Program

ACLS Fellowship Program , ACLS Sustaining Public Engagement Grants

Project

An Unexpected Life: Somalis, Mainers, and the New Global Normal

Project

Freedom & Captivity (Host Institution: Colby College)

Department

Anthropology

An Unexpected Life: Somalis, Mainers, and the New Global Normal

This project analyzes the philosophical, literary, and political origins of the concept of refuge as well as the contemporary cultural and symbolic dimensions of the way refuge is imagined by displaced Somalis and the communities to which they go in order to advance a new understanding of refugee agency from the perspective of those who move. The study engages intellectual and theoretical questions about how the imaginings and materialities of refuge impact the construction of difference as well as novel forms of connection. It demonstrates how an insistent focus on human experience and agency at the center of the international refugee regime transforms our understanding of international humanitarianism as well as the construction of global subjectivities.

Freedom & Captivity (Host Institution: Colby College)

The Freedom & Captivity Curriculum Project will create curricula based on the materials generated through the Fall 2021 collaborative, statewide public humanities Freedom & Captivity initiative, which explored how to imagine an abolitionist future in Maine. The initiative included exhibitions, podcasts, film and photography projects, performances, presentations, workshops, and didactic materials, and was created with the participation of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people. These materials are collected into an online archive, which will be the basis for creating curricula to be uploaded onto technology used inside Maine’s prisons. The curricula, structured around key humanities themes, is for college courses, discussion groups, and community classes taught by incarcerated people. The community partners for this project include Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition, Maine Department of Corrections, Maine Prison Education Partnership, and Opportunity Scholars Network.