I am interested in the relationship between identity, mobility, and sovereignty. My scholarly work explores this relationship through narrative, postcolonial, and transnational feminist lenses, within the interdisciplinary areas of migration/refugee studies, cultural studies, Italian studies, and life narrative. My dissertation project, Emergency in Transit, investigates the discourses and experiences of “emergency” that are shaping contemporary Mediterranean migration to the EU. My discussion analyzes oral history interviews I conducted with migrants and aid workers in Italy, together with written and filmic accounts of transit to Europe and within Italy. My published articles contribute to discussions of the role of colonial memory and racial and identity discourse in Europe, and the possibilities for migrant self-representation in narrative.
My research has received funding support from the Mershon Center for International Security Studies, OSU's Alumni Grant for Graduate Scholarship and Research, the Global Gateway and Global Mobility programs, the Office of International Affairs, and the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies / Coca-Cola Difference for Women program.
As part of the interdisciplinary nature of my work, I also seek collaboration and community. At Ohio State, I co-founded and continue to coordinate the Migration Studies Working Group. Our discussions and events bring together faculty, staff, students, and Columbus community members to explore experiences of and research related to migration across disciplines and regions. I also seek forums for sharing and exchanging work with the public; my podcast episodes and blog posts speak to these commitments.
I welcome opportunities for collaboration; if you’d like to work together on a project or event, please get in touch.
- The Liminal Lives of Europe’s Transit Migrants, Contexts: Understanding People in Their Social Worlds (American Sociological Association). Spring, 2018, 40-45.
- Autobiographical Docudrama as Testimony: Jonas Carpignano’s Mediterranea, a/b: Auto/Biography Studies, vol. 32, no. 3, 2017.
- The Spaces of Citizenship: Mapping Personal and Colonial Histories in Contemporary Italy in Igiaba Scego’s La mia casa è dove sono (My Home is Where I Am), European Journal of Life Writing, vol. 6, 2017.
Public Scholarship and Outreach
- Europe’s refugee crisis explains why border walls don’t stop migration, The Conversation, 30 Jan. 2019
- Transit Migration in Europe: Methods and Dialogues, a reflection on my Summer 2017 fieldwork (22 Sept. 2017).
- La Pirogue: the Myth of Europe and the Realities of the Journey, a review of a showing and discussion of the 2012 film La Pirogue (6 Mar. 2017).
- Fuocoammare (Fire at Sea) and ‘Practices of Reception’, a review of a showing and discussion of the 2016 film Fuocoammare (6 Feb. 2017).
- No, Mr. President-Elect, You Are Mistaken: We Welcome Refugees at the Ohio State University, The Daily Kos, 8 Dec. 2016.
- Precarious Journeys: Transit at EU Borders with Human Rights in Transit: a conversation with Kathryn Metz based on our fieldwork observations and interviews.
- Europe’s ‘Refugee Crisis’ and Dynamics of Mediterranean Migration and Reception: What Kind of Crisis? For Whom? with Human Rights in Transit: an interview with Dr. Vicki Squire.
- Rethinking Representation in Diaspora with Human Rights in Transit: an interview with Qorsho Hassan and Ruth Smith about their community-based research and exhibit on the Columbus Somali community.