The interdisciplinary research group on Narratives is interested in any social, political, artistic, practical, and theoretical implications pertaining to narratives of migration, belonging and politics of belonging.

By investigating settler, migrant, refugee, and Indigenous narratives we seek to identify alternative narratives that critically and constructively challenge Eurocentric notions of settlement, ownership, and identity. In order to foster a viewpoint of decolonized social belonging, we will question binary and place-based concepts of hybridity, diversity, integration, settlement and Indigenous belonging, as they appear in literature, film, and other media. Our aim is to discuss a set of criteria for a transformative aesthetics that renegotiates and changes political perspectives, and thus plays a crucial part in challenging collective core narratives in plural societies.

The Narratives research group was initiated in 2019 as part of Markus Hallensleben’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) research project on “Migration as Core Narrative of Plural Societies: Towards an Aesthetics of Postmigrant Literature,” but thrives to go beyond literary narratives of migration. We welcome students and scholars of all disciplines.

We meet every two-three months throughout the Winter Terms, alongside organizing public talks and collaborative workshops.

To learn more about the group, including how to get more involved and join, please contact the Group Coordinator, Biz Nijdam.

Research Group Members

Research Areas

Our research is interdisciplinary in focus and includes various Narratives migration topics including:

  • Borders and Sovereignty
  • Refugees and Forced Migration
  • Gender and Migration
  • Digital and Media Studies
  • Diasporas and Transnationalism
  • Narratives and Politics of Belonging
  • Undocumented Migration and Statelessness
  • History of Migration
  • Indigenous Studies


Hallensleben, Markus. “Towards an Aesthetics of Postmigrant Narratives: Moving beyond the Politics of Territorial Belonging.” Postmigration: Art, Culture and Politics in Contemporary Europe. Eds. Moritz Schramm et al. transcript: Bielefeld. Postmigration Studies.

Hallensleben, Markus. “Nach der Flucht ist vor der Flucht: Postkoloniale und postmigrantische Diskurse in Jenny Erpenbeck’s Gehen, ging, gegangen.“ [After the Flight is before the Flight: Postcolonial and Postmigrant Discourses in Jenny Erpenbeck’s Go, Went, Gone.”] Der Flüchtling im globalen Nomadismus. Literatur-, medien- und kulturwissenschaftliche Annäherungen.“ [The Refugee within Global Nomadism. Contributions to Literature, Media and Cultural Studies.] Ed. Michael Hoffmann, Jean- Bertrand Miguoué and Miriam Esau. Königshausen und Neumann. Deutsch-Afrikanische Studien zur Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaft [German-African Studies in Literature and Cultural Studies].

Nijdam, Elizabeth. “Tying Up Loose Ends: The Fabric of Panel Borders in Kate Evans’ Threads.” Inks: The Journal of the Comics Studies Society, special issue: “Migration in Twenty-First-Century Documentary Comics,” 5.2.

Hallensleben, Markus. “Portraying the Refugee as a Transitional Figure of Plurality: The Performance of Gender and Ethnicity in the Post-Migrant Narratives of Abbas Khider’s Der falsche Inder [Village Indian] and Ohrfeige [Slap in the Face].” Abbas Khider. Eds. David Coury and Karolin Machtans. Peter Lang Oxford, 2021. Contemporary German Writers and Filmmakers, vol. 5.

Hallensleben, Markus. “Warum laufen wir immer den gleichen Bildern hinterher?“ Sprache. Medien. Texte. Körper. Bilder. Punkte. Flucht. Grenzüberschreitungen in Marlene Streeruwitz’ Textcollagen und Fotomontagen.“ Marlene Streeruwitz: „Literatur. Das ist die Welt.“ Eds. Mandy Dröscher-Teille and Birgit Nuebel. Stuttgart: Metzler, 2021. Kontemporär.

Neila Miled, Can the displaced speak? Muslim refugee girls negotiating identity, home and belonging through Photovoice, Women's Studies International Forum, Volume 81, 2020, 102381, ISSN 0277-5395,

Zimmermann, Sabine. "Cultural Artefacts and the ‘Migration Crisis’: Disruptive Materialities in Works by Navid Kermani and Maxi Obexer" Crossings: Journal of Migration & Culture, vol. 11, 2, 2020, pp. 267-281(15)

Ellermann, Antje and Yana Gorkokhovskaia. 2019. “The Impermanence of Permanence: The Rise of Probationary Immigration in Canada,” International Migration.

Ellermann, Antje. 2019. “Discrimination in Migration and Citizenship,” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.

Ellermann, Antje. 2019. “Human-capital Citizenship and the Changing Logic of Immigrant Admissions,” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.

Ellermann, Antje. 2019. “50 Years of Canadian Immigration Policy,” in Peter John Loewen, Carolyn Hughes Tuohy, Andrew Potter, and Sophie Borwein (eds.) (2019), Canada and Its Centennial and Sesquicentennial: Transformative Policy Then and Now, Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Ellermann, Antje and Agustín Goenaga. 2019. “Discrimination and Policies of Immigrant Selection in Liberal States,” Politics & Society, 47(1), 87-116

Glanville, Erin G. "“Do You Feel Safe at the Border?” An Intermedial Pedagogy for Sensing Communities of Shared Fate". Intermédialités / Intermediality no. 34 (2019). 

Hallensleben, Markus. “Wolfgang Paalen – ‚The First Writer of the Atomic Age‘.” Wolfgang Paalen: The Austrian Surrealist in Paris and Mexico. Ed. Andreas Neufert, Franz Smola and Stella Rollig. Koenig Books, 2019. 141-154.

Murphy, Anne. “A future from the past” by the South Asian Canadian Histories Association Founding Collective (Naveen Girn, Anne Murphy, Raghavendra Rao K.V., Milan Singh, Paneet Singh), in Reflections of Canada: Illuminating our Biggest Possibilities and Challenges at 150+ Years, edited by Phillip Tortell and Margot Young, 151-160. Vancouver: Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, 2017.

Wilkes, Rima. Wu, Cary. “International Student Migration and the Search for Home” Geoforum 80: 123-132. 2017.

Ellermann, Antje. 2015. “Do Policy Legacies Matter? Past and Present Guest Worker Recruitment in Germany.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 41(8), 1235-1253

Hallensleben, Markus. “Faces of the German Female Avant-Garde: Portrait Montages in Else Lasker-Schüler and Hannah Höch.” Schmerz, Lust, Weiblichkeit und Avantgarde in Deutschland. Eds. Lorella Bosco and Anke Gilleir. Bielefeld: Aisthesis, 2015. 129-156.

Murphy, Anne. “Performing the Komagata Maru: Theatre and the Work of Memory.” In Studies in Canadian Literature 40, 1 (2015): 45-73.

Murphy, Anne. “Sikh Museuming.” In Sacred Objects in Secular Spaces: Exhibiting Asian Religions in Museums, edited by Bruce Sullivan (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2015), 49-64, 157.

Murphy, Anne. “A Diasporic Temporality: New narrative writing from Punjabi-Canada.” In Towards a Diasporic Imagination of the Present: An eternal sense of homelessness, edited by Tapati Bharadwaja, 9-30. Bangalore: Lies and Big Feet Press, 2015.

Wilkes, Rima and Pottie-Sherman, Yolande. “Does Size Really Matter? On the Relationship Between Immigrant Group Size and Anti-Immigrant Prejudice.” International Migration Review 49: Fall. 2015.

Ellermann, Antje. 2014. “The Rule of Law and the Right to Stay: The Moral Claims of Undocumented Migrants.” Politics & Society, 42(3), 293-308

Hallensleben, Markus. “Rewriting the Face, Transforming the Skin, and Performing the Body as Text: Palimpsestuous Intertexts in Yōko Tawada’s ‘The Bath’.” Beyond Alterity: German Encounters with Modern East Asia. Special Volume of Spektrum: Publications of the German Studies Association. Ed. Qinna Shen and Martin Rosenstock. New York: Berghahn Press, 2014. (168-89)

Ellermann, Antje. 2013. “When Can Liberal States Avoid Unwanted Immigration? Self-Limited Sovereignty and Guest Worker Recruitment in Switzerland and Germany.” World Politics, 65(3), 491-538. Winner of the APSA Prize for Best Article in Migration and Citizenship

Ellermann, Antje. 2012. “Studying Migration Governance from the Bottom-Up.” With Matthew Gravelle and Catherine Dauvergne. In: The Social, Political, and Historical Contours of Deportation. Anderson, Bridget, Matthew Gibney & Emanuela Paoletti (eds.). New York: Springer

Hallensleben, Markus. “Heimat und Exil als Double-Bind: Erinnerungsräume in Else Lasker-Schülers Der Wunderrabbiner von Barcelona.” Jeder Vers ein Leopardenbiss: Else Lasker-Schüler Almanach. Vol. 9. Ed. Hajo Jahn. Wuppertal: Peter Hammer Verlag, 2011. 298-318.

Ellermann, Antje. 2010. “Undocumented Migrants and Resistance in the Liberal State.” Politics & Society, 38(3), 408-429

Ellermann, Antje. 2008. “The Limits of Unilateral Migration Control: Deportation and Interstate Cooperation.” Government and Opposition, 43(2), 168-189

Murphy, Anne. “Modern Punjabi Literature in Vancouver: A Portrait.” In Sikh Formations: Religion, Culture, Theory 4, 2 (December 2008): 157-175.

Hallensleben, Markus. “Performativity and Performance in Else Lasker-Schüler.” A Transatlantic Gathering: Essays in Honour of Peter Stenberg. Ed. Margareta Götz-Stankiewicz and Thomas Salumets. Munich: Iudicium, 2007. 45-56.

Ellermann, Antje. 2006. “Street-level Democracy? How Immigration Bureaucrats Manage Public Opposition.” West European Politics, 29(2), 287-303. Reprinted in Immigration Policy in Europe: The Politics of Control (2007), Virginie Guiraudon and Gallya Lahav (eds.), New York: Routledge, 93-109

Ellermann, Antje. 2005. “Coercive Capacity and the Politics of Implementation: Deportation in Germany and the United States.” Comparative Political Studies, 38(10), 1219-1244

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