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Members and Guests


Judith Altrogge is a researcher and PhD candidate at the University of Osnabrueck. Her research area is migration, politics, and development cooperation, with a special focus on return migration. In the context of this network, she is interested in how migrants adapt their migration projects to the pandemic both in destination and return contexts and how this affects their post-return experiences, for example regarding the temporary increase of monetary incentives in Assisted Voluntary Return. A second concern for her lies on the pandemic’s effects on the forceful removal of rejected asylum seekers, how the legitimizations and practices of forced removal change in the longer term.

Soledad Álvarez Velasco is a Junior- Professor of “Migration and the Americas” at the Heidelberg Center for Ibero-American Studies, Heidelberg University. Her research analyses the interrelationship between mobility, control and spatial transformations across the Americas. She focuses on the intersection between undocumented south-north transit migration, border control regimes, the formation of migratory corridors across the Americas and the migrant struggle across these transnational spaces. In regard to this network she is specifically interested in exploring how the pandemic intensified the tension between mobility and control across south-north and south-south migratory corridors of the Americas, particularly the multiplication of global transit migrations and the reinforcement of border control in Latin American countries (including militarized borders and new legal anti-migrant reforms) and the effects in the dynamics of circuits of (im)mobilities across those corridors.  Another area of interest is the multiplication of regimes of care and territories of protection crafted by migrants for migrants on the move across those spatial formations, where the role of migrant women has turned pivotal. 

Megha Amrith leads the Research Group ‘Ageing in a Time of Mobility’ at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity. Her research interests are on migrant labour, care, ageing, and temporality in Southeast Asia, and in comparative ethnographic perspective. In regard to this network she is interested in how the pandemic has impacted the (im)mobilities of migrant domestic and care workers, both in terms of the border controls that shape their lives and prospects, as well as the transformations in their everyday mobilities, relationships, and wellbeing. 

Amrita Datta is a Sociologist focusing primarily on transnational migration and mobility. Presently, she is a Marie Sklodowska Curie Fellow at the Department of Sociology, University of Siegen, Germany, and is the principle investigator of the project titled “Indian High-skilled migrants in Germany: Transnational Practices and Prospects”. Her project tries to identify the transnational practices, motivations of immigration, and trends and future potentials of the Indian immigrants in Germany, specifically the white collar migrants (EU Blue Card Holders) and students, and explores the much contested relation between pandemic and international mobility. It proposes to argue that the fast expanding Indian diaspora in Germany increasingly impacts the social landscape there in ways hitherto unfamiliar for the German society. Amrita’s other research interests include: pandemic and (im)mobility, gender-mobility/migration interface, migration uncertainties, and reflexivity in migration research. Her monograph titled “Stories of the Indian Immigrants in Germany: Why Move?” is scheduled to be published by Palgrave Macmillan, London in Summer, 2023. Her latest publication includes: Mobility  as  survival  and  freedom:  Pandemic,  Immobility  and  its implications for women and queer migrants. 

Heike Drotbohm is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Mainz. Her research interests include migration and transnationalism, kinship and care, humanitarianism and solidarity. In regard to this network she is specifically interested in exploring how the pandemic influenced the cross-border lives and mutual support practices within transnational families. Another area of interest is the redirection of feelings of solidarity due to the pandemic experience, which creates new forms of political in- and/or exclusion.

Christiane Fröhlich is a research fellow at the German Institute for Global and Area Studies in Hamburg. She is particularly interested in the intersection between forced migration, global environmental change, and socio-political upheaval, and in related questions of mobility and climate justice. Her regional focus is mainly on the Middle East (Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel/Palestine, Turkey), where she has conducted extensive field research. She is also engaged in cross-regional comparative projects, including the EU-funded consortium “Migration Governance and Asylum Crises (MAGYC)“, in which she leads a work package on “Comparing Crises. Lessons from «migration crises» in North Africa, the Middle East and the Greater Horn of Africa.” Fröhlich holds a PhD from the Center for Conflict Studies at Marburg University.

Yaatsil Guevara González is research fellow at the Department of Anthropology and African Studies at the University of Mainz. She currently coordinates the research project “African Trajectories across Central America” funded by the German Research Foundation. Her research interests include refugee and conflict studies, humanitarianism, and gender studies. In regard to this network, she is interested in exploring how the diverse migratory flows transiting through Mexico. Specifically, she seeks to explore how the pandemic shaped migrant families while being in transit, as well as the reactions of Mexico’s humanitarian networks to the pandemic.

Ulrike Krause is Junior Professor of Forced Migration and Refugee Studies at the Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies (IMIS) and the Institute for Social Science at Osnabrück University, and affiliated research associate at the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford. Her research and teaching focuses on humanitarian refugee protection, conflict-displacement nexus, gender-based violence, agency, resilience, (post)colonial approaches, and knowledge production; with a regional focus on global developments as well as Africa. She is co-editor of the German Journal for Forced Migration Studies, the Journal of Migration Studies and the Forced Migration Studies Blog. In the Blog, she convened a series about the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on displaced people.

Maria Lassak holds an MA in Cultural and Social Anthropology. She is a PhD candidate at the University of St. Gallen (HSG) and is currently working on naturalization in Switzerland in the context of debates around inequality and deservingness. Regarding this network, she is interested in how the pandemic influenced debates around migration, (transnational) belonging and deservingness. Furthermore, she is interested in debates around decentring Europe.

Annika Lems is head of the independent research group “Alpine Histories of Global Change” at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle/Saale. For over a decade she studied the placemaking practices of refugees in Western host societies, with a particular interest in questions of inclusion, exclusion, belonging and alienation. More recently, she has shifted her research focus to the everyday politics of place and to the lifeworlds of people who perceive the presence of refugees and migrants as a threat to their values and ways of life. In regard to this network she is interested in the increased importance of local, place-based models of belonging to place that became prevalent in rural areas in Europe during the Corona pandemic – and the historically engrained ideas of non-belonging/ otherness this might bring to the fore. 

Antje Missbach is Professor of Sociology, specializing on Migration and Mobility. For the last eight years she had studied irregularised migration in Southeast Asia, especially the facilitation of maritime crossings between Indonesia and Australia. In regard to this network she is interested in how facilitators of irregularised migration are adapting to new border control requirements and technologies, such as vaccination passports and Corona status certificates, and what kind of additional services they will be expected to provide to help people move irregularly in the future.  

Dilshad Muhammad is an ALMA Fellow at Arnold-Bergstraesser-Institute (ABI) and doctoral student at the University of Freiburg, Germany. His doctoral dissertation studies the local governance of forced migration in Turkey. His broader research interests also include (forced) migration in West Asia, (ethnic) nationalism, and state-formation in Turkey and Syria.

Monika Palmberger is Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Vienna, Austria, and Associate Research Fellow at the Interculturalism, Migration and Minorities Research Centre at the University of Leuven, Belgium. Her research focuses on (forced) migration, care, ageing, memory and digital ethnography. Currently she is leading the research project ‘REFUGEeICT – Multi-local Care and the Use of Information and Communication Technologies Among Refugees' funded by the Austrian Science Fund (2018-2022).  In relation to this network, she is particularly interested in how the global pandemic affects refugees' transnational care relationships and attempts at family reunification. She is also interested in how the pandemic is affecting refugees on the ‘Western Balkans route’, particularly at the border between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. 

Wayne Palmer is a lecturer at Bielefeld University. He has 15 years’ experience researching and writing about Indonesian regulatory regimes related to labour migration. Wayne’s current research projects focus on institutional capacity to enforce labour rights of foreigners in Indonesia. He teaches courses on labour rights enforcement and international organisations, integration in the Global South as well as on labour exploitation in the fisheries. Wayne is (co-)chief investigator on Australian Research Council-funded project Employment Relations in Indonesia’s Commercial Fishing Industry, which will also examine institutional responses to the labour rights of migrant fishers (co-investigated with M. Ford and D. S. Adhuri).

Gerhild Perl is a Junior Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Trier. Her research and teaching interests include migration and mobility, critical border studies, affect and emotion, violence and agency, with a special focus on the Mediterranean. In regard to this network, she is interested in exploring how the pandemic has influenced migration policies and how undocumented migrants navigate their lives in the context of heightened border control.

Victoria Kumala Sakti is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Max Planck Research Group ‘Ageing in a Time of Mobility’, hosted by the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity. Her research interests are at the intersections of ageing and forced migration in the global South; emotion, memory and violence; and translocal (im)mobilities. As part of this network, she is interested in examining how the Covid-19 pandemic impacts on older people’s lives, wellbeing, and (im)mobilities at the margins of society. She is also interested in how communities deal with the interruptions of death rituals and familial care across borders.

Dora Sampaio is Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Utrecht University. She is also an Associate Researcher with the Max Planck Group ‘Ageing in a Time of Mobility’. She specialises in transnational mobilities with a focus on ageing, intergenerational relationships, and the life course. With regards to this network, she is interested in how the pandemic has further disadvantaged transnational families affected by stringent migration regimes, irregular status, and forced immobilities. Another focus of interest lies in urban evictions among migrant communities as a result of the pandemic.  

Tabea Scharrer is currently based at the University of Bayreuth and a Research Partner at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle. Over the last years she has worked with Somali migrants in Kenya, Germany and Austria, with thematic foci on citizenship and belonging, the change of urban spaces due to migration, and the formation of personal (care) networks of migrants. Concerning this DFG network, she is interested in how life projects put on hold due to the pandemic (projects such as education, economic advancement, or further migration etc.) impact on the future life course of migrants. Answering this question feeds into Tabea’s broader interest in the connection between (forced) migration and socio-economic class, ie. spatial and social mobility, in the transnational sphere.

Inka Stock is a researcher at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Genderstudies at Bielefeld University. Her research interests include the nexus between migration and social inequality, gender and migration, as well as civil society engagements with migration and development. Her focus lies on migration from and to the global South, with a special interest in migration on the African continent. In regard to this network she is specifically interested in exploring how the pandemic influenced peoples’ aspirations and strategies related to migration within Africa and towards other destinations. Another area of interest is to explore the changing conditions for collaborative work with african scholars in light of the pandemic and what can be done to improve these in innovative ways.

Magdalena Suerbaum is a post-doctoral research fellow at the Interdisciplinary Center for Gender Studies at Bielefeld University. Her research interests include forced and protracted displacement, legal precarity, mothering practices and constructions of masculinities in times of uncertainty. Her regional-ethnographic competence spans the Middle East and Europe. In regard to this network, she is keen to discuss how childrearing practices and child-parent relationships in forcibly displaced families have been subject to change.

Jelena Tosic is Assisstant Professor for Transcultural Studies as the University of St.Gallen. Her research interests include: (Forced) Migration and Border Studies; Citizenship; Moral Economy/Inequality; Transculturality/Trans- nationalism; Education; Methods (Ethnography, Historical Anthropology/Memory, Comparative Research). In regard to this network she is expecially interested in how the Pandemic impacted: practices, policies and images of/by migrants; ways of doing ethnography of im/mobility; and how it potentialy reconfigures ideological and power constellations and cartographies (east-west; north-south; post-colonial/socialist; urban/rural).

Magnus Treiber is Professor of Anthropology at LMU Munich. He is particularly interested in migration within and from the Horn of Africa in changing political contexts since the early 20th century. Remarkably, the current pandemic has played a political role far beyond public health and mere healthcare. It legitimized additional Schengen-restrictions as well as authoritarian control of movement and political activities in various African states. In Ethiopia, the pandemic served as an excuse to delay national elections - which provoked further political radicalization and the eventual outbreak of a still ongoing war in the country’s North.

Franzisca Zanker is a Senior Researcher at the Arnold-Bergstraesser-Institute (ABI) where she heads the research cluster on “Patterns of (Forced) Migration.” Her research interests include the political stakes of refugee protection and migration governance, forced return and civil society activism with a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. With regard to this network she is interested how states have used COVID-19 restrictions to pursue their particular political interests in protecting refugees or governing migration and how migrant communities have responded and resisted new constraints, given the increased precarity many face due to the pandemic.

Guest Researchers

Mulu Getachew Abebe is a PhD candidate in Social Anthropology at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. Her areas of interest include the broad field of migration and refugee studies, covering the various aspects of social, cultural and political life that affect refugees’ experiences. She has conducted research around trans-border migration of Eritrean refugees across the Ethiopian-Eritrean border. Mulu’s interest in Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia dates back to 2011 when she visited Eritrean refugees in  Mai Aini refugee camp to research their experiences inside the camp. During the fieldwork and the following years, she met many refugees. The meeting exposed her to the precariousness and uncertainty that refugees face at different stages of their flight, both inside and outside of refugee camps and developed into her PhD-research within the joint regional project “Borderland dynamics in East Africa” – funded by NORHED and including  Addis Ababa, Makerere, Khartoum universities and University of Bergen). Over the course of her research, she regularly visits field sites in Shemelba, Mai Ayni, Adi Harush and Hitsats and has established bonds to longstanding camp inhabitants. Currently, as part of the research team of TRAFIG in Ethiopia, Mulu is doing further research among Eritrean refugees in the camps and cities, i.e. Tigray, Afar and Addis Ababa.

Jemma Purdey is an Industry Fellow at the Australia-Indonesia Centre (AIC) and Adjunct Fellow, Department of Arts and Education, Deakin University. She is author of Anti-Chinese Violence in Indonesia, 1996-1998 (NUS Publishing 2006) and From Vienna to Yogyakarta: The life of Herb Feith (UNSW Press, 2011) and co-author with Antje Missbach and Dave McRae of Indonesia: State and Society in Transition (Lynne Reinner Publishers, 2020).

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