASU’s English Department and more broadly The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Our initiatives, collaborations, guests, and community engagements acknowledge and dismantle the British and European lenses which have excluded so many of our Indigenous and diasporic experiences of language and story. Who do we erase when we study “English” uncritically; who is both innovating and resisting the language and frames we inherit as “English”; and what is “English” now and since it arrived on these lands, having stolen some of us away from our lands, having shaped us as violently as we now shape it with generosity and imagination?


Origins and Migrations



The Matakyev Research Residency

A collective inquiry through intensive and intentional conversation, exchange, and connection to the land.


Matakyev is a Mojave word that means “to gather our people from across the land.” A Matakyev is a Mojave cultural practice of gathering stories and conversations, from across lands and languages and peoples. It has always been a necessary and vital relationship of community and familial exchange—among the values of the matakyev are love, care, resistance, relation-building, catalyzing of wonder, relentless inquiry, and the simultaneity of remembering and imagining.


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Borderlands Fellows

A place-based arc of joint research, encounters, and experiences set in motion by two related research projects on notions of borderland.


The Borderland Fellowships are biennial fellowships for two individual artists/scholars/thinkers that pair the distinct institutional resources of the Center for Imagination in the Borderlands and the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School in New York City.


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