This invited talk provides an overview of Latinx refugee movements to the United States. Through an examination of a legal and policy landscape that has shifted towards the securitization and criminalization of migration, the expansion of carceral territories and its implications on asylum is discussed. This is situated within two recent cases: (1) Central American migrant caravans, gaining prominence in 2017, and (2) the Venezuelan exodus beginning in 2015.
Parent, Nicolas. 2022. “Book review: The immigrant-food nexus: Borders, labor, and identity in North America, edited by Julian Agyeman and Sydney Giacalone (The MIT Press, 2020),” The Northeastern Geographer 18: 127-129.
Anthropologists of forced migration have advanced unique perspectives exploring identity and community as they relate to space. With its critique of naturalized conceptions of rootedness, boundedness, and territorialization, anti-sedentarism stands as an important conceptual development emanating from this work. And while expressions such as ‘sedentary bias’ and ‘sedentarist thinking’ are found throughout this body of literature, anti-sedentarism per se has not received a proper treatment of its disciplinary underpinnings and intellectual horizons. This article identifies some of the genealogical traces of anti-sedentarism, discussing it through anthropological contributions in both the cultural and mobility turns. Informed by the work of anthropologists of forced migration, a working definition of anti-sedentarism is provided, followed by a critical discussion on key debates related to this concept. A selection of migrant and refugee ethnographies produced during the mobility turn (1990s onward) is then used to explore the extent which anti-sedentarism has translated to the empirical work of anthropologists and ethnographers engaging with displacement, dispossession, and deterritorialization.
Parent, Nicolas. 2022. “Anti-sedentarism and the anthropology of forced migration,” Suomen Antropologi: Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society 46, no. 2: 10-29. DOI: https://doi.org/10.30676/jfas.v46i2.110269
This preliminary work exploring field data at Mahama camp, Rwanda, was presented at the 2022 conference of the American Association of Geographers, as part of the ‘Territorializing Memory’ panel organized by Miranda Meyer and Stefan Norgaard.
For the most part, Congolese refugees at Mahama have been living within this camp since the mid-1990s. In recounting their memories of past homes, lives, and relationships, these stories are often described through the language of territory. In linking their past to future aspirations of an eventual return, time and space intimately intersect, where territory as defined through memory practices surviving the test of time are formulative to refugees’ claims, hopes, and grievances du jour. In other words, memory practices produce a sense of territory amongst refugees despite their geographic separation from these physical and imagined places. Meanwhile, the territorial landscape of North Kivu – their place of origin – has undergone radical transformations as a result of armed conflict and resource extraction. Thus, the nexus of memory and territory as expressed by refugees who contemplate return is at odds with present day geographic conditions in return areas. This paper explores this tension, drawing on field data collected with Congolese living at Mahama refugee camp, Rwanda. It explores how these refugees negotiate the tension between memorialization and territorialization when discussing their desired and imagined futures of return. As peacebuilders, Congolese government, civil society, and other local stakeholders participate in the brokering of new peace landscapes in the Congo, this research shows that refugees wishing to return also lay territorial claims. In order for their return to be successful, this research asks these actors to consider the importance of forced migrant geographies of memory in their operational territorially-oriented mandates.
This seminar was delivered at the African African Centre of Excellence in Data Science (ACE-DS) of the University of Rwanda, from 24-28 January 2022.
Qualitative inquiry is regarded by social scientists as a central approach to disentangle the complexity and nuance of social settings, lived environments, and relationships. In this week-long, time-intensive seminar, participants will learn key knowledge and skills at all phases of qualitative inquiry, from research design and data collection to analysis and reporting. Focusing on secondary, interview, focus group, and observational data, research methods related to their collection will be positioned within popular qualitative research designs that draw from the interpretivist tradition. This seminar will also include a comprehensive survey of ethical considerations related to qualitative research, where participants will also explore key issues of voice and representation and their relation to major developments in postcolonial, feminist, and critical research. Morning sessions will be devoted to lectures on key knowledge and skills related to qualitative research, enhanced by engaging group discussions and breakout activities. Practical activities will take place in the afternoon, guided by an inquiry-based approach that will encourage participants to apply new knowledge and skills to research topics relevant to their interests. This will lead to the completion of a Capstone Project. The target audience for this seminar is advanced undergraduate students, graduate students (masters and doctoral), and early-career academics with introductory knowledge of qualitative methods. While all seminar-specific learning materials will be provided, participants must bring their own personal computer to effectively participate in the practical components of this seminar.