All Research Sections

All of the titles below link to thematic research sections. Each section will open as a PDF and contains a written introduction with approximately 8-12 open-access and multi-media resources (books, articles, videos, podcasts, etc.). You may also navigate these resources by type of source, keyword, or target audience using the “Explore” menu.

Each research section description below includes a summary of its content, a list of relevant keywords, and the target audience for this material. An asterisk (*) next to “target audience” indicates that the research section includes discussion questions and extension activities.

Bearing Witness: Stories of Migration Through Art

Keywords: art, personal narrative, theater

Target audience: high school (grades 9-12)*

In December 2020, the Selective Bibliography of Forced Migration hosted a virtual community conversation centered around art and migration — from textile cloths to theater performances — with a focus on what it means to bear witness to such moments in individual stories of migration. This section includes the sources viewed at the event, additional contextual resources, and discussion questions. Compiled by Kaiya John.

Challenges of German Bureaucracy for Syrian Refugees

Keywords: asylum, Europe, policy, refugee

Target audience: advanced and lifelong learners*

This section focuses on the experiences of forcibly displaced Syrians who now compose a majority of recent asylum seekers in Germany along with the bureaucratic challenges they face. Compiled by Ellis Peterson.

Climate Change and Forced Migration: An Introduction Via Children’s Movies and Other Sources

Keywords: activism, climate

Target audience: late elementary and middle school (grades 5-8)*

This section aims to introduce children to issues of forced migration and climate change using discussion questions, activities, and popular films. Compiled by Jordan Shamoun.

Counting Forced Migrants: Methods, Impact, and Improvements

Keywords: data, terminology

Target audience: high school (grades 9-12)

Recognizing that forced migrants are more than their numbers, this bibliography section aims to interrogate the methods and impact of counting forced migrants by compiling sources that ask: who quantifies forced migration and how do they do it? Compiled by Elijah Appelson.

COVID-19 and Migration Detention in Greece: July 2020

Keywords: borders and borderlands, COVID-19, Europe, health, policy

Target audience: high school (grades 9-12)

In February 2020, Turkey announced that it would open its borders to Greece. However, with the collapse of the EU-Turkey agreement and the COVID-19 pandemic, Greece closed its border to several countries including Turkey and tightened its border controls. This section, created in July 2020, investigates the experiences of migrants in Greece during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Compiled by Haru Sugishita.

Environmental Displacement of Indigenous People: A Glimpse into Anishinaabe Resistance to Colonial Exploitation

Keywords: activism, climate, colonization, displacement, Indigenous, violence

Target audience: high school (grades 9-12)*

This section aims to provide tools and resources for teaching high school students about the environmental displacement of Indigenous people in North America due to colonization. Rather than attempting to generalize the experiences of the many tribes who have been forced to leave their land or are currently fighting against displacement, this section will focus on the Anishinaabeg Nations and the threats that they currently face. Compiled by Ellis Peterson.

Finding Voice Through Theater: Forced Migration and Self-Expression

Keywords: belonging, refugee camp, theater

Target audience: high school (grades 9-12)

This section highlights the uses of theater around the world to showcase the work of refugees past and present who successfully cross the distance between “us” and “them,” building mutual understanding through self-expression. Compiled by Violet Cenedella.

Food and Migration: Community, Diaspora, Politics

Keywords: activism, diaspora, food, home

Target audience: late elementary and middle school (grades 5-8)*

Food is a means for understanding others and their experiences. With this in mind, this section demonstrates the vital link between food and community, identity, the migration process, and political debate. Compiled by Naima Nader.

Forcing Diasporas (A Teaching Tool)

Keywords: colonization, diaspora, displacement, home, Indigenous

Target audience: high school (grades 9-12)*

This section aims to introduce the concept of a diaspora to students in a way that is accessible yet hints at the multifaceted and at times complicated meanings of the word. It encourages students to make the connection between the creation of diasporas and many forms of forced migration and then be able to apply this understanding to the displacement and persecution of the Sahrawi people residing in Western Sahara, Algeria, and Spain. Compiled by Kaiya John.

Forgetting Humanitarian Aid: Mutual Aid for and by Refugees

Keywords: activism, borders and borderlands, colonization, humanitarianism, mutual aid, refugee

Target audience: high school (grades 9-12)*

This section uses concepts of mutual aid to complicate traditional humanitarian aid structures in and around refugee communities while prompting readers to design and advance mutual aid networks themselves. Compiled by Elijah Appelson.

Free Movement and Belonging in Europe: The Situation of the Romani Peoples

Keywords: belonging, borders and borderlands, Europe, race, Romani Peoples, terminology

Target audience: advanced and lifelong learners

The Roma illustrate perfectly that for many Europeans, there is the perception that there are no minorities in Europe, only “migrants.” This section attempts to reverse that assumption and to put into question the ways in which Europeans are implicitly thought of as White, while “race” is often presented as a non-issue in Europe. Compiled by Naima Nader.

Human Migration in Film

Keywords: art, film, The United States

Target audience: high school (grades 9-12)

This list is a collection of movies and films of forced human migration, including films of different genres, budgets, and agendas. Compiled by Samantha Cavagnolo.

Labels and Media Framing: “Refugee” and “Migrant”

Keywords: media, refugee, terminology

Target audience: high school (grades 9-12)

This section investigates the terms “refugee” and “migrant” in their social and legal constructions, demonstrating the impact of those labels on our thinking and questioning the distinction between both words. Compiled by Naima Nader.

Language and Migration

Keywords: language, personal narrative, translation

Target audience: advanced and lifelong learners*

What effects do war, hunger, and migration have on language? Can we ever be fluent in a language? How does language connect to territory, land, and home? This section uses a wide range of voices to present the relationship between migration and language. Compiled by Valeria Sibrian.

Literature of Displacement

Keywords: displacement, literature, personal narrative

Target audience: advanced and lifelong learners

This section presents a sample of the many works of fiction published in the last twenty-odd years by those who have experienced life as a refugee or migrant, demonstrating the ways in which this literature can combat learned xenophobia, condescension, and ignorance. Compiled by Matthew Brill-Carlat.

Loving Minds and Caring Hands: Displaced People Building Compassionate Communities During COVID-19

Keywords: art, COVID-19, health, home

Target audience: high school (grades 9-12)

This section explores the ways that refugees and asylum seekers have shown resilience and extended compassion to their communities and newfound homes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Compiled by Angie Diaz.

Migration and Gender-Related Issues: Sexual/Reproductive Health and Violence in Forcibly Displaced Populations

Keywords: gender, health, humanitarianism, violence

Target audience: advanced and lifelong learners

This section presents the barriers to reproductive health and instances of sexual violence that are exacerbated in situations of violent conflict and forced migration. Compiled by Kaiya John.

Migration Through Metaphors

Keywords: othering, terminology

Target audience: high school (grades 9-12)*

This section uses literary metaphors to approach migration studies through a series of guided discussion questions and prompts. Compiled by Malvika Dang.

On Forced Migration, International Policy, and Existing Outside of the Law

Keywords: asylum, 1951 Geneva Convention, othering, policy, refugee, terminology

Target audience: advanced and lifelong learners

This section aims to interrogate the problematic nature of current international migration laws and to understand (but not justify) the seeming ‘need’ to exclude certain individuals by looking at Giorgio Agamben’s theories of homo sacer and the state of exception. Compiled by Kaiya John.

Reframing Incarceration as Forced Migration

Keywords: incarceration

Target audience: high school (grades 9-12)*

This section’s resources, which often focus on various health issues, use two distinct methods to outline why incarceration, particularly incarceration of individuals in America, should be considered forced migration. Compiled by Jeremy Sass.

Rethinking the Value of Art Therapy

Keywords: art, mental health, theater

Target audience: advanced and lifelong learners*

This section explores the significance of art therapies in addressing the mental health of forced migrants around the world. Compiled by Haru Sugishita.

Stories: An Educational Tool to Learn About Migration

Keywords: literature, personal narrative

Target audience: high school (grades 9-12)*

What can we learn about migration through fictional stories? The sources in this section are intended to be read and analyzed by high school students to deepen their understanding of migration and experience critical thinking. However, as it is always so, the sources are great for people of all ages. Compiled by Haru Sugishita.

The Marketing of Refugees: Humanitarian Photography and the Politics of Donation

Keywords: colonization, humanitarianism, media, othering

Target audience: advanced and lifelong learners*

This section investigates humanitarian photography and its use in donation campaigns frequently used by large international aid organizations and NGOs. Compiled by Kaiya John.

The Olympics, Community Gardens, and ‘Islands of Exclusion’: Gentrification as Forced Displacement

Keywords: displacement, gentrification, The United States

Target audience: high school (grades 9-12)*

This section aims to introduce high school students to the concept of gentrification (mainly as it occurs in North America), help students understand the role gentrification plays in inducing and exacerbating forced displacement, allow for discussions on possible effects of gentrification including through a specific case study, and provide a space for them to collectively brainstorm next steps. Compiled by Arlene Chen.

The United States Prison System Viewed as a System of Forced Migration

Keywords: incarceration, The United States

Target audience: advanced and lifelong learners

This section aims to facilitate novel discourse on mass incarceration and forced migration to show that the United States prison system is one of forced migration. Compiled by Elijah Appelson.

US-Mexico Borderlands, Identity, and Community Engagement

Keywords: activism, art, borders and borderlands, The United States

Target audience: high school (grades 9-12)*

This section aims to facilitate conversations about living in and conceptualizing the borderlands by highlighting the voices of those who consider the US-Mexico borderlands home. Compiled by Ava McElhone Yates.

Visual Storytelling: A Teaching Guide to Children’s and Young Teens’ Graphic Novels

Keywords: art, belonging, diaspora, media, personal narrative

Target audience: late elementary and middle school (grades 5-8)*

This section presents a collection of children’s and young teens’ graphic novels on stories of forced migration from all around the world along with supplementary sources that educators and adults can utilize to teach each graphic novel. Compiled by Angie Diaz.

What Do We Talk About When We Talk About Forced Migration?

Keywords: refugee, belonging, borders and borderlands, home, refugee

Target audience: advanced and lifelong learners

What is visible about forced migration and those who experience it is not always the full picture. This section uses a transnational collection of books, articles, and films – some produced by people who’ve experienced displacement themselves – to present a more nuanced image of displacement. Compiled by Matthew Brill-Carlat.

What Is It Like To Go To School at the US-Mexico Border? An Introduction for Young Adults Interested in Border Studies

Keywords: asylum, borders and borderlands, refugee, terminology, The United States

Target audience: late elementary and middle school (grades 5-8)*

This section introduces young adults to what it is like to go to school at the US-Mexico border using videos, articles, books, and guided discussion questions. Compiled by Samantha Cavagnolo.

What Makes a Place a Home? Protracted Refugee Situations and Refugee Camp Design

Keywords: belonging, home, refugee, refugee camp

Target audience: advanced and lifelong learners*

What makes a place a home? This section encourages students to question narratives portraying refugeehood as temporary and consider who is leading refugee camp design – and to what end. Compiled by Lee Ann Bael.