Katherine Nora Maddox
Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationTexas, Austin, U. of
Grant numberGr. 9831
Approve DateApril 30, 2019
Project TitleMaddox, Katherine (University of Texas at Austin) "Situating Syrian-ness in France: Asylum and Diaspora in Paris"
KATHERINE MADDOX, then a graduate student at University of Texas, Austin, Texas, received a grant in April 2019 to aid research on ‘Situating Syrian-ness in France: Asylum and Diaspora in Paris,’ supervised by Dr. Sofian Merabet. This dissertation examines the way that Syrian exiles in Paris, France come to establish lives in the wake of crisis and resettlement. Their trajectories are shaped by historic forces ‘ the legacy of French colonialism, the societal fragmentations amplified and instrumentalized by the Syrian state, the structures of international humanitarian regimes ‘ that reveal the significance of Syrian experience to understandings of contemporary migration and refugee subjectivity. This dissertation research draws on over 18 months of ethnographic fieldwork to critically engage each force in turn and explore the lived experience of resettlement in Paris. Moving away from framings focused only on the role of state and international actors in defining refugee and exile subjects, the full scope of diasporic encounters and resettled integration emerges in the narratives of daily life and quotidian practices. Everyday experiences such as submitting paperwork to municipal officials, locating housing, navigating the Paris m’tro , attending language classes, and encountering others in the city reveal the nuances of lives lived in the wake of crisis. By attending to the process of resettlement and the re-establishment of lives in exile, this work presents an alternative to the obfuscating rhetoric of crisis and refugee victimhood.