Material Culture and (Forced) Migration

Materializing the transient

Edited by Friedemann Yi-Neumann, Andrea Lauser, Antonie Fuhse, and Peter J. Bräunlein

ISBN: 9781800081604

Publication: February 17, 2022

This title has not yet been published. Please bookmark this page and come back on the publication date when it will be freely available to download.

Material Culture and (Forced) Migration argues that materiality is a fundamental dimension of migration. During journeys 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 that are based on research into a broad range of movements – from the study of forced migration and displacement to the analysis of retirement migration. What ties the chapters together is the perspective of material culture and an understanding of materiality that does not reduce objects to mere symbols.

Centring 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, representing disciplines such as anthropology, sociology, contemporary archaeology, curatorial studies, history and human geography. The ethnographic nature of the chapters and the focus on everyday objects and practices will appeal to all those interested in the broader conditions and tangible experiences of migration.

Friedemann Yi-Neumann is a research fellow of the migration exhibition project ‘MOVING THINGS’, University of Göttingen.

Andrea Lauser is Professor in the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Georg-August-University, Göttingen.

Antonie Fuhse holds a PhD in social anthropology from the University of Göttingen.

Peter J. Bräunlein holds an extracurricular professorship in the study of religion from the University of Bremen.

List of figures
List of contributors

Introduction: From ʻbare lifeʼ to ʻmoving thingsʼ: 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
Ayşe Şanlı

Part III – Moving things: Objects, emotions and relatedness in (forced) migration
Peter Bräunlein
7. Rakı table conversations of new migration from Turkey: Emotion, intimacy and politics
Özlem Savaş
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


Format: Open Access PDF

41 colour illustrations

Copyright: © 2022

ISBN: 9781800081604

Publication: February 17, 2022

Scroll to top