Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationTexas, Austin, U. of
Grant numberGr. 9304
Approve DateApril 19, 2016
Project TitleTyeklar, Nora, U. of Texas, Austin, TX - To aid research on 'Performing Precarity in Neoliberal Canada: The Everyday Metapragmatics of Narrative by Romani Hungarian Refugee Claimants,' supervised by Dr. Elizabeth L. Keating
NORA TYEKLAR, then a graduate student at University of Texas, Austin, Texas, was awarded a grant in April 2016 to aid research on “Performing Precarity in Neoliberal Canada: The Everyday Metapragmatics of Narrative by Romani Hungarian Refugee Claimants,” supervised by Dr. Elizabeth L. Keating. This research concerns what the grantee terms the poetics of Roma displacement. Through analyzing narratives of displacement collected during 21 months of fieldwork in a Roma community in northern Hungary, the study describes perceptions and relations of geographic mobility in the case of former refugee claimants returning from Canada, local activist politics, and segregated, but in some ways progressive schooling in an area of Hungary with a large Roma population and a high rate of poverty. Through narratives it engages the experience of displacement in several ways. The grantee finds that the usual spatial metaphors of displacement can obscure the ways in which people are limited in their mobility and how they can experience being displaced without having moved even though spatial configurations often index non-spatial, unmoving ones. Narratives of displacement have the potential to better characterize aspects of refugee perspectives that need to be part of debates about violence, displacement, and Romani identity in post-socialist Hungary and elsewhere. Far from including Roma as full citizens, national and local policies promising only minimal social services disavow the possibility for the advancement of Roma while fostering a cruel pessimism. The narratives show the contradictions of the acceptance of the impossible within the spheres of collective activist politics, educational achievement, and community solidarity.