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Material Culture and (Forced) Migration

Materializing the Transient

An innovative material culture perspective on migration research.

Material Culture and (Forced) Migration argues that materiality is a fundamental dimension of migration. People take things with them, or they lose, find, and engage things along the way. Movements themselves are framed by objects such as borders, passports, tents, camp infrastructures, boats, and mobile phones. This volume brings together chapters on a broad range of movements—from forced migration and displacement to retirement migration. What ties the chapters together is their perspective of material culture.
Centering on four interconnected themes—temporality and materiality, methods of object-based migration research, the affective capacities of objects, and the engagement of things in place-making practices—the volume provides a material culture perspective for migration scholars around the globe, from a wide range of disciplines. The chapters’ focus on everyday objects and practices will appeal to all those interested in the tangible experiences of migration.

367 pages | 41 color plates | 6.14 x 9.21 | © 2022

Anthropology: Cultural and Social Anthropology

Geography: Social and Political Geography

Sociology: Race, Ethnic, and Minority Relations

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This volume offers an original and significant contribution to the discipline of social anthropology at large, and to the burgeoning field of migration studies, as well as to the most intriguing advancement in the study of material culture. Integrating this open-ended anthropological discourse with methods and reflections emergent from archaeology and curatorial studies, the volume breaks new ground in terms of multi-disciplinarity, while raising careful considerations with regard to the ethics of doing research with people affected by (forced) migration.

Sara Bonfanti, University of Trento

Table of Contents

List of figures List of contributors Preface Introduction: From ?bare life’ to ?moving things’: On the materiality of (forced) migration Andrea Lauser, Antonie Fuhse, Peter Bräunlein and Friedemann Yi-Neumann Part I – Transient foundations: On temporality and materiality Antonie Fuhse 1.Materializing transformative futures Georgina Ramsay 2.Moving camps Simon Turner Part II – Materializing methods: Applying things in (forced) migration research Friedemann Yi-Neumann 3.Why should(n’t) refugees be asked about their possessions? A research-ethical and methodological reflection on my fieldwork in a refugee shelter Elena Höpfner 4.From biographies to biographical horizons: On life courses and things in forced migrations Friedemann Yi-Neumann 5.Dzhangal archaeology project and Lande: Two archaeological approaches to the study of forced migration Sarah Mallet and Louise Fowler 6.Undocumented migration and the multiplicity of object lives Ayse Sanli Part III – Moving things: Objects, emotions and relatedness in (forced) migration Peter Bräunlein 7.Raki table conversations of new migration from Turkey: Emotion, intimacy and politics Özlem Savas 8.Cooking ‘pocket money’: How young unaccompanied refugees create a sense of community and familiarity at a Danish asylum centrE Andrea Verdasco 9.The circulating knowledge: Why popular culture matters in exhibitions on migration Maike Suhr 10.Lockdown routines: Im/mobility, materiality and mediated support at the time of the pandemic Maruška Svašek 11.The pram, the notebook and the plastic bag: Mothering practices among migrants living in legal precarity in Berlin Magdalena Suerbaum Part IV – Taking and making place: Engaging things Andrea Lauser 12.Materiality, agency and temporariness in refugee camps in Greece Nada Ghandour-Demiri and Petros Passas 13.A retouched relationship: North American retirees’ quest for connection through popular art in Mexico Rachel Barber 14.Place-making in the transient: Things that matter in everyday life of Honduran refugees at the La 72 shelter Yaatsil Guevara González Index

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