The Migration and Diaspora Studies Initiative held its annual welcome event on October 21, 2014. The event brought together Dr. John Osborne, the Dean of FASS, and Dr. André Plourde, the Dean of FPA, as well as faculty members, and graduate students from across the university who are interested in transnationalism (broadly defined), and the social, cultural, economic and political implications of the movement of people.

Dr. James Milner (Associate Professor of Political Science) delivered a welcome speech that addressed the impetus to draw together faculty and staff in FASS, FPA and the Sprott School of Business who were working in the emergent fields of Migration, Diaspora and Refugee Studies. He also noted the accomplishments of the MDS initiative and the International Metropolis Project in securing funding from TD Bank Group, and drawing on the expertise, skills and good will of faculty, students and support staff at Carleton. Dr Milner then introduced Dr. Ming Tiampo (Associate Professor of Art History and Director of the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art and Culture). In her remarks, Dr Tiampo highlighted recent events supported by MDS funding, such as the recent workshops in World Studies and collaborative research facilitated by the Centre for Transnational Cultural Analysis, thanked the generous support of TD Bank Group, and noted the exceptional quality of applications to the TD fellowship and travel awards from students in FASS and FPA.

After listing the TD travel grant winners, Dr. Tiampo introduced her colleagues Dr. Sarah Phillips Casteel (Associate Professor of English), and Dr. Jeff Sahadeo (Associate Professor of Political Science), who presented awards to  the inaugural TD Fellows in Migration and Diaspora Studies:  Johnny Alam (PhD Candidate in Cultural Mediation at the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art, and Culture), and Katie Durvin (M.A. Candidate at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs).

After the presentation of the new TD Fellows, Dr Casteel introduced Dr. Daniel McNeil (Associate Professor of History and new strategic hire in Migration and Diaspora Studies). Dr. McNeil reflected on the support that he has received from his colleagues, and the inspiring work of faculty and graduate students that can help position Carleton as a national and international leader in Migration and Diaspora Studies.  He also introduced some of the exciting events, funding opportunities and reading groups planned for MDS that are featured on its new website, and looked forward to welcoming the first students in the Migration and Diaspora Specialization in the Bachelor of Global and International Studies in 2015-16 (in what will be the first undergraduate program dedicated to Migration and Diaspora Studies in Canada).

The speeches were followed by a reception attended by faculty and students from Carleton as well as scholars of migration based at Ottawa University.

Established in 2014 by the TD Bank Group, the TD Fellowship in Migration and Diaspora Studies is awarded annually by the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs to a full-time graduate student whose research contributes to scholarship on migration and diaspora.

2014 TD Fellows in Migration and Diaspora Studies

Katie Durvin
is an M.A. Candidate at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs specializing in Development Projects and Planning. Her main research interests lie in the relationship between gender, development and conflict in humanitarian emergencies and is particularly interested in sexual and reproductive health care for displaced women and girls. For her graduate thesis, she will be researching the role of domestic structural factors in the implementation of the Minimal Initial Service Package (MISP) for refugees and internally displaced persons in Chad, involving fieldwork in the camps and settlements. Her research examines how domestic factors such as legal systems, actor interests, and cultural identity may affect the extent of policy norm implementation at the domestic level for Central African Republic refugees and internally displaced persons residing in Chad. She is currently working as a Research Assistant for Dr. James Milner preparing a SSHRC Connection Grant for an international conference hosted by Carleton University on Canada’s role in the global refugee regime. In 2012, she worked as Program Assistant for the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) in Dzaleka refugee camp in Malawi and she has also worked in Kampala, Uganda as a Child Resettlement Officer and Primary School Teacher.

Johnny Alam is a PhD student in Cultural Mediations at the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art and Culture. He is an active community leader, visual artist, and a certified graphic and web design specialist. His research examines various forms of post-conflict cultural productions ranging from High Art (Photography, Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, Film, Performance, Literature etc.) to popular culture incarnated in conventional and new media (Animation, Comic books, Graphic Novels, Postcards, Posters etc.). In his forthcoming PhD dissertation, Alam assesses relations between war, memory, and history in transnational/diasporic cultural productions marked by trauma and nostalgia. As a digital imaging expert and a former Adobe employee and Adobe Certified Expert Instructor, his research interests also include posthuman representation, artificial intelligence, and the aesthetics of time, ruins, and the archive. He is also the curator of the forthcoming exhibit, ‘Art on a Green Line,’ which will be held at Carleton University’s Art Gallery in the winter of 2015. This exhibition will feature a number of Canadian and transnational artists representing Beirut’s civil-war separation line.

Dr. James Milner
Dean André Plourde, FPA (left); Dean John Osborne, FASS (right)
Katie Durvin
Dr. Ming Tiampo
Johnny Alam
Dr. Sarah Phillips Casteel
Johnny Alam (left); Dr. Jeff Sahadeo (right)
Dr. Jeff Sahadeo
Katie Durvin (left); Dr. Sarah Phillips Casteel (right)
Dr. Daniel McNeil
Dr. Daniel McNeil
From left to right: Dr. James Milner; Dr. Ming Tiampo; Dr. Catherine Khordoc; Dr. Daniel McNeil