— PhD, Doctoral Candidate, ABD
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Geographic Areas: East Africa - Great Lakes Region. Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Research Interests: Statelessness and post-/conflict sociality, forced migration and political subjectivities, refugee identity, theories on citizenship and belonging, difference and aversion, and the everyday.
Supervisors: Kamran Asdar Ali (Chair), Kathleen Stewart, John Hartigan Jr., Pauline Turner Strong, Neville Hoad
Dissertation Title: Immobilized Life: Humanitarianism and the Everyday in a Refugee Camp
My dissertation explores how Congolese refugees living in a camp in Rwanda find themselves trapped between their old, prosperous life in Congo, and their new life on the other side. For fifteen years, Gihembe camp has been home to 20,000 refugees who fled war in the Kivu provinces of eastern Congo in the mid-1990s. The camp's protection of these lives that have escaped death is ostensibly temporary, but in practice it has dragged on indefinitely. In order even to qualify for humanitarian protection, refugees are made to prove their neediness to a system that recognizes only trauma and vulnerability. In the process, they become the figure they are made to perform: incomplete, immobile, and absolutely dependent. My research focuses on how the refugee is stranded by the logic and practice of humanitarianism, which refuse to acknowledge how humanitarian intervention itself further immobilizes the refugee and how endemic violence is built into the system of life-giving support. I theorize the refugee as a product of these mobilizations in conflict, forced to live in an abject, liminal space indefinitely.