Amelia Frank-Vitale

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Michigan, Ann Arbor, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9457

Approve Date

April 25, 2017

Project Title

Frank-Vitale, Amelia M., U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Saber Vivir: Deportation, Migration, and 'Knowing How to Live' in Honduras,' supervised by Dr. Jason De Leon

Preliminary abstract: Analyzing how the Honduran state and regional powers seek to manage movement, while foregrounding the lived experience of high homicide rates, unauthorized migration, and forced return, this project explores sovereignty, mobility, violence, and possibility through the lens of young Hondurans sent back to some of the world’s most dangerous neighborhoods. While recognzing general insecurity as a formative backdrop, I focus on how deportees survive in and contest structurally violent and physically insecure spaces. My aim is not to paint a romanticized picture of resilience, but to explore the multiple ways that young people go about knowing how to live — which can include employing and performing degrees of violence and moving from place to place. Using a combination of participant observation among deportees coupled with participatory photography workshops, I will document how returnees fit themselves back into social and economic worlds they had left behind and how their experience with deportation produces the construction of new ones. By understanding repatriation as a node within larger, multiple, and circuitous journeys, I expand bipolar, unidirectional accounts of migration and demonstrate how movement becomes a central if intermittent aspect of life, rather than an exceptional moment between lives of stasis. By offering a fine-grained ethnographic analysis of life after deportation, this project will add an important dimension to studies of mass migration and refugee movements in the Americas and across the globe and the challenges they pose to regimes of sovereignty and security that seek to fix people in place.