Refugees and im/migrants

Refugees queue to board a train at the railway station in Zákány, Hungary, October 1, 2015. (Reuters/Bernadett Szabo TPX)

Last Updated: 25 May 2016

Guest-edited by Heide Castañeda, Seth M. Holmes, Annastiina Kallius, and Daniel Monterescu
Virtual Issue: Refugees and im/migrants
Anthropology and human displacement: Mobilities, ex/inclusions, and activism
Guest-edited by Heide Castañeda, Seth M. Holmes, Annastiina Kallius, and Daniel Monterescu


The consul banged the table and said,
“If you’ve got no passport you’re officially dead”:
But we are still alive, my dear, but we are still alive.
W. H. Auden


Reports from many sources, including politicians, journalists, and scholars, confirm that the world today is experiencing unprecedented movements of immigrants and refugees because of overlapping factors such as war, climate change, and economic collapse. Some commentators maintain that these movements are not so much the outcome of current events but rather continuations of earlier processes of mobility. In the social sciences, including anthropology, attempts to determine the characteristics and experiences that define a person as an immigrant or a refugee create analytic, existential, and ethical problems. Our aim in this virtual issue of American Ethnologist, which supplements the AE forum titled “The 2015 Refugee Crisis in Europe,” is to provide readers with a better understanding of the ambiguous and contested nature of the category of refugee and its related category of immigrant and to place contemporary human mobilities in historical and geographic contexts. Reflecting the diversity of issues and approaches, this introduction focuses on three topics: spaces and mobilities, bodies and their ex/inclusions, and activisms and aid.




Brief Detailed

The 2017 AES spring conference was held at Stanford University,
Palo Alto, CA,
March 30-April 1, 2017.
The theme was "Exposure."

AES Conference