People to Follow:


Erin Goheen Glanville – Glanville is a researcher and instructor at UBC, whose work engages critical refugee theory at the intersection of digital media storytelling by refugees. Broadly, her work in collaboration with refugee claimants to engender new and productive ways of listening to refugees and their stories, experiences, and histories. You can see more on Glanville’s website here or you can follow her twitter here. You can find her work in Critical Essays & Books below. 

Harsha Walia –  Walia is a South Asian writer, thinker, and activist based in Vancouver, BC. Both her thinking and activist work engender solidarity across differing histories and lived experiences of displacement in Canada and globally. You can follow her twitter here. You can find her work in Critical Essays & Books below.

Behrouz Boochani – Behrouz is a Kurdish-Iranian a creator and critical thinker. He is a journalist and a philosopher. He writes beautiful poetry and produces important films. His work crosses not only generic borders but nation-state borders. You can follow him on twitter here or you can check out his acceptance speech after winning the Victorian Prize for Literature in 2019 for No Friend But the Mountains. You can find his work in Fiction & (Creative) Non-Fiction and Film, Television & Theatre. 

Viet Thanh Nguyen – Award winning Vietnamese-American scholar and novelist, Nguyen is a critical voice and migrant rights defender. You can check out his personal website here. You can find his titles below in Fiction & (Creative) Non-Fiction. 

Aanchal Molhatra – As an Oral Historian, visual artist, and writer based in New Dheli, Molhatra’s work seeks to understand the history and material cultures of the Partition of India in 1947. You can check out her website here, which also links to her Museum of Material Memory. 

Tima Kurdi – Co-founder of the Kurdi Foundation, Kurdi is a migrant rights defender and spokesperson who works to raise awareness of the experiences of refugees. You can follow her on twitter here or check out her website here. She is the author of The Boy on The Beach, which tells her family’s story behind the photo of Alan Kurdi in 2015.

fiction & (creative) non-fiction:


Graphic Novels (Fiction & Non-Fiction):

  • The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui 
  • Baddawi by Leila Abdelrazaq
  • Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi 
  • Rolling Blackouts: Dispatches from Turkey, Syria, and Iraq by Sarah Glidden
  • How To Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less by Sarah Glidden
  • L’Odyssée d’Hakim by Fabien Toulmé 
  • displacement by Kiki Hughes 
  • Citizen 13666 by Miné Okubo 
  • Guantánamo Kid: The True Story of Mohammed El-Gharani by Jérôme Tubiana & Alexandre Franc
  • Threads: From the Refugee Crisis by Kate Evans
  • Les Nouvelles de La Jungle by Lisa Mandel & Yasmine Bouagga
  • The Unwanted: Stories of The Syrian Refugees by Don Brown
  • Freedom Hospital: A Syrian Story by Hamid Sulaiman
  • Palestine by Joe Sacco
  • Footnotes in Gaza by Joe Sacco
  • Welcome to the New World by Jake Halpern & Michael Sloan
  • The Blue Road: A Fable of Migration by Wayde Compton & April dela Noche Milne
  • El Peso Hero by Hector Rodriguez
  • Over Under Sideways Down by Karrie Fransman
  • Borders by Thomas King 
  • Maus by Art Spiegelman 

Creative Non-Fiction:

  • Out of Place: A Memoir by Edward Said 
  • The Ungrateful Refugee by Dina Nayeri
  • Crux: A Cross Border Memoir by Jean Guerrero
  • Brother, I’m Dying by Edwidge Danticat 
  • The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border by Francisco Cantú
  • Notes on a Shipwreck: A Story of Refugees, Borders, and Hope by Davide Enia
  • Reaching Mithymna: Among the Volunteers and Refugees on Lesvos 
  • We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir by Samra Habib 
  • No Friend But The Mountains: Writing From Manus Prison by Behrouz Boochani
  • After the Tampa: From Afghanistan to New Zealand by Abbas Nazari 
  • Escape from Manus by Jaivet Ealom
  • Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions by Valeria Luiselli 
  • man@the_airport: How social media saved my life by Hassan Al Kontar
  • The Boy on the Beach by Tima Kurdi
  • The Terminal Man by Mehran Karimi Nasseri 
  • Home: A Refugee Story by Abu Bakr Al-Rabeeah and Winnie Yeung
  • After The Last Border: Two Families and The Story of Refuge in America by Jessica Goudeau
  • We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria by Wendy Pearlman 
  • Migritude by Shailja Patel 
  • Remnants of Partition: 21 Objects from a Continent Divided by Aanchal Malhotra

Non-fiction Short Story Collections:

  • Voices from the ‘Jungle’: Stories from the Calais Refugee Camp by the Calais Writers
  • The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives edited by Viet Thanh Nguyen
  • We Are Not Refugees: True Stories of the Displaced by Agus Morales and translated by Charlotte Whittle
  • Looking to London: Stories of War, Escape and Asylum by Cynthia Cockburn 

Fictional Short Story Collections:

  • Breach edited by Olumide Popoola & Annie Holmes
  • How To Pronounce Knife by Souvankham Thammavongsa 
  • The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen 
  • Outer Harbour by Wayde Compton 
  • The Boat by Nam Le


  • Amy Foster by Joseph Conrad
  • Shame by Salman Rushdie 
  • The Jungle by Pooja Puri
  • Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
  • What is the What by Dave Eggers 
  • Go, Went, Gone by Jenny Erpenbeck 
  • A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende 
  • A Distant Shore by Caryl Phillips
  • The People of Paper by Salvador Plascencia 
  • The Boat People by Sharon Bala
  • Refuge by Dina Nayeri 
  • What We All Long For by Dionne Brand
  • On Earth We are Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong 
  • Dogs at the Perimeter by Madeleine Thien
  • Amnesty by Aravind Adiga
  • Running in the Family by Michael Ondaajte 
  • We, The Survivors by Tash Aw
  • The Illegal by Lawrence Hill
  • Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 
  • Voices of the Lost by Hoda Barakat
  • What Strange Paradise by Omar El Akkad
  • No Land To Light On by Yara Zgheib 
  • Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli
  • em by Kim Thúy
  • Ru by Kim Thúy
  • Vi by Kim Thúy
  • Night of Power by Anar Ali 

Poetry & Chapbooks:

  • Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her: Poems by Warsan Shire
  • Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth by Warsan Shire
  • Time Is A Mother by Ocean Vuong
  • Night Sky With Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong

Games, film, television & theatre:


Films & Documentaries:

  • The Terminal directed by Steven Spielberg
  • Tombés du Ciel directed by Philippe Lioret 
  • Waiting for Godot at De Gaulle by Alexis Kouros
  • Here to Where directed by Glen Luchford 
  • The Skyluck Journals by Andrew Nguyen (produced as a radio documentary for CBC RadioOne) 
  • Flee by Jonas Poher Rasmussen
  • Calais Children: A Case to Answer by Sue Clayton
  • L’HÉROÏQUE LANDE, LA FRONTIÈRE BRÛLE (The Wild Frontier) by Nicolas Klotz & Élisabeth Perceval
  • The Land Between by David Fedele
  • Border South directed by Raul Paz Pastrana
  • Monsieur Lazhar directed by Philippe Falardeau, story by Évelyne de la Chenelière, adapted from Bashir Lazhar

Television Series:

  • Home directed by David Sant & produced by Adam Tandy for Channel 4 Network

Theatre & Opera:

  • Flight, an opera by Jonathan Dove
  • The Consul, an opera by Gian Menotti 
  • The Jungle by Joe Robertson & Joe Murphy 
  • Welsh National Opera’s Migrations

Critical essays & Books:


Logics of Borders, Belonging & Citizenship:

  • Bordered Lives: How Europe Fails Refugees and Migrants by Hsiao-Hung Pai
  • Violent Borders: Refugees and the Right to Move by Reece Jones 
  • Borderscapes: Hidden Geographies and Politics at Territory’s Edge edited by Prem Kumar Rajaram and Carl Grundy-Warr
  • Archipelago of Resettlement: Vietnamese Refugee Studies and Decolonization across Guam and Israel-Palestine by Evyn Lê Espiritu Gandhi
  • Departures: An Introduction to Critical Refugee Studies edited by Yến Lê Espiritu, Lan Duong, Ma Vang, Victor Bascara, Khatharya Um, Lila Sharif, & Nigel Hatton
  • Rethinking Refugees: Beyond States of Emergency by Peter Nyers
  • Border & Rule by Harsha Walia
  • Undoing Border Imperialism by Harsha Walia
  • The End of a Myth by Greg Grandin
  • Carceral Humanitarianism: Logics of Refugee Detention by Kelly Oliver
  • Strange Encounters: Embodied Others in Post-coloniality by Sara Ahmed 
  • The Figure of the Migrant by Thomas Nail
  • Home Rule: National Sovereignty and the Separation of Natives and Migrants by Nandita Sharma
  • The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability by Jasbir Puar 
  • Gore Capitalism by Margarita Valencia Triana
  • Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor by Rob Nixon
  • No One is Illegal: Fighting Racism and State Violence on the U.S.-Mexico Border by Justin Akers Chacon & Mike Davis

Refugee Representations & Narratives:

  • Body Counts: The Vietnam War and Militarized Refuge(es) by Yến Lê Espiritu
  • The Gift of Freedom: War, Debt, and Other Refugee Passages by Mimi Thi Nguyen
  • Soft Weapons: Autobiography in Transit by Gillian Whitlock  
  • Borrowed Tongues: Lifewriting, Migration, and Translation by Eva C. Karpinski
  • Lives Beyond Borders: US Immigrant Women’s Life Writing, Nationality, and Social Justice by Ina C. Seethaler 
  • Contemporary Asylum Narratives: Representing Refugees in the 21st Century by Agnes Woolley 
  • History on the Run: Secrecy, Fugitivity, and Hmong Refugee Epistemologies by Ma Vang
  • Placeless Peoples: Writings, Rights, and Refugees by Lyndsey Stonebridge 
  • Asylum Speakers: Caribbean Refugees and Testimonial Discourse by April Shemak
  • The Refugee Aesthetic: Reimagining Southeast Asian by Timothy K. August 
  • Postcolonial Asylum: Seeking Sanctuary Before the Law by David Farrier 
  • Refugee States: Critical Refugee Studies in Canada edited by Vinh Nguyen & Thy Phu
  • Mediating Migration by Radha S. Hedge 
  • Making Refuge: Somali Bantu Refugees and Lewiston, Maine by Catherine Besteman 
  • Voices from the Camps: A People’s History of Palestinian Refugees in Jordan, 2006
  • Countering Displacements: The Creativity and Resilience of Indigenous and Refugee-ed Peoples edited by Daniel Coleman, Erin Goheen Graville, Wafaa Hasan and Agnes Kramer-Hamstra
  • Smuggled: An Illegal History of Journeys to Australia by Ruth Balint and Julie Kalman

Human Rights, Law & Literature:

  • Postcolonial Life Narratives: Testimonial Transactions (Oxford Studies in Postcolonial Literatures) by Gillian Whitlock 
  • Human Rights, Inc.: The World Novel, Narrative Form, and International Law by Joseph R. Slaughter 
  • Human Rights and Life Narratives: The Ethics of Recognition by Kay Schaffer & Sidonie Smith
  • Drawn Disasters: Visual Witness, Comics, and Documentary Form by Hillary Chute

research groups:


Critical Refugee Studies Collective (CRSC) From their website: “The Critical Refugee Studies Collective (CRSC) is a group of interdisciplinary scholars who advocate for and envision a world where refugee rights are human rights. Committed to community-engaged scholarship, the Collective charts and builds the field of Critical Refugee Studies by centering refugee lives—and the creative and critical potentiality that such lives offer. Collective members not only study refugees, but many are also refugees themselves with long and deep ties to refugee communities in California and beyond.”

Critical Refugee Studies + Migration Studies Canada From their website: “We are an interdisciplinary group of scholars in Canada engaged in critical refugee studies. We are interested in exploring the social, historical, political, and cultural dimensions of displacement through a variety of different critical approaches.”

Refugee Research Network – From their website: “The Refugee Research Network (RRN) has been created to mobilize and sustain a Canadian and international network of researchers and research centres committed to the study of refugee and forced migration issues and to engaging policy makers and practitioners in finding solutions to the plight of refugees and displaced persons.”

Refugee Research Online – From their website: “Refugee Research Online provides a platform for academic and non-academic research and comment on issues surrounding people seeking asylum and refugees. Like our contributors, our readers are researchers, analysts, policymakers, advocates, public servants, practitioners, consultants and students.”

Centre for Refugee Studies – From their website: “The Centre for Refugee Studies (CRS) at York is an interdisciplinary community of researchers dedicated to advancing the well-being of refugees and others displaced by violence, persecution, human rights abuses, and environmental degradation through innovative research, education, and policy engagement. Since its inception in 1988, CRS is recognized as an international leader in the creation, mobilization, and dissemination of new knowledge that addresses forced migration issues in local, national and global contexts.”

McGill Refugee Research Group – From their website: “The McGill Refugee Research Group brings together faculty, post-doctoral fellows, graduate students and undergraduates at McGill working on refugee and forced migration issues.”



The Bare Life Review – An open access literary journal that publishes immigrant and refugee writers, operating since 2017 and based in San Francisco, CA. 

Migration, Mobility & Displacement – An open access journal from the Centre for Asian-Pacific Initiatives at the University of Victoria, BC. 

Borders in Globalization ReviewAn open access, interdisciplinary journal focusing on borders in the 21st century. It is part of the Borders in Globalization project in the Centre for Global Studies at the University of Victoria, BC. 

Journal of Refugee Studies – A multi-disciplinary journal that covers issues related to forced displacement in national, regional, and international contexts. 

Refuge: Canada’s Journal on RefugeesSince 1981, Canada’s open access journal on refugees has been publishing critical work on refugees from the perspective of academics, policy makers, and practitioners. 



PositiveNegatives From their website: “PositiveNegatives produce comics, animations and podcasts about contemporary social and humanitarian issues, including conflict, racism, migration and asylum. We combine ethnographic research with illustration, adapting personal stories into art, education and advocacy materials.”

Being Here & Being Together – From their website: “This roundtable speaker series offers newcomers (recent immigrants & refugees) to lək̓ʷəŋən and W̱SÁNEĆ territories in the Capital Regional District an opportunity to learn about local Indigenous protocols, histories, and initiatives. Free and open to the public, the Being Here & Being Together roundtable series provides space to reflect on what resettlement and community-building means on unceded Indigenous territories. Through guided conversations with local community leaders, these roundtables explore land acknowledgements, reconciliation, and community building.”

Refugee Art Projects – From their page: “The Refugee Art Project is a not-for-profit community art organisation which offers support to people of an asylum seeker or refugee background through facilitated art workshops. The organisation has engaged with people who came to Australia from such countries as Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, the Kurdish regions of the Middle East, Syria, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. In a spirit of collaboration, artworks are curated and shown in public exhibitions, online and in self-published zines. The intention is to facilitate the agency and self expression of people of an asylum seeker or refugee background, to deepen public understanding about the asylum seeker issue and the realities of Australia’s detention regime”

Refugee Tales – From their website: “Since 2015, Refugee Tales walkers have made a large scale walk every summer In solidarity with refugees, asylum seekers and people who have been held in immigration detention. Walkers have been met with hospitality every step of the way. Working in collaboration with migrants and those who have experienced the UK asylum system, and taking Chaucer’s great poem of journeying as a model, established writers and people with lived experience of detention have shared tales in evening events. “

Writing Through Fences – From their website: “Writing Through Fences is a group of people who create – write or make art.  Most of the members are, or have been, incarcerated in Australia’s immigration detention regime.  A small group of non-refugee artists and writers resident in the stolen lands now called Australia, are involved in collaborative, amplification and resourcing roles.”