Challenges of Migration and Belonging. Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Challenges of Migration and Belonging. Interdisciplinary Perspectives was an official World History Center working group for the 2021-2022 academic year and will continue as a working group through the 2022-2023 AY. 

Migration has been a main feature throughout human history and is a defining force in modern societies. Scholars in the field come from a wide variety of disciplines, such as anthropology, history, political science, sociology, and many more. However, researchers still tend to work and study the phenomenon within disciplinary boundaries. This working group aims at establishing an environment to discuss challenges of migration and belonging across these boundaries, bringing together Pitt scholars and graduate students from several fields.

Based on its mission statement, the World History Center is the ideal place to debate these movements across time and space. Our meetings and discussions will add an interdisciplinary twist to our own research and teaching, which is at very different stages and on very different groups and time periods. However, what unites us is research that focuses on people on the move, engaging with transregional and global questions – some historical in scope, some focusing on current developments.

During our meetings, we discuss participants’ work on book chapters, articles, and course syllabi. We also envision organizing discussions with invited speakers. Beyond 2022, the group aims to continue its conversations across the departments and hopes to establish a working relationship with partners not only in academia but also in the city, such as the Heinz History Center. 

In its second year, the Working Group Migration and Belonging will continue to discuss the work in progress of its fellow members. We also scheduled a virtual talk by Mae Ngai (Columbia University) on October 24. Mae will discuss her book “The Chinese Question. The Gold Rushes and Global Politics.” We are planning a similar in-person event for the spring in collaboration with the Heinz History Center. 

Group members:

- Susan Z. Andrade, Associate Professor, Department of English

- Nicole Constable, Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology

- Darlène Dubuisson, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology

- Ann Fleming, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History

- Carolina Forgit-Knerr, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Anthropology

- Basak Gemici, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Sociology

- Dijana Mujkanović, PhD Candidate, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs 

- Jan Musekamp, DAAD Visiting Associate Professor, Department of History, Convener 

- Lara Putnam, Professor, History Department

- Marina Salnikova, Ph.D. Candidate, Critical European Culture Studies

- Rachel Travis, Ph.D. Candidate, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

Affiliated Members:

- Laura Gotkowitz, Associate Professor, Department of History

- Bella Grigoryan, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures

- Junyoung Verónica Kim, Assistant Professor, Department of Hispanic Languages & Literatures

- Eloy Romero Blanco, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History

- Gregor Thum, Associate Professor, History Department