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Africa and migrations (II SEM) (visiting professor)


Anno accademico 2023/2024

Codice attività didattica
INT 1578
Orchid Patricia Daley (Referente)
Corso di studio
Corso SSST
Secondo semestre
A scelta dello studente
3 (18 ore)
SSD attività didattica
M-GGR/01 - geografia
Tipologia esame

Sommario insegnamento



Aggiornamento - Orario delle lezioni II Semestre 2023/24- Corso Africa and migrations (INT 1578)

Obiettivi formativi

The key question asked in this course is: Why is African mobility seen as a problem (nationally, regionally, and internationally)? To answer it, we will explore African migrations under the following themes:

1. The coloniality of modern African migrations. How is African migration understood by those who seek to control it, and what can we learn from the policies and praxes addressing African migration, and how do they intersect with racialization and ethnicization?

2. The historical foundations of modern migrations in and out of Africa since the 15th century. We will examine the role of extractivism, the colonial & postcolonial state, and international organizations in shaping how, where, and why Africans move. Discussions will include empirical examples from the transatlantic slave trade; colonial labour migration; apartheid (South Africa) migration patterns; rural-urban migration during the colonial and post-colonial periods; gendered patterns of migration; forced migration (displaced populations, such as those termed refugees and IDPs); and the relationship between citizenship and migration.

3. Twenty-first century patterns of African migration, including migration to the Global North & China.

4. Liberating African migration - pan-Africanism, Afropolitanism and Afrofuturism

5. Everyday experiences of migration from African perspectives: in literature, songs, poems and social media

6. Decolonial methodologies for studying African migration.


Risultati dell'apprendimento attesi

Students will acquire historical knowledge on African mobility both in and out of Africa. They will develop a nuanced approach to the complexity of African migrations and how they relate to race, colonialis, and extractive capitalism. They will be encouraged to see migration from African perspectives, especially ways of liberating African mobility.



The course will run for 18 hours. There will be three modules of 6 hours each (2+2+2 each week). Students will be arranged in small groups and each group will be expected prepare one PowerPoint presentation on a selected topic/readings for discussion with the class.

Module 1: The African migration problematic: Whose problem and why?

These three sessions will introduce the concept of human mobility, examine how mobility is understood in modern European thought, especially how it relates to the peoples from the Global South. We will consider the relationship between European colonialism, racialization and the development of the modern nation-state. The coloniality of responses to contemporary African migrations will be explored.

MIA Borders

Session 1: Readings:

Bastos, C. (2008). ‘Migrants, settlers and colonists: The biopolitics of displaced bodies’, International Migration, 46(5), 27–54.

Daley, P. & A. Murrey (2022) “Defiant scholarship: Dismantling coloniality in contemporary African geographies”, Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 43 (2). 159-176.

Murrey, A. & P. Daley (2023) Learning Disobedience: Decolonizing Development Studies. Pluto Press.
Sharpe, Christina (2016) In the Wake: On Blackness And Being. Duke University Press.

Mbembe, A. (2019) Necropolitics. Duke University Press.

Weheliye, A. G. (2014). Habeas viscus : racializing assemblages, biopolitics, and black feminist theories of the human. Duke University Press.

Session 2: Readings: Colonialism, Coloniality, and African migration

Achiume, E. Tendayi. "Migration as Decolonization." Stanford Law Review, vol. 71, no. 6, June 2019, pp. 1509-1574. HeinOnline.

Agozino, Biko (2021) “Reparative justice: The final stage of decolonization”, Punishment & Society, Vol 23(5) 613–630.

Mayblin, Lucy & Joe Turner (2020) Migration Studies and Colonialism. Polity Press.
Proglio, Gabriele; Camilla Hawthorne, Ida Danewid, P. Khalil Saucier, Giuseppe Grimaldi, Angelica Pesarini, Timothy Raeymaekers, Giulia Grechi, Vivian Gerrand (2021 ) The Black Mediterranean: Bodies, Borders and Citizenship. Palgrave Macmillan.

Sadiq. Kamal & Gerasimos Tsourapas (2021) “The postcolonial migration state", European Journal of International Relations 27:3, 884-912.

Ndhlovu, Finex (2016) “A decolonial critique of diaspora identity theories and the notion of superdiversity”. Diaspora Studies, 2016 Vol. 9, No. 1, 28–40,


Session 3 Readings: African migration to Europe

Aucoin, Martin J. (2022) “You can make it here!”: Producing Europe’s mobile borders in the New Gambia”, Political Geography 97 (2022) 102641

Baldwin-Edwards, M. (2007) ‘Between a rock and a hard place’: North Africa as a region of emigration, immigration and transit migration. Review of African Political Economy 33(108), 311-324.

Brachet, J. (2016) “Policing the Desert: The IOM in Libya Beyond War and Peace”. Antipode. Vol. 48 (2): 231-493.

de Haas, H. (2009) ‘The myth of invasion: the inconvenient realities of African migration to Europe.’ Third World Quarterly 7, 1305-1322.

Gross-Wyrtzen, Leslie (2020) ‘Contained and abandoned in the “humane” border: Black migrants’ immobility and survival in Moroccan urban space’. EPD: Society and Space Vol. 38(5) 887–904.

Marino, Rossella; Joris Schapendonk & Ine Lietaert (2023) “Translating EUrope’s Return Migration Regime to The Gambia: The Incorporation of Local CSOs”, Geopolitics, 28:3, 1033-1056, DOI: 10.1080/14650045.2022.2050700

Module 2: Displacement and Enclosures in the Extractive Frontier

These sessions will consider the issue of forced migration, focusing on the coloniality of national and international responses, in particular that of encampment, and the ways in which forced migration is embedded in extractive practices, especially through accumulation by dispossession.

Session 4 Readings

Abuya E. O, Krause U. & Mayblin L (2021) The neglected colonial legacy of the 1951 refugee convention. International Migration, 59(4), 265-267.
Elie, J. & Hanhimäki, J. (2008) “UNHCR and Decolonization in Africa: Expansion and Emancipation, 1950s to 1970s”. In NA (ed.), Dekolonisation: Prozesse und Verflechtungen 1945-1990. Archiv für Sozialgeschichte, no. 48, pp. 53-72.
Lingelbach, Jochen (2020) On the Edges of Whiteness: Polish Refugees in British Colonial Africa during and after the Second World War. Berghahn Books.

Krause, Ulrike (2021) “Colonial roots of the 1951 Refugee Convention and its effects on the global refugee regime”, Journal of International Relations and Development volume 24, pages 599–626.

Mayblin L (2017) Asylum after Empire: Colonial Legacies in the Politics of Asylum Seeking. London: Rowman and Littlefield.
Martin Lemberg-Pedersen, Sharla M. Fett, Lucy Mayblin, Nina Sahraoui, Eva Magdalena Stambøl (2022) Postcoloniality and Forced Migration: Mobility, Control, Agency. O.U.P. ( See chapters 2, 4 & 13).
Brankamp, H. and P. Daley (2020) Labourers, migrants, refugees: managing belonging, bodies and mobility in (post)colonial Kenya and Tanzania, In: Migration & Society, 3 (1), 113-129.
Minca, C., Rijke, A., Pallister-Wilkins, P., Tazzioli, M., Vigneswaran, D., van Houtum, H., & van Uden, A. (2022). Rethinking the biopolitical: Borders, refugees, mobilities [Article]. Environment and Planning. C, Politics and Space, 40(1), 3–30.

Session 5 Readings: Encampment and Enclosures in Africa

Brankamp, H., S. de Jong, S. Mackinder, and K. Devenney (2023) “The camp as market frontier: refugees and the spatial imaginaries of capitalist prospecting in Kenya”, Geoforum, 145, (pre-print)
Brankamp, H. and Z. Glück (2022) Camps and counterterrorism: security and the remaking of refuge in Kenya, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 40(3), 528-548.
Brankamp, H. (2022) Camp Abolition: Ending Carceral Humanitarianism in Kenya (and Beyond), Antipode, 51(1), 106-129.
Brankamp, H. (2021) Demarcating boundaries: against the ‘humanitarian embrace’, Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 37(2), 46-55.
Daley, P. (2013) “Rescuing African bodies: Celebrities, humanitarianism and neo-liberal consumerism”, Review of African Political Economy, 40 (137): 375-393.

Session 6 Readings: Students case studies

1. Displacement in the Lake Chad Basin

Campbell, H. (2020) “Saving Lake Chad and the Unification of Africa lessons from the International Conference to Save Lake Chad (ICLC), Abuja, Nigeria February 2018”. Journal of African Foreign Affairs Vol. 7, No. 1.

Magrin, Géraud (2016) “The disappearance of Lake Chad: history of a myth”, Journal of Political Ecology. Vol.23, No.1. pp.204-222.

Asah, S.T. (2015), Transboundary hydro-politics and climate change rhetoric: an emerging hydro-security complex in the lake chad basin. WIREs Water, 2: 37-45.

2. Social Media and African Migration

Moyo, D. & S. Mpofu (2020) Mediating Xenophobia in Africa: Unpacking Discourses of Migration, Belonging and Othering. Palgrave Macmillan

Stremlau, N. & A. Tsalapatanis (2021) “Social Media, Mobile Phones and Migration in Africa: A Review of the Evidence.” Progress in Development Studies 2021 22:1, 56-71

Merisalo, Maria & Jussi S. Jauhiainen (2021) Asylum-Related Migrants’ Social-Media Use, Mobility Decisions, and Resilience, Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies, 19:2, 184-198, DOI: 10.1080/15562948.2020.1781991

Module 3: Belonging, Conviviality, and the Liberation of Transnational African Mobilities

In this session we will examine attempts by African states and regional institutions to liberate African mobility, through the introduction of freedom of movement legislations and their limitations. In addition we will explore how African scholars have sought to promote more radical alternatives that draw on African indigenous practices of human sociality, such as ubuntu and Pan-Africanism.
We will end with a consideration what methodlogical shifts would a decolonial approach to African migration necessitate.

Session 7: Citizenship and Migration within Africa

Whitaker, Beth Elise (2017) “Migration within Africa and Beyond”, African Studies Review , Volume 60 , Issue 2 , pp. 209 – 220, DOI:

Hickel, Jason (2014) “"Xenophobia" in South Africa: Order, Chaos, and the Moral Economy of Witchcraft”. Cultural Anthropology Vol.9. No.1

Nyamnjoh, Francis B (2015) “Incompleteness: Frontier Africa and the Currency of Conviviality”, Journal of Asian and African Studies 2015 52:3, 253-270.

Nyamnjoh, Francis B. (2013) “Fiction and reality of mobility in Africa”, Citizenship Studies, 17: 6-7, 653-680, DOI: 10.1080/13621025.2013.834121

Agozino, Biko (2021) “Reparative justice: The final stage of decolonization”, Punishment & Society, Vol 23(5) 613–630.

Session 8 Readings: Blackness and the African Diasporas

 Zeleza, P. (2010). African Diasporas: Toward a Global History. African Studies Review, 53(1), 1-19. doi:10.1353/arw.0.0274

Patterson, T., & Kelley, R. (2000). Unfinished Migrations: Reflections on the African Diaspora and the Making of the Modern World. African Studies Review, 43(1), 11-45. doi:10.2307/524719

Crowley, Dustin (2018) “How Did They Come to This?: Afropolitanism, Migration, and Displacement.” Research in African Literatures, vol. 49, no. 2, pp. 125–46. JSTOR,

Balakrishnan, S., 2016: “Pan-African Legacies, Afropolitan Futures: A Conversation with Achille Mbembe”, Transition 120: 28-37.

Mayer, Ruth (2000) "Africa as an Alien Future": The Middle Passage, Afrofuturism, and Postcolonial Waterworlds
Amerikastudien / American Studies, Vol. 45, No. 4, Time and the African-American Experience, pp. 555-566.

Saro-Wiwa, Noo (2023) Black ghosts: A Journey into the lives of Africans in China. Canongate Books.

Gilroy, Paul (1993) The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness. Harvard University Press/ Verso Books.

Rabaka, Reiland (ed) Routledge Handbook on PanAfricanism. Routledge ( Part 1: Chapters 1-4).

Falola, Toyin & Kwame Essien (eds.) (2014) Pan-Africanism, and the Politics of African Citizenship and Identity. Routledge. (Chapters 2, 3 4, & 8)

Session 9: Readings: Methodologies for studying African migration

Daley, P. (2021) ‘Ethical Considerations for Humanizing Refugee Research Trajectories’, Refuge: Canadian Journal on Refugees. Volume 37, No.2.

Esin, C., & Lounasmaa, A. (2020). Narrative and ethical (in)action: creating spaces of resistance with refugee-storytellers in the Calais “Jungle” camp [Article]. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 23(4), 391–403.

Watkins, Case & Judith A. Carney (2022) “Amplifying the Archive:
Methodological Plurality and Geographies of the Black Atlantic”, Antipode Vol. 54 No. 4, pp. 1297–1319.



Modalità di verifica dell'apprendimento

Written essay in English – maximum 2500 words

Testi consigliati e bibliografia


Multimedia sources

Try out the Ijra game which explains how migrants access rights in Morocco ( There are others too, including a few at US-Mexico border; there are also issues around the gamification of migration and bordering.

Netflix: And Breathe Normally (film set in Iceland, made in 2018, Directed by Isold Uggadottir).

Feature film: Wakanda

You might find the work of Forensic Architecture on borders informative:

You might like to explore to review some global trends


Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi (2018) Kintu. Oneworld.

Chibundu Onuzo (2016) Welcome to Lagos. Catapult & Co.
Faber & Faber.


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