Work in Progress

February 23, 2015

Book project "Mapping Migration, Identity, and Space"

Call for Chapters - Abstracts due May 15, 2015

This interdisciplinary collection of essays focuses on the ways in which movements of people across natural, political, and cultural boundaries shape identities that are inexorably linked to actual and imagined space that individuals on the move cross, inhabit, and leave behind. As conflicts over identities and space continue to erupt on a regular basis, and while those from previous eras are far from resolved, this book provides readings of the relationship between migration, identity, and space from a fresh and innovative perspective.

September 13, 2012

Identity formation in Kenya

Tim Parsons

One of my projects analyzes the influence of imperial rule on the formation of ethnicity and identity.  Beginning with an examination of how the imperial regime used ethnicity in administration, education, labor, and land tenure, this research uncovers the range of African reactions to the Kenyan colonial government's efforts to codify and exploit local "tribal" identities. 

August 27, 2012

Jewish Youth in Ghettos and Forests: Oral Histories of the Nazi Genocide in Byelorussia

Anika Walke, Book manuscript
Among the 800,000 Byelorussian Jews killed by the German Nazi regime and their collaborators were parents, grandparents and other relatives of thousands of young Jews who survived the war. These young girls and boys, some teenagers, some younger, thus became orphans and struggled for survival on their own. The book is the first systematic account of young Soviet Jews’ lives under conditions of Nazi occupation and genocide. The book also shows that the notion of internationalism, or interethnic solidarity, and shifting forms of national identification establish a powerful framework for the ways in which survivors of the genocide understood, survived, and, now, represent their experience of violence and displacement.

February 2, 2012

Diaspora and Empire: Cantonese in the West River Basin, 1570-1870

Steven B. Miles, Book manuscript
My work examines the history of one Chinese regional cohort that in the early modern era formed a diaspora of trade and migration along the largest river system in southern China and, in modern times, spread throughout the world.  In my current project, I trace the construction of a Cantonese diaspora along the West River basin between the late-sixteenth century and the late-nineteenth century. 

February 2, 2012

Diasporic Politics of Belonging: Punjabis in Britain c. 1947-2010

Rajbir Purewal Hazelwood, Dissertation
My dissertation explores the practices by which Punjabi migrants in Britain have constructed a sense of belonging, community, and cultural identity c1947-2010. I draw on a diverse archive for this project, including over fifty oral histories, local newspapers, council meeting minutes from three different London boroughs, and the private back catalogue of the Des Pardes (home and away) weekly newspaper.

February 1, 2012

Making Healthy Minds and Bodies in Syria, 1903-1958

Beverly Tsacoyianis, Dissertation
My dissertation focus is on changing local healing concepts and practices concerning members of society perceived to be deviant in 1920s-1950s Syria. By studying mental health, I analyze how certain individuals labelled others or found themselves labelled as disabled, criminal, contagious, or threatening to society. I study how these health practices (ranging from biomedical/ psychiatric to vernacular/ folk and hybrids of such approaches) were manipulated for political and social goals in 20th century Syria.