The Global Studies Migrations Initiative asks how different forms of movement, mobility, and displacement might be studied beyond categorical and national boundaries in ways that take account of the shifting terrains that constitute migrations.

Movements across national borders and forms of mobility and displacement that take place within those borders are typically either conceived as wholly distinct or indistinguishable. Either approach makes it difficult to think rigorously about the diverse and often interrelated processes that influence peoples’ movements and the ways in which they deal with the challenges posed by boundaries of all kinds (national but also class, racial, historical…) and by increasing forms of precariousness. Further, this focus on the people who move often neglects the communities into which they move, obscuring the complex social dynamics that result from their movements. Through this initiative, we hope to draw attention to less visible forms of movement and displacement, such as gentrification, incarceration, professional relocation, and long histories of dispossession and to relate them critically to cross-border migrations and displacements.

Migrations Brown Bag Series

Brown Bag is a monthly seminar for faculty to learn about the research currently going on at Pitt in the area of migrations. Each month a faculty member will give a presentation about their ongoing research projects or an introduction to their research agendas. Students and faculty are encouraged to attend. All events in the Migrations Brown Bag Series will take place in 4130 Posvar Hall.

To receive email announcements, send an email to sbv2@pitt.edu.

Spring 2019

Monday, January 28, 2019

Who: Faina Linkov (Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences)

Title: "Global Trends in Migrant Health:Epidemiology Prospective"

Time: 12:00 to 1:00 pm

Monday, February 18, 2019

Who: Osea Giuntella (Department of Economics)

Title: "Migration and the health trajectories of immigrants and host country residents"

Time: 12:00 to 1:00 pm

Monday, March 18, 2019

Who: Yolanda Covington (Department of Africana Studies)

Title: "Mobility, Displacement, and Black Privilege in the Experiences of Liberian Migrants, Refugees, and Returnees"

Time: 12:00 to 1:00 pm


“Migrations of Cultures” An Undergraduate Conference in the Modern Languages University of Pittsburgh March 22-23, 2019 Share your research with other undergraduate students! Get real feedback on a paper! Gain conference experience for work or graduate school! Interested? Then send an abstract to a biannual undergraduate research conference hosted by the Modern Languages Departments at the University of Pittsburgh on March 22- 23, 2019. Abstracts should be sent to mecchia@pitt.edu by January 15, 2019. 

The papers should address the concept of cultural migrations in the broadest sense of the term, that is, immigrations and emigrations in real and virtual spaces linked to the movements of people(s), language(s) and culture(s). We are looking for multiple disciplinary, geographic, and historical perspectives on the conflicts and opportunities created by the shifting flows of populations, languages and cultural traditions throughout the ages and in the contemporary world.

International Symposium: Deexceptionalizing Displacement? Rethinking Citizenship and Mobility

March 22-23, 2019, University of Pittsburgh FUNDED BY: The Office of the Provost, the Global Studies Center, and the University Center for International Studies (UCIS) at the University of Pittsburgh

Organized by: Heath Cabot, University of Pittsburgh Georgina Ramsay, University of Delaware

How are the forms of displacement and dispossession experienced by less mobile people similar to, or different from, those of people displaced across national borders?

Course on Mobility and Displacement by Heath Cabot (Anthropology)

Th 6:00PM - 8:30PM

What does it mean to belong, or not to belong? What does it mean to be mobile? What is a home, a homeland, home country, or nation? How do experiences of migration, exile, and displacement shift one's understanding of home? Warfare, statecraft, and political violence, and recent environmental and social disasters, are giving rise to forms of belonging, mobility, and displacement that do not fit within traditional categories.  War and political violence destabilize national borders while reinforcing structures of power that bolster or mimic nation-state forms.  Environmental disaster and poverty cause displacements that cannot be classified purely in terms of either "economic" or "forced" migration, but produce composite categories which, as of yet, have no formal legal foothold, such as "economic" or "environmental" refugees. 

Past Events:

Fall 2018

Monday, December 3, 2018

Who: Nicole Constable (Department of Anthropology)

Title: “Passports and Migratory Entanglements: Preliminary Thoughts on a Book Project” 

Time: 12:00 to 1:00 pm

Humanities Center workshop on November 29th on El Teatro Campesino:

November 29, 2018 - 12:30pm to 2:00pm

Elizabeth Rodrigues Fielder (English, with responses from Bill Scott (English) and Mike Sell (IUP, English)

During the 1960s and 1970s, American minority artists involved in social movement activism produced work that would seek to revolutionize the relationship between art and politics. My book tells the story of the artistic side of organizing during the civil rights movement, what I refer to as cultural activism. Through performance and experimental media, creative production offered ways for people to debate political ideologies while still maintaining solidarity with the movement. I argue that internal dissent, rather than unity, shaped creative expression emerging from civil-rights-era social movements. The chapter I will workshop centers on the early plays of El Teatro Campesino, a collective ensemble that developed from the strikes and protests that would lead to the creation of the United Farm Workers of America. 

Global Migration: The Case of the Volhynian Germans

Monday, November 5


History Department Lounge, 3703 Posvar Hall

Jan Musekamp will talk on migration schemes of a German-speaking group that used to live in Ukraine. After the 1880s, the worsening economic and political situation in the Russian Empire forced many of these people to move to other regions in the world, such as Siberia, Canada, Brazil or Germany. Eventually, Hitler's population policies put an end to German-speaking settlements in Ukraine, with the descendants scattered all over the world but still connected today.

Sponsored by: University of Pittsburgh's Global Studies Center,

The Invention of the Passport: Surveillance, Citizenship and the State

Thursday, November 1

5201 Posvar Hal

John Torpey will be discussing the new edition of his book The Invention of the Passport. Dr. Torpey is Professor of Sociology and History and Director of the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, CUNY.

Sponsored by: University of Pittsburgh's Global Studies Center,




University of Pittsburgh
Veronica Dristas
Veronica Dristas is the Associate Director of the Global Studies Center at the University of Pittsburgh.
University of Pittsburgh
Sofia Vera
Sofia Vera is our Migrations Fellow and the main contact for the Migrations Initiative.