Surveilling Surveillance

Countermapping Undocumented Migration in the USA-Mexico Borderlands


  • Haeden Eli Stewart University of Chicago
  • Ian Ostereicher University of Cambridge
  • Cameron Gokee Appalachian State University
  • Jason De Leon University of Michigan



Archaeology of the contemporary, undocumented migration, GIS, counter-mapping, US/Mexico Border


This paper examines how mapping technology is central to the operation of the United States Border Patrol security apparatus on the US/Mexico Border, and explores how the very same mapping technology can be used in critique this security project. Drawing on the concept of counter-mapping, we use spatial data collected by the Undocumented Migration Project – a long-term anthropological project aimed at understanding various elements of the violent social process of clandestine migration between Latin America and the United States – to critique the spatial ideology of PTD and the technological conditions of its production.


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Author Biographies

Haeden Eli Stewart, University of Chicago

Haeden Stewart is a PhD candidate in Anthropology at the University of Chicago.

Ian Ostereicher, University of Cambridge

Ian Ostericher is a PhD candidate in Archaeology at the University of Cambridge.

Cameron Gokee, Appalachian State University

Cameron Gokee is a Research Assistant Professor at Appalachian State University and manages spatial data for the Undocumented Migration Project.

Jason De Leon, University of Michigan

Jason De León is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan and Director of the Undocumented Migration Project.


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How to Cite

Stewart, H. E., Ostereicher, I., Gokee, C., & De Leon, J. (2017). Surveilling Surveillance: Countermapping Undocumented Migration in the USA-Mexico Borderlands. Journal of Contemporary Archaeology, 3(2), 159–174.




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