NYT Article: A Path to America, Marked by More and More Bodies

CASE 0438: A man illegally crossed the border into South Texas, died on the journey and was never identified. His remains were buried in a milk crate, his skull stained red from its contact with a bandanna.”

This striking description is from a recent New York Times article discussing the ultimate sacrifice many migrants make to travel between the United States and Mexico.

Dr. Timothy P. Gocha, an alumnus of OSU’s anthropology department, works with Operation Identification to analyze and identify the remains of these immigrants to help identify them.  “‘When we get them, we assign them a case number because we have to have a way of tracking cases, but no one deserves to be just a number.'”  He continues, “‘the idea is to figure out who they are, and give them their name back.'”

Over 500 migrants have been recovered by the project since 2009.

Read more here: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/05/04/us/texas-border-migrants-dead-bodies.html

The Economist: Migrants with Mobiles

“SOMETIMES Hekmatullah, a 32-year-old Afghan, has to choose between food and connectivity. ‘I need to stay in touch with my wife back home,’ he says, sitting in a grubby tent in the Oinofyta migrant camp, near Athens. Because Wi-Fi rarely works there, he has to buy mobile-phone credit. And that means he and his fellow travellers—his sister, her friend and five children—sometimes go hungry.”

Mobile phones are indispensable for most people in the United States, and for a growing number of refugees, they are even more crucial to help refugees stay in touch with family back home and research their journeys.  “According to UNHCR, the UN’s agency for refugees, refugees can easily spend a third of their disposable income on staying connected.”  This article from The Economist explores issues of connectivity facing migrants.

Migrants with Mobiles: Phones are now indispensable for refugees” by from The Economist, February 11, 2017.

 

Dorthea Lange: Documenting Migration

Dorthea Lange was an American documentary photographer who is best known for her Depression-era photography in which she humanized the impacts of the Great Depression.

Some of her most striking photography visualize rural poverty and the exploitation of migrant laborers.  These images, from the NYPL digital archives, document the movement of cotton hoers traveling from Memphis to work the at plantations in Alabama.

 

The last truckload of cotton hoers from Memphis bound for the Wilson Cotton Plantation in Arkansas, 43 miles distant, June 1937.
Date: 1937
Photographer: Dorothea Lange

 

Women being transported from Memphis, Tennessee to an Arkansas plantation, July 1937.
Date: 1937
Photographer: Dorothea Lange

 

These cotton hoers work from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. for $1.00 near Clarksdale, Mississippi, June-July 1937.
Date: 1937
Photographer: Dorothea Lange

 

Cotton hoers loading at Memphis for the day’s work in Arkansas; June, 1937.
Date: 1937
Photographer: Dorothea Lange

Ellis Island and the NYPL Digital Collections

Twelve-million immigrants came to the United States through Ellis Island in Upper New York Bay from 1892-1954.  At its peak, immigration officials reviewed about 5,000 immigrants per day, two-thirds of whom came from eastern, southern, and central Europe.  According to the Statue of Liberty Ellis Island Foundation, the all-time daily high was April 17, 1907 when 11,747 immigrants were processed.

Numerous photographers documented arrivals at Ellis Island, and many of these photographs are available through the New York Public Library Digital Archives.  These photographers captured the atmosphere of the immigration center as well as those arriving, many of whom wore the traditional dress of their home countries.  Below are some of those images.

William Williams, the original collector of these images, was the federal commissioner of immigration for the Port of New York, from 1902 to 1905 and again, from 1909 to 1914.

Immigrant Station, Ellis Island, with ferry docked at adjacent pier.
Date: 1902-1913
Collector: William Williams
Photographer: Edwin Levick

 

View of the Immigration Station, Ellis Island (front side).
Date: 1902-1913
Collector: William Williams
Photographer: Edwin Levick

 

Immigrants seated on long benches, Main Hall, U.S. Immigration Station.
Date: 1902-1913
Collector: William Williams

 

The pens at Ellis Island, Registry Room (or Great Hall). These people have passed the first mental inspection.
Date: 1902-1913
Collector: William Williams
Photographer: Edwin Levick

 

Immigrants being registered at one end of the Main Hall, U. S. Immigration Station.
Date: 1902-1910
Collector: William Williams
Photographer: Edwin Levick

 

Large dining hall, empty except for about ten members of the dining hall staff. The place settings consist of a worn porcelain-enameled plate, a fork and knife.
Date: 1902-1913
Collector: William Williams
Photographer: Edwin Levick

 

Uncle Sam, host. Immigrants being served a free meal at Ellis Island.
Date: 1902-1913
Collector: William Williams
Photographer: Edwin Levick

 

Ready for travel and going north, south and west. Immigrants with baggage lined up at teller’s windows marked money exchange.
Date: 1902-1913
Collector: William Williams
Photographer: Edwin Levick

 

Three women from Guadeloupe.
Collector: William Williams
Photographer: Augustus F. Sherman

 

Slovak woman and children.
Collector: William Williams
Photographer: Augustus F. Sherman

 

German stowaway.
Date: 1911
Collector: William Williams
Photographer: Augustus F. Sherman

 

Dutch woman.
Collector: William Williams
Photographer: Augustus F. Sherman

 

Group photograph captioned ‘Hungarian Gypsies all of whom were deported’ in The New York Times, Sunday Feb. 12, 1905
Date: 1902
Collector: William Williams
Photographer: Augustus F. Sherman

WOSU: Ice Cream With A Sprinkle Of India, From An Immigrant In Columbus

When a person leaves home, they leave behind friends, family, parts of their culture, and their food.  This story from WOSU tells the story of one immigrant who decided to bring a taste of home with her.

“Sitting within an unassuming strip mall in north Columbus, Mardi Gras looks like just another ice cream store. Inside, the chilled glass countertop is filled with the typical flavors – mint chocolate chip, butter pecan and strawberry ice cream.

“Turn to the adjacent wall, though, and you’ll see a large white board listing dozens of flavors found nowhere else – like kesar pista (a blend of saffron, cardamom and pistachio) or chickoo (a sweet tropical fruit originally found in Central America).

“These are all original flavors developed by the store’s owner, Mita Shah. For the last 17 years, she’s perfected these recipes using a unique mix of fruits, nuts and spices, many inspired by Indian cuisine.”

Continue reading or listen to the story here.

This unique ice cream parlor can be found at 1947 Hard Rd, at the intersection of Smoky Row Rd.

 

New Podcast from SfAA

In 2007, the Society for Applied Anthropology began a podcast project.  Over the past ten years, the project has grown, and this year, one of the themes was titled “How we think, work, and write about migration” presenting anthropological perspectives on migration research.  The session took place in 2017 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, at the 77th Annual Meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology, and included, Global Mobility Project Team Member Jeffrey Cohen.  You can listen to the episodes here: http://sfaa.net/podcast/index.php/podcasts/2017/how-we-think-work-and-write-about-migration

CHAIR: FREIDENBERG, Judith (UMD)

Session Participants:

PENDRY, De Ann (UTK)

METZ, Brent E. (KU)

COHEN, Jeffrey H. (OH State U)

VÉLEZ-IBÁÑEZ, Carlos G. (ASU)

GRIFFITH, David (ECU)

UNTERBERGER, Alayne (FICS)

BOEHM, Deborah (UNR)

SPREHN, Maria (Montgomery Coll.)

 

Poetry by Ingrid Raphael at the Global Gallery

Ingrid Raphael performed two of her poems at the opening reception for the Global Mobility Project’s exhibit “Global Mobility and Its Human Dimensions” at The Global Gallery in Hagerty Hall at Ohio State University on March 20, 2017.

Ingrid Raphael is a senior studying International Studies at OSU. She is the co-founder of the GRID ZINE: a small magazine highlighting the neglected voices in the immigrant and refugee narrative. The zine features artwork, poetry and narratives from generational immigrants identifying individuals from all over the U.S. Three of the contributors are Ohio State University students, who share their experiences and observations of the immigrant experience through poetry.

The GRID ZINE is available for purchase by e-mailing thegridzine@gmail.com and is featured on Philadelphia Printworks’ website.

Kate Vieira: Writing for Love and Money: How Migration Promotes Literacy Learning in Transnational Families


Please join Literacy Studies, co-sponsored by Rhetoric, Composition, and Literacy and Latino/a Studies in observance of Cesar Chavez Day, this Thursday for this lecture engaging ideas of migration and literacy learning. 
 
Thursday, March 30, 2017 – 4:00 p.m.
311 Denney Hall, 164 Annie & John Glenn Avenue
 
According to the UN, 244 million people currently live outside the countries of their birth. As more people worldwide migrate to find work, policy makers have expressed concerns about the effects on family dynamics and an international “brain drain.” Vieira’s ethnographic research reveals migration’s unexpected relationship to literacy learning as transnational families write to stay economically and intimately connected.
Kate Vieira teaches Composition and Rhetoric at University of Wisconsin, Madison and is author of ‘American By Paper’: How Documents Matter in Immigrant Migration (2016).
Contact Michael Harwick (harwick.1@osu.edu) or Nora McCook (mccook.3@osu.edu) with any questions. 

The Question of Refugees: Past and Present

by Peter Gatrell

This article was originally published on Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective, created by the History Departments at The Ohio State University and Miami University. Professor Gatrell recently spoke as part of our Immigrants and Refugees: Comparative Experiences Lecture Series.  You can watch his lecture here.

A great deal of ink—and much blood—has been spilled during the current “refugee crisis.” But what do we mean by that phrase?

It describes what has happened recently when Syrian, Afghan, and other refugees attempted the difficult journey to member states of the European Union in their ongoing search for safety. By extension, it describes the response of governments and the media to the refugees on Europe’s doorstep, a response many call inadequate.

The desperation of these refugees and asylum seekers and the challenges they face should not be minimized. But the shorthand of “refugee crisis” (meaning, in effect, “a crisis for European states,” rather than a crisis for refugees) neglects two fundamental issues.

One consideration is that, since 2011, most Syrian refugees either remain in Syria as internally displaced persons outside the scope of international legal conventions, or have found shelter in adjacent states such as Turkey and Lebanon.

Likewise, Afghan refugees are mainly sheltering in Pakistan: only a minority attempt the hazardous journey to Europe.

Continue reading on the Origins website.

OSU History