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Article

Gentrification in the United States  

Suleiman Osman

Gentrification is one of the most controversial issues in American cities today. But it also remains one of the least understood. Few agree on how to define it or whether it is boon or curse for cities. Gentrification has changed over time and has a history dating back to the early 20th century. Historically, gentrification has had a smaller demographic impact on American cities than suburbanization or immigration. But since the late 1970s, gentrification has dramatically reshaped cities like Seattle, San Francisco, and Boston. Furthermore, districts such as the French Quarter in New Orleans, New York City’s Greenwich Village, and Georgetown in Washington DC have had an outsized influence on the political, cultural, and architectural history of cities. Gentrification thus must be examined alongside suburbanization as one of the major historical trends shaping the 20th-century American metropolis.

Article

The Hundred-Hour War, 1969: A Military History  

Carlos Pérez Pineda

The 1969 conflict between Honduras and El Salvador signaled the weakening of the Central American economic integration process; marked an end to an era of economic growth, industrialization, and political openness; and inaugurated a new chapter, characterized by growing political polarization and violence. There is a prevailing consensus about the significance that this conflict had as a breaking point and historical turnaround. The roots of the crisis between both states, commercial partners and members of a regional political-military alliance, lie in the drastic changes introduced by the Honduran government in its migratory and agrarian policies. These changes sought to contain the massive migration from El Salvador and to reduce by all means necessary, including by violent dispossession, the Salvadoran presence in Honduras. A ferocious anti-Salvadoran media campaign preceded and accompanied the massive expulsion of Salvadorans. Alarmed by the destabilizing effect that a return en masse of poor Salvadoran peasants could bring to the country, and facing an intransigent Honduran government, the leadership in El Salvador decided to resolve the conflict through war. Once this began, both countries mobilized their military forces for over one hundred hours of bloody fighting in July 1969. Although neither country won a decisive victory on the battlefield, at the moment the ceasefire was imposed the military situation amply favored El Salvador. The political, economic, military, and diplomatic consequences of the war had a profound impact during the 1970s and beyond the signing of the peace agreement early in the 1980s. On the one hand, the recounting of the war, full of falsifications and half-truths, continues to play an important role in Honduran nationalism. On the other hand, for Salvadorans the war is an almost forgotten memory.

Article

Civil Wars and Displacement  

Ayşe Betül Çelik

The growing number of civil wars in the post-Cold War era has been accompanied by a rising number of forcibly displaced people, who either stay within the borders of their own countries, becoming internally displaced persons (IDPs), or cross borders to become refugees. Although many studies have been conducted on the reasons of conflict-induced displacement, various questions remain of interest for the scholars of international relations, especially questions pertaining but not limited to the (a) gendered aspects of conflict, displacement, and peace processes, (b) predicting possible future displacement zones, and (c) best political and social designs for returnee communities in post-civil war contexts. Most studies still focus on the negative consequences of forced migration, undermining how refugees and IDPs can also contribute to the cultural and political environment of the receiving societies. Considering that there is a huge variation in types of conflict, motivations for violence, and the resulting patterns of displacement within the category of civil war, more research on the actors forcing displacement, their intentions, and subsequent effects on return dynamics can benefit research in this field. Similarly, research on return and reconciliation needs to treat displacement and return as a continuum. Paying attention to conflict parties in civil war bears the potential for new areas of exploration whose outcomes can also shed light on policies for post-civil war construction and intergroup reconciliation.

Article

Reconceptualizing the Social, Environmental, and Political Hazards Associated With Conflict-Induced Displacement in the Republic of Georgia  

Suzanne Harris-Brandts and David Sichinava

Following the Soviet Union’s disintegration in the early 1990s, Georgia entered several ethnic conflicts with its autonomous regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which have sought unilateral secession. In total, over 300,000 people—primarily ethnic Georgians—have been forced to flee, finding refuge in other areas of Georgia, and becoming internally displaced persons (IDPs). To date, displacement in the country has largely been framed as a conflict-induced phenomenon tied to several acute periods of violence. Yet the hazards IDPs face do not end following their initial displacement. Up to 45% of IDPs have found refuge in vacant, non-purpose-built buildings—so-called collective centers (also referred to as organized resettlement facilities for displaced persons, “დევნილთა ორგანიზებულად ჩასახლების ობიექტები” in Georgian)—including former factories, kindergartens, hospitals, and hotel-sanatoria. There, they are exposed to mold, contaminated soil, sewage, and other environmental hazards. Government mobilization to improve collective centers or relocate IDPs elsewhere has been slow, in part due to weak state institutions and a lack of resources, with the state heavily reliant on international aid. Historically, the state also had a vested interest in maintaining the status quo of precarious IDP housing given that the right of return is interconnected with Georgia’s sovereign territorial claims. The hazardous environmental conditions of IDP collective centers have, therefore, been politically weaponized by the government, showcased to domestic and international audiences alike as evidence of the urgency in unifying Georgia’s territory. Since the late 2000s—decades after initial displacement—the government has finally shifted its approach and IDPs are incrementally being granted tenure or being resettled in purpose-built housing. Yet this, too, has prompted a reconceptualization of the social, environmental, and political hazards associated with displacement. In the early 21st century, the environmentally hazardous living conditions of Georgia’s collective centers are being used to justify IDP forced evictions in areas prioritized for urban redevelopment. The result is secondary displacement and an erasure of IDPs’ local histories. In these ways, environmental hazards have become deeply entwined with the social and political aspects of internal displacement in Georgia. The loss of collective centers in prime real estate areas links to a different aspect of post-hazard reconstruction yet one also deserving of attention. IDP identity is embedded within these spaces and should not be simply erased by future development. In such situations, there are socioeconomic and political complexities beyond the acute and pragmatic needs of securing humanitarian shelter away from violence. Thus, the line between displacement-induced hazards and political and environmental ones is blurred, making distinct categorizations less useful. Understanding these interconnections relative to issues of governance, resettlement, housing provision, and urban renewal is crucial to effectively support Georgia’s IDPs.

Article

Gender, Mobility, and Displacement: From the Shadows to Questioning Binaries  

Deniz Sert and Fulya Felicity Turkmen

The evolution of the construction of gender in migration studies can be appraised under several distinct headings. In the beginning, women were simply “in the shadows” with no recognition of them as potential or actual migrants. Eventually, the field moved to an “add women, mix, and stir” approach, which saw women recognized in migration studies and statistics for the first time. Here, gender was no more than a demographic category to ensure women were counted alongside men in migration flows. However, deconstructing the feminization of migration required that gender be understood as integral to the experience of migration, thus demanding more refined theoretical and analytical tools. Subsequently, migration intersected with masculinity studies, which showed the reciprocal relation where masculinity can be decisive in migratory decision making, and in return, mobility can be an essential factor in how men think about masculinity. More recently, gender in migration studies has moved beyond binary gender roles. Research on the lived experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) refugees and asylum seekers demonstrates the importance of the relationship between sexual orientation, gender identity, and identity construction in navigating migration journeys beyond the male-female binary. This raises the question of how salient this development is for international studies. While the disciplines of political science and international relations were rather late to the study of international migration, migrants and refugees have become issues of high politics in the early 21st century. Thus, there is a need to revisit and revise how different disciplines intersect in the interest of more effective policymaking based on better data.

Article

migration and mobility  

Elena Isayev and George Baroud

There is no one discrete term in the ancient world that is equivalent to modern conceptions of “migration” today. Although the English term “migration” is derived from the Latin migratio, English usage, meaning a move across a national border for the purpose of permanent residence, dates to 18th-century North America. In ancient Greece and Rome, there was a wide-ranging vocabulary that referred to a variety of practices relevant to human mobility, and this reflects the cultural, legal, political, and other assumptions and practices surrounding movement idiosyncratic to each society and time period. How migration is conceptualized and practiced is therefore historically specific rather than universal, and we must be careful not to retroject contemporary, anachronistic attitudes, prejudices, and assumptions about migration and migrants onto the past. In the Classical world, for example, there was no equivalent to the national border and its sophisticated apparatus used to control civilian movement. This does not mean that ancient society was necessarily more inclusive, or disinterested in managing populations, but rather that there were different modes of understanding inclusivity, methods of control, and the way that geopolitical space related to these. This signals a different spatial perception from our own, and with it a particular relationship between community and land. As an object of study, migration poses unique challenges: evidence for migration is complex, spread over literary, archaeological, and epigraphic sources, and sometimes based on speculative demographic models. Further, what “counts” as migration is itself a theoretical question subject to interpretation. Realizing this affects how we investigate contingent questions about the agency of the mobile, displacement, or journey endings, not only in relation to antiquity, but in general.

Article

Religion, Caste, and Displacement: The Matua Community  

Carola Erika Lorea

The struggle against untouchability, the religious history of Bengal, and the study of postcolonial displacement in South Asia can hardly be considered without paying attention to a roughly two-hundred-year-old low-caste religious and social movement called Matua. The Matua community counts at present fifty million followers, according to its leaders. It is scattered across a large area and connected through a trans-local network of preachers, pilgrims, institutions, print, and religious commodities. Most Matua followers are found in West Bengal; in southern Bangladesh, where the movement emerged in the 19th century; and in provinces where refugees from East Bengal have resettled since the 1950s, especially Assam; Tripura; the Andaman Islands; Uttarakhand; and the Dandakaranya area at the border of Orissa, Chhattisgarh, and Madhya Pradesh. Building upon an older Vaishnava devotional stream, the religious community initiated by Harichand Thakur (1812–1878) and consolidated by his son Guruchand Thakur (1847–1937) developed hand in hand with the Namashudra movement for the social upliftment of the lower castes. Rebelling against social marginalization and untouchability, and promising salvation through ecstatic singing and dancing, the Matua community triggered a massive mobilization in rural East Bengal. Partition and displacement have disrupted the unity of the Matua movement, now scattered on both sides of the hastily drawn Indo-Bangladesh border. The institutional side of the Matua community emerged as a powerful political subject, deeply entangled with refugee politics, borderland issues, and Hindu nationalism. In the 21st century, the Matua community represents a key element in electoral politics and a crucial factor for understanding the relation between religion, displacement, and caste, within and beyond Bengal.

Article

Migration Causes, Patterns, and Consequences: Contributions of Location Networks  

Justin Schon

The interdisciplinary field of migration studies is broadly interested in the causes, patterns, and consequences of migration. Much of this work, united under the umbrella of the “new economics of migration” research program, argues that personal networks within and across households drive a wide variety of migration-related actions. Findings from this micro-level research have been extremely valuable, but it has struggled to develop generalizable lessons and aggregate into macro-level and meso-level insights. In addition, at group, region, and country levels, existing work is often limited by only considering migration total inflows and/or total outflows. This focus misses many critical features of migration. Using location networks, network measures such as preferential attachment, preferential disattachment, transitivity, betweenness centrality, and homophily provide valuable information about migration cascades and transit migration. Some insights from migration research tidily aggregate from personal networks up to location networks, whereas other insights uniquely originate from examining location networks.

Article

Electromagnetism and Electrodynamics in the 19th Century  

Chen-Pang Yeang

Electromagnetism and electrodynamics—studies of electricity, magnetism, and their interactions—are viewed as a pillar of classical physics. In the 1820s and 1830s, Ampère founded electrodynamics as the science of mechanical forces associated with electric currents, and Faraday discovered electromagnetic induction. By the mid-19th century, Neumann, Weber, and others in Germany had established an electrical science that integrated precision measurements with a unified theory based on mathematical potential or forces between electrical corpuscles. Meanwhile, based on Faraday’s findings in electrolysis, dielectrics, diamagnetism, and magneto-optic rotation, Faraday and Thomson in Britain explored a theory of the electromagnetic field. In the 1850s and 1860s, Maxwell further developed the Faraday–Thomson field theory, introduced the displacement current, and predicted the existence of electromagnetic waves. Helmholtz’s reworking of these Maxwellian insights led to Hertz’s discovery of electric waves in 1887.

Article

Electoral Violence and Political Competition in Africa  

Liisa Laakso

Electoral violence in Africa has garnered a lot of attention in research on African politics. Violence can be the result of manipulation of the electoral process or a reaction to that manipulation. While there is an agreement to distinguish it from the wider political violence by its timing with elections and motivation to influence their outcome, the analysis of its types, content, and impacts varies. There are different assessments of whether repetition of elections reduces violence or not. Elections in Africa are more often marred with violence than elections in other continents, but there is lots of variation between African countries, within countries, and even from one election to another. In addition to well-judged use and development of the existing datasets, qualitative methods and case studies are also needed. Much of the literature combines both approaches. In the analysis of the factors, causes, and contexts of electoral violence, researchers utilize distinct frameworks: emphasizing historical experiences of violence, patrimonial rule and the role of the “big man,” political economy of greed and grievance, as well as weak institutions and rule of law. All of them point to intensive competition for state power. Preelection violence often relates to the strategies of the government forces and their supporters using their powers to manipulate the process, while post-election riots typically follow in the form of spontaneous reactions among the ranks of the losing opposition. Elections are not a cause of the intensive power competition but a way to organize it. Thus, electoral violence is not an anomaly but rather a manifestation of the ongoing struggle for free and fair elections. It will be an issue for researchers and practitioners alike in the future as well.

Article

Migration, Displacement, and Dispossession  

Nina Glick Schiller

Debates about migration, whether led by politicians or scholars, often approach migration as a relatively new challenge and categorize it as a “destabilizing force,” ignoring the fact that the world’s past and present has been built by human movement. Humans have always migrated. Individual and population mobility as well as settlement are part of humans’ shared history. To integrate migration into an understanding of humans’ shared past, present, and emerging possible futures, several concepts prove useful including migration regime, displacement, dispossession, conjuncture, colonization, border-making, nationalism, and racialization. Deployed together, these concepts identify moments in human history in which migration has been understood to be part of the human experience and when, where, and how migrants have been stigmatized, and those who move defined as culturally or biologically inferior. By coupling the concept of migration regimes with an analysis of changing modes of dispossession and displacement over millennia, scholars can illuminate the intersection of the economic and political transformations of governance structures as well as the varying concepts of “the migrant” and “nonmigrant,” and “native” and “foreigner.” Anti-immigrant ideologies preclude discussion of the broader economic and political restructurings that underlie both increased human movement and anti-migrant sentiments. They also deflect attention from a set of questions that are at the heart of the anthropology of migration: Why do people leave familiar terrains, family, and friends? How do they manage to move and settle elsewhere? How do they relate to the life they left behind? These are questions that can equally be asked of people who move to another region of a country or travel across political boundaries. To answer these questions migration scholars have explored the linkages between forms of human mobility and processes of dispossession, displacement, and resettlement. In these investigations, social networks prove to be central to mobility and settlement. Since the 15th century, changing Western theories about human migration and the origins of political and social boundaries reflected transformations in political economy. Globe-spanning migration regimes used violent force, border formation and dissolution, documents, surveillance, and criminalization to allow the migration of some and disallow the movement or settlement of others. During that period, marked initially by colonialism and slavery, and then by nation state building and anticolonial struggles, migration scholars including the anthropologists took varying positions on the significance of mobility and stasis in human life. By the beginning of the 21st century, the accumulation of capital by dispossession emerged as a process increasingly central to a historical conjuncture marked by both heightened migration and anti-immigrant nationalism. Political struggles for social and environmental justice began to merge with movements in support of migration. This political climate shaped a new engaged anthropology of migration.

Article

International Organization and Vulnerable Groups  

Dennis Dijkzeul and Carolin Funke

The manner in which international organizations (IOs) deal with vulnerable groups (VGs) has implications for the study of International Organization. Vulnerability provides an uncommon, but useful, vantage point from which to examine some of the strengths and shortcomings, as well as the relevance and challenges, of IOs. For IOs, the questions of “who is (considered to be) vulnerable” and “who does what, when, and how to address vulnerability?” need to be answered from both an empirical and a normative perspective. In this respect, it is important to highlight the different definitions, disciplinary perspectives, and evolving paradigms on vulnerability. Addressing the plight of VGs, specific IOs help people at risk or in need, especially when states are either unwilling or unable to do so. Yet VGs have usually struggled to make their voices heard, while structural causes of vulnerability have been hard to address. When aid arrives, it often is late, inadequate, or has unexpected side effects. Implementation of IO policies to support VGs usually lags behind norm development. Still, IOs have carried out considerable work to support VGs.

Article

Ethnicity, Nationalism, and Migration in the Middle East  

Zeynep Sahin

Since the second half of the 1940s, the Middle East has experienced intense migrations. In 2005 alone, the region received a total of approximately 6 million refugees. Migration flows to and from the Middle East have been linked to nationalist movements and ethnic conflicts. However, these relations have received little attention from scholars. Scholarly work on migration in the Middle East that has accumulated between the early 1950s and the late 1980s falls into two broad categories in terms of subject matter: Jewish migration to Israel and the Palestinian refugees, and migrations to labor-short countries of the Gulf and Europe. New trends in the literature on migration in the Middle East can also be identified, including those relating to the gender aspects of migration, population displacement and resettlement, return migration, and the relationship between migration and security. Although the field has made significant progress—the scope of the literature with respect to subject matter has broadened from the 1980s onward, and the methods used by scholars have become more sophisticated over the years—there are some shortcomings that need to be addressed. A number of important issues, such as citizenship or economic dynamics, remain unexplored. Since labor migrations to and from the Middle East are central to economic development, a focus on the evolution of migration may shed light on numerous relevant themes.

Article

Hmong American Literature and Culture  

Aline Lo and Kong Pheng Pha

Hmong American literature is an emerging field within Asian American literature, seeing a steep rise in production starting in the early 2000s. In collective and individual publication efforts, the literature includes mostly memoirs, short stories, and poetry. Essays, personal narratives, transcribed oral folktales, and plays have also been published in anthologies, including two that are edited by Hmong American writers. Although there has been an upsurge in publication and a wide representation in terms of genres, there is still no widely published Hmong American novel. Coming from an orality-based culture and a long history of marginalization both in Asia and the United States, many Hmong American narratives contend with issues related to silence and secrecy. In the context of 20th-century French imperialism and US neocolonialism, much of the literature also touches on the subjects of displacement, refugee resettlement, trauma, and cultural shifts. Of the latter, there is a definite preoccupation with religion and changes in gender roles and sexuality, particularly as many of the writers have been born or largely raised in the United States and are therefore interested in representing Hmong American identities and experiences. Hmong American literature can also be characterized by a sense of regionalism; many of the narratives and publications take place in heavily Hmong-populated areas like the Central Valley of California and Upper Midwest states like Minnesota and Wisconsin. While the move toward textuality comes with its own problems, it also presents Hmong Americans with a new method of self-representation. Historically studied by outsiders and exoticized for belonging to a culture that has resisted assimilation and maintained a unique language, religion, and cultural practices, Hmong writers are producing their own narratives, and altogether, the literature is rich with complex characters, speakers, and stories that represent and explore Hmong American experiences.

Article

Energy Anthropology Scholarship, Practice, and Advocacy  

Mari Clarke

Although anthropologists have described, analyzed, and theorized about energy and culture for decades, in the 21st century there has been a tremendous increase in ethnographic research and public engagement on a wide range of energy issues. Human-induced global climate threats along with activist calls for action are increasingly challenging anthropologists around the globe to rethink their roles, methods, and paradigms. Anthropologists are engaging in energy research, public debates, and action on energy policies, extraction processes, offshore oil, nuclear waste and power plant meltdowns, energy consumption, failing electrical grids, renewable energy, and the people and environments they impact. Emerging from this growing engagement is an international, globalized anthropology of energy, with diverse, interdisciplinary branches linking to the humanities, information sciences, semiotics, public policy, climate sciences, energy institutes, environmental health, geospatial sciences, engineering, science and technology, and other disciplines. Energy anthropology has spawned primary energy source–specific anthropologies of energy for coal, oil, and gas (a subset of which is the anthropology of fracking); nuclear energy, hydropower; bioenergy; solar energy; wind energy; and geothermal energy as well the electricity generated from many of these primary sources. Anthropologists conducting ethnographic research, policy analysis, advocacy, and activism for these various anthropologies of energy have employed a wide range of theoretical frameworks and constructs. A few examples include social practice theory, critical global ecologies, environmental justice, political ecology, feminist political ecology, institutional economics, game theory, critical race theory, postcolonial theory, and settler colonialism. At the same time, there is a trend away from grand, abstract, explanatory theories to focus on contextual details in power relationships, differing conceptualizations of energy, and specific impacts of the various energy regimes on communities and their environments. Concepts that have emerged in energy anthropology analyses, such as extractivism, petrocultures, energyscapes, energopower, energopolitics, hydrosocial territories, cultural flows, aeolian politics, radiogenic communities, nuclearity, and nuclear colonialism, are explained in the sections highlighting the range of issues and approaches in specific anthropologies of energy. A number of common issues of concern cross-cut anthropological work on the different primary energy sources and electricity. The links between energy and political and economic power are the focus of a significant amount of energy anthropology. This focus ranges from intercountry power dynamics such as those between Paraguay and Brazil, over energy generated by the Itaipu Dam, to state deployment of electricity to extend territorial control within Turkey. It includes state-foreign company collusion to push Indigenous and minority people from lands wanted for hydropower dams, wind farms, solar farms, geothermal power plants, or tar sands oil extraction in many countries. A number of the analyses examine colonial, postcolonial, and settler colonialism exploiting resources and people and expropriating their lands. Also of concern are inequalities based on race, gender, caste, minority, or ethnic status that are caused or exacerbated by energy production and distribution. For example, high-caste elites in India deny electricity access to low-caste households; women have more limited access than men to the grid in Kenya; and electricity powers the mines in Zambia but not the homes of the minority people displaced by the construction of the dam that powers the mines, or the communities disrupted and displaced by the mining operations. Energy anthropologists also have focused on the exploitation of Indigenous and minority groups for uranium mining and milling in Africa and the US Southwest with no protection from radiation. They have shed light on the human impacts of nuclear testing over many Pacific Islands and biomedical research that was conducted to investigate the impacts of these tests without the consent of the impacted people. They also have examined the impacts of the mechanization of mining that has left miners without livelihoods in many countries. Other issues explored in energy anthropology include the impact of energy extraction and production on the health of people and the environment; differing conceptions of and discourse about various types of energy and their uses; the impact of electricity on social, economic, cultural, and political life; and community resistance to various forms of exergy extraction. Energy anthropologists work in universities and associated energy research centers, energy think tanks, government agencies and congressional offices dealing with energy policy, international multilateral and bilateral agencies with energy and climate change programs, national and international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and energy industries. They engage in energy ethnography; critical analysis of energy practices and programs; energy policymaking and policy analysis; energy program assessment, design, implementation, and evaluation; energy product design; energy advocacy; and energy activism.

Article

The Aesthetics of Decolonization in South Asia  

Sanjukta Sunderason

Often subsumed within narratives of political “transfer of power” from colonial empires to postcolonial nation-states, decolonization was a longue durée sociocultural process that traversed the long 20th century. Its trails were global and intertwined with parallel metapolitical processes like the Cold War, and it cast long shadows that revealed the afterlives of political decolonization beyond the events that marked the arrivals of independence. South Asia is a particularly fertile ground for studying such expanded temporalities, sociocultural structures, and shadows of decolonization. While the late 1940s saw the retreat of the British Empire from India and Ceylon (Sri Lanka after 1972), as well as the climactic partition of India and creation of Pakistan, decolonization itself remained an unfolding process. It manifested in continuing struggles around cultural sovereignty and the liberation war of 1971 that birthed Bangladesh from the former East Pakistan, and continued in unresolved ethnic conflicts and regional struggles for autonomy and social democracy. The cultural field offers a unique lens for reading the more quotidian and less spectacular sites where such longue durée trails of decolonization were experienced, negotiated, and imagined via artistic forms. Aesthetics of decolonization can be read as the sensorial, imaginational, and ethical negotiations of postcolonial freedom, as well as the micropolitical and contradictory dynamics that lay therein. It can loosen the metaframe of the nation-state and the nation-form to reveal both locational and subnational differences, as well as the multiple ways in which the global itself was filtered, invoked, or negotiated from below. Aesthetics of decolonization, in other words, is the imagination of a new historiographical modality for thinking through how freedom was visualized in the postcolonies, how such visions produced new cultural modernities unique to such transitional polities, and how such modernities can be read in their transnational trails in the long 20th century.

Article

Exile in 19th-Century Haiti  

Matthew J. Smith

Of the many conditions pronounced that have been strongly featured in the Caribbean experience since the ending of slavery in the 19th century, exile ranks as one of the most profound. Its impact is far-reaching. The circumstances that encourage exile are well known and involve either a willful decision to leave one’s country as a result of political and economic distress or a forced departure sanctioned by the state in an effort to quash internal dissent. There is also the case of political exile of state leaders who fall from grace, a situation associated more with Haiti than with other countries in the Caribbean. Whatever the reasons, exiles and refugees—like other migrants from the Caribbean—brought the Caribbean experience to wider attention. People from the islands surrounded by the Caribbean Sea have since the first days of colonial rule made of that sea a highway for travel to other places, an escape and entry into the wider Atlantic. The personal impact of exile is manifest in several domains, but most obviously in Caribbean culture. The Rastafari faith in Jamaica has as one of its fundamental beliefs that blacks in the Caribbean are in a state of displacement, taken by force to an oppressive Babylon. The Rastafari desire for repatriation to Africa as necessary to bring to an end centuries of exilic life in the Caribbean is not uncommon, nor is their spiritual and cultural preoccupation with exile. Caribbean writers have consistently written about exile and a yearning to return to an imagined home: Barbadian writer George Lamming’s The Pleasures of Exile, Martinican Aimé Césaire’s Return to My Native Land, Jamaican Thomas MacDermot’s poem “A Song for Exiles” (written under the name Tom Redcam), or Bob Marley’s Exodus document the exile experience from several perspectives. Common to all these examples is a melancholic sense of rootlessness and guilt that exile creates among those who have left. There is also a persistent theme of the Caribbean exile as wanderer, moving in and out of different locations across the Atlantic while searching for both a spiritual and physical home and a rationale for their condition. It is a perceived inability to settle completely in a foreign country that produces this guilt. Bob Marley captured this perfectly in “Running Away,” the most poignant of his songs recorded during his exile from Jamaica in 1977: “You must have done something wrong / Why you can’t find a place where you belong?” which is followed later by the rationalization of the decision to leave—“It is better to live on the house top than in a house full of confusion.” The longing to return, whether to Africa, Europe, or Haiti, has been a constant theme in Haiti and the Caribbean, and it is linked to the long centuries of slavery. Metaphors of slavery and its associated sense of displacement are replete in the literature on exile not only in the 20th-century writings of Depestre, Dany Lafferière, Danticat, the art of Edouard Duval-Carrié, and the music of the Haitian diaspora, but also in references to the social conditions of the Caribbean’s populations during the period of slavery. If exile has been a persistent theme in Caribbean history, popping in and out of narratives of the nation at various points on a temporal map of the region, in Haiti it has been woven completely into the fabric of Haitian national history. Exile has always carried a powerful resonance in Haitian culture because it has been a pervasive aspect of Haitian political life. Twentieth-century cultural references to exile and displacement are numerous. In the decades since the coming to power of François Duvalier in 1957, which precipitated mass migration from the island, the theme of exile has been consistently and most powerfully articulated by Haitian writers and singers. From Réne Depestre’s famous poem “Exile,” in which he compared the country itself to a departure gate in an airport with people waiting to leave, to Edwidge Danticat’s novels, the theme is ever-present. Rodrigue Milien’s painful song of exile in the Duvalier years, “Nostalgie,” sung in both Creole and English, poignantly captured the loneliness of the Haitian exile: “When someone leaves his country far away and life is mistreating you and you want to kill yourself … take me back to Haiti, take me back to Haiti.” This article considers the roots of exile in Haiti’s long 19th century, which Haitian scholar Patrick Bellegarde-Smith has suggested began with independence in 1804 and ended with U.S. military occupation in 1915, through the personal experiences and writings of three prominent 19th-century exiles: Joseph Balthazar Inginac (Mémoires, 1843), Edmond Paul (Les causes de nos malheurs, 1882), and Anténor Firmin (Lettres de Saint-Thomas, 1910). None of these men were ever president of Haiti, but they all wielded political and intellectual influence. Common to all three was their forced departure from Haiti for political reasons. They each settled in locations across the Caribbean at different times. Notably, none of these writers settled in North America or Europe. From afar they wrote extensively on Haiti’s predicament and the impact of exile on Haiti and their personal lives. Through a reading of their experiences in exile it is possible to arrive at a fresh perspective of the place of exile in the unfolding of Haiti’s post-independence development.

Article

Displacement, Natural Hazards, and Health Consequences  

Christelle Cazabat

When natural hazards lead to disasters, they can affect people in many ways, including damaging their housing and negatively impacting their livelihoods. Each year, millions of people are injured or killed as a result of disasters. They can also force people out of their homes: In 2020, 30.7 million new internal displacements linked with disasters, mostly storms or floods, were recorded throughout the world. Between 2010 and 2020, disaster displacements were recorded in 198 countries and territories, making the issue truly global. Such displacement can have severe and long-lasting consequences on physical and mental health, often similar to those of conflict-related displacement. Psychosocial trauma and the deterioration of living standards and housing conditions often alter displaced people’s well-being and their ability to maintain healthy lives or obtain treatment and care. People with disabilities or long-term illnesses are particularly vulnerable in displacement, as are children and older people. Depression and anxiety, malnutrition, communicable diseases, and lack of access to sexual and reproductive health are among the most frequent issues for internally displaced people. The health consequences of displacement linked with disasters vary depending on affected people’s pre-existing conditions and sociodemographic characteristics, the duration and severity of their displacement, and the type of support they are able to access. In cases of mass and protracted displacement, the health of people in communities of refuge and the health systems in the areas of origin and refuge can also be affected, with repercussions on the broader society. Although some of these impacts are relatively frequent and should be systematically considered by national and local governments, humanitarian organizations, and aid providers, each situation requires tailored approaches. Information on the health impacts of displacement remains limited, but the body of knowledge is growing as awareness increases on the scale of current and future displacement crises linked with disasters in a changing climate.

Article

Migration History and Historiography  

Benedetta Rossi

Migration has been a central factor in African history. It is likely that the human species started spreading on the planet within and outside of Africa between 2 and 2.5 million years ago. Although the earliest stages of human migrations are the subject of intense debate, most hypotheses concentrate on movements that occurred in the African continent. In historical times, African migrations can be divided into two broad sub-fields looking at, respectively: people moving because they were forced to and people choosing to move on their own free will. Africa has been the source of the largest forced migrations in history. The trans-Atlantic slave trade was the largest long-distance forced migration of people, even though it happened over a shorter period than the trans-Saharan and Indian Ocean slave trades. Within Africa, trade across complementary ecological zones and the seasonality of production propelled free migrations of traders and workers involved in long distance trade. Following the abolition of slavery and the slave trade, free labor migrations rose in importance. European colonialism introduced the need for cash that was often only accessible in cities and areas of cash crop production. It was also responsible for the introduction of new forms of forced labor required for the building and maintenance of colonial infrastructure. The rise of development as a rationale for the government of African societies influenced migrations in multiple ways through national and international policies aimed at channeling people’s mobility. In the last two centuries, African migrants have been unfolding projects of self-development by traveling to places where they hoped to find better opportunities. Yet contemporary trafficking and displacements caused by wars, intolerance, and natural catastrophes attest to the continuing relevance of violence as a key aspect of the experience of African migrants.

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Juana Manuela Gorriti  

Vanesa Miseres

The Argentine writer Juana Manuela Gorriti was one of the most active intellectuals of 19th-century South America and was also, essentially, a traveler. Travel was a constant trope in Gorriti’s writing and a continuous event in her life. The author became a traveler—first through exile at an early age and then through several voluntary displacements. Through travel, Gorriti explored different zones of the 19th-century literary terrain and was able to imprint her own perspectives on literature, modernity, and women’s domestic and political roles in society, among other central themes of her time. By traveling, moreover, Gorriti was able to articulate the history and particularities of three countries: Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru. Whether traveling herself or making her fictional characters travel through unexplored regions of these three countries, the author confronts the cultural and geographical boundaries between nations—as they were established by legal and political authorities or by other travelers of her period—and presents an extended homeland: a collection of uneven regions, temporalities, and subjectivities in constant interaction. Travel, ultimately, can be perceived as the essence of her work and the trope that allowed her to become a modern writer, one who adopted a wide variety of literary genres and aesthetics.