[R6331] New Directions in Border and Migration Studies in the MENA Region: A Postcolonial Agenda

Created by Leslie Gross-Wyrtzen
Thursday, 12/02/21 2:00 pm


Over the past two decades, hardened border and immigration controls across the Mediterranean have led to increasing numbers of migrants and refugees stuck en route across North Africa and the Middle East. As the pace of border securitization has accelerated, critical scholarship has connected European border externalization to humanitarian crises unfolding in partner states in the MENA region. Nonetheless, the existing literature is markedly characterized by a presentist and Eurocentric approach, overlooking both the historical and racialized dimensions of both border priorities and the agentive role MENA states play in shaping today’s transnational migration landscape. This roundtable brings together emerging North African, European and U.S. scholars to reflect on the ellisions/gaps/silences in the study of migration in MENA today and highlight new avenues for research that contextualize contemporary migration politics within longer histories of violence and mobility control in the region. The debate builds on and advances arguments in the 2020 special issue of the Journal of North African Studies, “Telling Histories of the Present: Postcolonial Perspectives on Morocco’s ‘Radically New’ Migration Policy.” Panels will explore how insights garnered in the Moroccan context can be extended to the region more broadly, setting an agenda for postcolonial migration studies that is historically informed and oriented toward a decolonial future.


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A. George Bajalia

(Wesleyan University)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Cynthia Magallanes-Gonzalez

(University of Michigan)
Cynthia Magallanes-Gonzalez is a researcher on migration and race in the Maghreb. Her work examines the intersections of migration, race, class, and gender in Morocco, as a migrant transit country to Europe. Her most recent project examined the proliferation...
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Leslie Gross-Wyrtzen

(Yale University)
Panel Participating Role(s): Chair; Organizer;

Lorena Gazzotti

(Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge)
Panel Participating Role(s): Organizer;

Katharina Natter

(University of Leiden)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Catherine Therrien

(Al Akhwayn University)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;