Columbus Neighborhoods: New Americans

“The immigrant experience not only defined the character of Columbus during its foundation and early growth, but find out how immigrants now are adding to our culture, supporting our economy and reshaping the American dream.”

WOSU’s new documentary “Columbus Neighborhoods: New Americans” will be available online until February 29, 2016.

View it here:

A Story of Us Podcast

The Anthropology Department at The Ohio State University created a podcast where they discuss key issues in anthropology.  In this episode, Kelly Yotebieng and Natalia Zotova, two graduate student members of the Global Mobility Project, discuss migration and mobility.

You can hear more episodes here:

Christiana Botic, 2016-2017 Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellow

OSU Blog

Christiana Botic is a Serbian-American photographer and filmmaker from Columbus, Ohio.  As a 2016-2017 Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellow, she is spending 9 months in Serbia and Croatia documenting the impact of mass migration of refugees on the cultural landscapes of Serbia and Croatia and exploring the complex relationship between geography and identity in the region through still and moving images.

You can follow her stunning work on the National Geographic website here:


800 homeless migrants line up for a blanket distribution in October, before the distributions were made illegal.

Mr. President-Elect, You Are Mistaken: We Welcome Refugees at The Ohio State University

OSU Blog

Following the violent attack on The Ohio State University’s campus on November 28, 2016,  President Elect Donald Trump visited OSU.  In this article originally published on Daily Kos, Kelly Yotebieng, Eleanor Paynter, and Hollie Nyseth Brehm provide an insightful commentary of the attack and the President Elect’s visit:

Donald J. Trump visited the Ohio State University today to meet with victims and first responders to Monday, November 28th’s violent attack on campus. While we commend him for taking the time to meet with these individuals, we would have hoped that he could have spent a few more hours while he was here to speak with some of the community who is reeling from these events. Let’s start with some background.

After spending most of the morning of November 28th hiding in our Ohio State offices and classrooms, or staying far from campus out of fear, we learned that the perpetrator of the attack that injured 13 people was Abdul Razak Ali Artan, a Somali refugee. For us, the morning’s fears morphed into dread—not dread of refugees but rather dread for them, and for the repercussions this news could have on local Somali, refugee, and Muslim communities.

Yet, while some online responses have incited fear in the Muslim and Somali communities, members of the Ohio State campus community have responded with open hearts. Student organizations shared messages of support for their Somali and Muslim peers. The day after, student groups set up tables in common areas to offer comfort and fellowship for those still in shock or needing to talk about Monday’s events. More than 500 faculty, students, and staff attended last Tuesday evening’s #Buckeyestrong event to “listen, learn, and heal as a community.” Off-campus, communities have organized prayer vigils and held open houses at mosques. Nearly 1,000 Columbus residents attended a #columbusunited march, which included chants in support of refugees.

Then, at 3:20 on Wednesday morning, President-elect Trump tweeted: “ISIS is taking credit for the terrible stabbing attack at Ohio State University by a Somali refugee who should not have been in our country.” These words were reiterated at his rally last Thursday.  As faculty, researchers, and students at Ohio State, and as residents of Columbus, we support the effort to reach out to victims but remain horrified by Mr. Trump’s first public responses to the incident and by the potential implications of his remarks and visit on campus and community climate. We offer these comments in response.

First, let’s talk numbers. The 16,596 refugees resettled in the Columbus area between 1983 and 2014—and the tens of thousands of refugees who have moved here from other U.S. locations—run businesses, lead local faith communities, and study at local colleges. They learn English, develop new job skills, march in our Fourth of July parades, and become citizens. And, according to a 2015 report entitled Impact of Refugees in Central Ohio, Columbus refugee communities support approximately 21,300 jobs in the greater metro area. We are talking about an annual economic impact of $1.6 billion, including $36 million in spending. Many other impacts on our community, such as the integral role refugees play in aid organizations, as mentors, and in facilitating summer programs for children throughout Franklin County, cannot be quantified but are arguably just as significant… Read the conclusion on Daily Kos


Kelly Yotebieng is pursuing her Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology  at the Ohio State University focusing on resilience among urban refugees in Cameroon. She has worked with refugees overseas and in the context of refugee resettlement in the United States since 2004.

Eleanor Paynter is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Comparative Studies at the Ohio State University, studying literature and migration. Her work focuses on refugee narratives, memory, and national identity.

Dr. Hollie Nyseth Brehm is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the Ohio State University. Her work examines the causes of genocide and how countries rebuild in the aftermath of mass violence. 

A Chat with Ibrahim Sirkeci with Video



OSU Podcast

On October 24, 2016, Dr. Jeffrey Cohen sat down with Dr. Ibrahim Sirkeci, Ria Professor of Transnational Studies and Marketing Regent’s University London, to discuss Turkey’s migrants and migrants from Turkey.  They also discussed the role of the arts and humanities in addressing the global challenges of migration, what it means to leave home, and how communities accept newcomers.

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Episode Credits

Interviewer: Dr. Jeffrey Cohen
Guest: Dr. Ibrahim Sirkeci
Audio Production: Paul Kotheimer
Video Production: Laura Seeger
Audio Editor: Lisa Beiswenger
The Global Mobility Team: Vera Brunner-Sung, Jeffrey Cohen, Theodora Dragostinova, Yana Hashamova, and Robin Judd


A Chat with Ulf Brunnbauer



On Tuesday, November 14, 2016, Dr. Theodora Dragostinova sat down with Dr. Ulf Brunnbauer, Professor of History of Southeast and Eastern Europe at the University of Regensburg, to have a chat about the other side of the migration debate, emigration and immigration in Europe. In the discussion, Dr. Brunnbauer discusses his work on the social history of the Balkans in the 19th and 20th centuries with a special emphasis in the historical genealogy and migration history.

Find us on iTunes

Episode Credits

Interviewer: Dr. Theodora Dragostinova
Guest: Dr. Ulf Brunnbauer
Audio Production: Paul Kotheimer
Audio Editor: Lisa Beiswenger
Video Production: Laura Seeger
The Global Mobility Team: Vera Brunner-Sung, Jeffrey Cohen, Theodora Dragostinova, Yana Hashamova, and Robin Judd