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Project MOVES

PhD research and training

MOVES – Migration and Modernity: Historical and Cultural Challenges – European Joint Doctorate (EJD) funded by the European Union. My PhD focuses on the concepts of identity formation, home, homeland and sense of loss and sense of belonging in migrant families.

Home constitutes a key theme in discourse surrounding migration and migrant identities. My research interrogates the notion of home by elaborating on topics such as migrants’ search for identity in transnational contexts, issues related to belongingness in the transitional spaces occupied by migrants, and both the memory and imagination of migrants’ homelands. The research’s key focus is on nostalgia for another place, the projection of expectations and imaginaries into an arrival and the discovery of a genuine identity. It explores the interconnections between memory, place and belonging in contexts of marginalization and forced displacement. The key focus of this project revolves around the development of a shared identity and sense of belonging to the homeland among members of migrant groups, and more particularly, around how memories linked to certain spaces in the homeland contribute to migrants' overall imagination of home. Finally the research investigates shifting notions of home and belonging, and in an attempt to rethink how migrant identity is imagined and constructed by the nation-state, explores in more detail how both memory and postmemory are constructed and transmitted in narrative form. Through emphasizing that there is no single or fixed space - either physical or psychological - referred to as home by migrants, the project in turn demonstrates that it is instead the transition of both memories and spaces of belongingness that constructs a sense of home and homeland among migrants. My study applies a micro-level approach towards theories of migration, and also illuminates key issues related to identity and belonging experienced by migrants. Moreover, each serves to demonstrate that the concepts of memory and imagination are intrinsically linked to the social spaces within which migrants negotiate both their individual and collective identities.

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