Nora Tyeklar

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Texas, Austin, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9304

Approve Date

April 19, 2016

Project Title

Tyeklar, 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

Preliminary abstract: The goal of this research project is to investigate how Romani Hungarian refugee claimants who have migrated to Toronto, Canada are caught up in the precarious phase of an indeterminate future. This profound uncertainty is wrought from being on the cusp of gaining legal residency in Canada, but still living with the fear of having to return to Hungary. In many cases, if they are deported they return to highly hostile environments. I propose to study the ways in which Romani Hungarian refugee claimants in Toronto explicitly work on the construction of their narratives in order to try to circumvent large-scale governmental policies through performances of remembered violence. I look at how these narratives are received and circulate as refugee claimants navigate the institutional processes of resettlement. I will examine whether the language in which it is told (English as a second language, Hungarian, Vlax Romani) makes a difference in how narratives emerge, how they circulate, how they are used in discourse, and under what circumstances they are taken up as credible. Central to this research is understanding the role of community organizations assisting refugee claimants in making credible claims, helping them navigate new cultural surroundings, and shaping the refugee resettlement experience. I will conduct the bulk of my yearlong fieldwork in the Parkdale neighborhood of Toronto where many Romani Hungarians reside and with several community and advocacy organizations. The remainder of my fieldwork will be spent in Hungary in places from which Romani Hungarians in Toronto have fled, working specifically with family members left behind or Romani Hungarians whose claims were rejected by the Canadian system.