SOAS University of London

Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

'Illegal' Traveller: An Auto-Ethnography of Borders

Dr Shahram Khosravi (Stockholm University)

Date: 29 October 2014Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 29 October 2014Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: G51

Type of Event: Seminar

This paper, based on fieldwork among undocumented migrants, offers a narrative of the polysemic nature of borders and sensory and embodied experiences of borders. Interjecting personal experiences into ethnographic data the paper explores how migrant illegality is configured in the contemporary world and what it means to be an 'illegal' migrant. The focus is on a multifaceted picture of what migrant illegality is like for those who find themselves in this position. Through an auto-ethnographic study of my own journey and my informants' border narratives, I investigate the nature of borders and border politics. By focusing on individual experiences the paper draws attention to the implementation of policy and law. Border stories reveal the interaction between agency and structure in migratory experiences. I argue that a closer ethnographic look at border stories offers a human portrait of travellers without papers.
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Dr Shahram Khosravi (Stockholm University) 'Illegal' Traveller: An Auto-Ethnography of Borders


Shahram Khosravi is Associate Professor of Social Anthropology at Stockholm University and the author of two books: Young and Defiant in Tehran, University of Pennsylvania Press (2008) and The Illegal Traveler: an auto-ethnography of borders, Palgrave (2010). He has been active writer in the Swedish press and also written fictions; 'Round Trip to Ithaca' in Exiled Ink! Magazine (2011) and 'The Persian Escort' in Collective Exile (2013).  

Organiser: Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

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