Research Affiliate

Dr. Julie E.E. Young is Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Critical Border Studies and Assistant Professor in Geography at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. She holds a doctorate in Geography and a Graduate Diploma in Refugee and Migration Studies from York University in Toronto. Her research program aims to better understand North America’s borders in the context of broader global processes as well as what local practices tell us about where, how, and for whom borders work. She is co-editor, with Dr. Susan McGrath, of the open-access book, Mobilizing Global Knowledge: Refugee Research in an Age of Displacement (University of Calgary Press, 2019).

Our project, Remembering Refuge: Between Sanctuary and Solidarity, starts from oral history interviews with people originally from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Haiti who crossed the Canada-US border to seek refuge (1980s-present) and advocacy groups working at this border. We built pedagogy into the design of the project with the key objective of creating an alternative archive of the border that centres the experiences of people who have been displaced across multiple borders as narrators of key periods in its history. We are in the midst of designing the key output of the project, which is a multi-media digital archive of oral histories and teaching modules that will illuminate the lives of these border crossers, Canada-US border communities, and the border itself. The overarching goal of the project is to build an alternate archive of the Canada-US border and reframe public discussion on irregular migration and contested border crossings. Our aim is to engage educators, students, and the general public as we open pedagogical spaces for confronting difficult histories, foster critical engagement with border control policies and practices, and invite these audiences to reflect on the politics of knowledge production. Projected completion date of the archive and multimedia site is the end of June 2020.