CDHI Associate Director wins $449,922 to build counter-archive of diverse refugee experiences

May 10, 2022

A new collaborative partnership responds to an urgent need to increase capacity for refugees to document and narrate their experiences on their own terms.

Professor Thy Phu

Professor Thy Phu (Arts, Culture, and Media, UTSC and Associate Director, CDHI) has been awarded $449,922 through the SSHRC Race, Gender, and Diversity Initiative Grant competition. Led by Phu and Co-Director Edward Ou Jin Lee (University of Montreal), Refugee States is a collaboration between Critical Refugee and Migration Studies Network together with Catholic Crosscultural Services, and Agir Montreal, community organizations which provide cultural programming and resources to racialized refugees and LGBTQ+ migrants. The Refugee States partnership will build the capacity of non-profit organizations and peer researchers to create and preserve knowledge that they want and need through the development of workshops on visual and digital storytelling.

The digital and visual stories created through the Refugee States partnership will form a refugee counter-archive. Most stories and images of refugee experiences are collected by humanitarian agencies and the state through a process of compulsory testimony, which produce meta-narratives that bolster racializing, ableist, and homophobic and transphobic discourses. The Refugee States counter-archive will create spaces for migrant and refugee self-representation, shedding light on the diversity of refugee experiences, on anti-racist alternatives to the state, and on forms of sovereignty beyond nationhood. With videos, podcasts, and other visual and digital stories, the counter-archive will transform understandings of forced migration, and provide insights into pathways for addressing structural inequalities in the contexts of class, race, gender, sexuality, and other forms of diversity.

In addition to bringing together community-based collaborators, Phu’s Refugee States partnership is sponsored by the Critical Digital Humanities Initiative, the Department of Arts, Culture, and Media at UTSC, the Faculty of Information, and the University of Montreal.

Recent News

Welcome to our Postdoctoral Fellows in Community Data (2022-24)

The Critical Digital Humanities Initiative (CDHI), a strategic initiative of the University of Toronto, is thrilled to announce our CDHI Postdoctoral Fellows in Community Data (2022-24): Dr. Rachel Corbman and Katie Mackinnon. The CDHI Postdoctoral Fellows in...

CDHI Digital Humanities Developer

The CDHI invites applications for a Digital Humanities (DH) Developer to work collaboratively with faculty researchers on the complete lifecycle of digital scholarship projects. We are looking for someone with strong front-end development skills who is a collaborative, creative, and strategic thinker able to work closely with faculty to define research project goals and attainable deliverables within grant and research timelines and schedules. This is a term appointment until April 2024 with the possibility of renewal/extension. Applications are due May 26, 2022.

Welcome to Khanh Vo!

The CDHI warmly welcomes Khanh V.N. Vo as the 2022-23 JHI-CDHI Digital Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow. Dr. Vo (Ph.D. College of William and Mary, 2021) completed her doctorate in American Studies and has consistently worked toward a career that spans academic...