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Centre for Women's and Gender Research
Research project

Native/Immigrant/Refugee

Native/Immigrant/Refugee is financed by the Peder Sather Center at UC Berkeley and consists of two phases: Crossings and Divides and Immobility and Movement Across Contested Grounds.

Entrance to Peder Saether Center
The primary mission of the Peder Sather Center for Advanced Study is to strengthen ongoing research collaborations and foster the development of new research collaborations between faculty at the University of California, Berkeley and from the consortium of nine participating Norwegian academic institutions.
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Peder Saether Center for Advanced Study

The first phase, Native/Immigrant/Refugee: Crossings and Divides, was completed in 2019, and the second phase, Native/Immigrant/Refugee: Immobility and Movement Across Contested Grounds, received financing from 2020 and will continue until 2022.

Professor Christine Jacobsen at SKOK was project leader in the first phase, and she also leeds the second phase together with Leti Volpp at UC Berkeley. Researcher Marry-Anne Karlsen at SKOK is a co-worker throughout the whole project, while PhD Kari Anne Drangsland at SKOK and Jessica Schultz from SKOK's WAIT project has joined from 2020. 

About the project:

Native/Immigrant/Refugee: Crossings and Divides

Who is a refugee, who is an immigrant, and who is a native? These are critical questions at a time when nation-states are tightening and manipulating their borders and increasingly criminalizing subject mobility, and thus these designations are alternatively cast as aspersions or grounded as the basis of claims.  Refugees, immigrants, and natives – whether indigenous persons or not - are typically constructed as separate legal and social categories, and thus studied in isolation from one another.  This phase of the interdisciplinary research project examined how these as communities, and the fields of studies developed to examine them, in fact converge, displace, and shape each other. We researched how legal regimes and cultural concepts produce categories that determine the corresponding legal entitlements and cultural claims based on membership in these categories.  We were particularly interested in how gender is construed in discourse and policy, and the particular burdens placed upon women and families.

Native/Immigrant/Refugee: Immobility and Movement Across Contested Grounds

Who is considered a refugee, who is an immigrant, and who is a native? The Covid-19 pandemic, which has created an unprecedented impact on mobility both within local communities and across international borders, and which has been accompanied by a resurgence of nationalist and nativist responses to a global problem, only heightens the urgency of these questions.  This new stage of our successful research collaboration will explore how, in the context of the Covid-19 crisis, designations of “native,” “immigrant” and “refugee” are alternatively cast as aspersions or grounded as the basis of claims.  We are particularly interested in how gender is construed in discourse and policy, and the particular burdens placed upon women and families; racial constructions of a “foreign” or “Chinese virus” even while indigenous communities and communities of color face disparate impacts; questions of temporality and how time is experienced and imagined when we do not know the temporal horizon of this pandemic and there is both “too much” and “not enough” time; and questions of space and mobility at this time of global immobility.