2023 Workshop, UC Santa Barbara

Knowledge Production in Displacement and Forced Migration

APR 17 & 18, 2023

Workshop at the University of California, Santa Barbara

Conveners: Joshua Donovan (GHI Washington | Pacific Office), Vitalij Fastovskij (GHI Washington | Pacific Office), and Vladimir Hamed-Troyansky (University of California, Santa Barbara)

Monday, April 17, 2023


9 – 10:00 a.m.

Panel 1

10 – 11:30 a.m.

Migrant Knowledge and Space

Moderator: Vitalij Fastovskij

Martin Nekola, Independent Scholar:
Czech refugees in the displaced persons camps after 1948

Phi Nguyen, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne:
Devout Landscape – Migrant Placemaking in Huế, Vietnam

Comments: Ani Yeremyan & Benjamin Tromly


11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.



2:30 – 3 p.m.

Coffee Break

6:00 – 9 p.m.

Optional: Casual Dinner (self pay)

We have reserved a big table at Woodstock’s Pizza. You may also explore Santa Barbara on your own.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023


10:30 – 11:00 a.m.

Coffee Break

Panel 5

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.


12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Panel 6

1:30 – 3:00 p.m.


3:00 – 3:30 p.m.

coffee Break

3:30 – 4:30 p.m.


7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Workshop dinner


Getting to the restaurant: Take Bus 24X from Bus Stop
UCSB North Hall 5:31 pm. The bus will get to MTD Transit Center at 18:01. This will give you some time to explore Santa Barbara before dinner.

2023 Logistics


The Club & Guest House at UC Santa Barbara

Driving Directions & Parking

Getting from the Airport to the Clubhouse:

  • By Bus: The bus no. 11 leaves every 30 minutes from the airport. The ride to UCSB takes 12 minutes. Exit UCSB North Hall. Walk 10 minutes to the Club.
  • Rideshare: Uber and Lyft rideshare services are the most commonly utilized in the Santa Barbara area. Rideshare services can be utilized for drop off and pick up the Terminal. There is not currently a special location for these services.
  • Taxis

Meeting Rooms

Our workshop is taking place at the University Center, which is a seven-minute walk from the The Clubhouse. Our meeting room, “Flying A“, is located on the main level.

2023 Organizers and Chairs

Joshua Donovan is a tandem fellow in the history of migration at the German Historical Institute, Washington’s Pacific Office at the University of California, Berkeley. He is an interdisciplinary historian of the Global South whose research centers around migration, social identity, empire, and human rights in the modern Middle East and its diaspora. He received his PhD in History from Columbia University in 2022 and is currently working on his first monograph entitled “Imagining Antioch: Sectarianism, Nationalism, and Migration in the Greek Orthodox Levant, 1860-1958.” This book project tells a new history of religious and national identity from the perspective of the diverse and understudied Antiochian Greek Orthodox Christian community in Syria, Lebanon, and its broader diaspora. It recounts the complex and internally divisive process of subject formation in the face of Ottoman political reforms, French colonial partition, forced migration, and the creation of the independent nation-states of Syria and Lebanon. In addition to Imagining Antioch, Donovan has published peer-reviewed articles in Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations and Studies in World Christianity.

Vitalij Fastovskij works on topics related to the cultural history of Eastern Europe including its transnational dimensions. His focus is on religious cultures, the history of terrorism and the history of imperial archaeology and orientology. His current project (habilitation) deals with migration and humanitarian aid during the Cold War. Fastovskij was a fellow at the International Research Training Group “Religious Cultures in 19th and 20th Century Europe” in Munich, a fellow at the GHI Moscow and at the Instituut voor Oosters Christedom in Nijmegen. As a postdoc he worked at the Institute of Contemporary History in Munich, at the University of Giessen and is currently employed at the University of Münster (on sabbatical).

Vladimir Hamed-Troyansky is an Assistant Professor of Global Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He specializes in global migration and forced displacement and the history of the Ottoman and Russian empires and their successor states. His research interrogates the relationship between refugee mobility, political economy, and ethnic cleansing, which were critical to the making of the modern Middle East and Eastern Europe. In 2022-23, Dr. Hamed-Troyansky serves as Vice-Director of the Center for Middle East Studies.

Nino Vallen is a historian of Latin America and the Pacific World. He joined the GHI’s Pacific Office at UC Berkeley as a research fellow in Latin American History in 2022. He studied history at Radboud University Nijmegen and received his PhD from the Institute for Latin American Studies at Freie Universität Berlin (2016), where he also worked as a research associate and lecturer (2014–22). He was a fellow of the International Research Training Group “Between Spaces” (2011-2013) and the Slicher van Bath De Jong Fund (CEDLA, Amsterdam, 2014). A colonial historian by training, his first monograph Being the Heart of the World: The Pacific and the Fashioning of the Self in New Spain, 1513–1641 (Forthcoming from Cambridge University Press, 2023) studies mobilities in the early modern Spanish Pacific and their impact on the fashioning of new notions of self and other in New Spain. In his current research project, he explores the role of the Chinese migrant worker in the stories that people in South America told in disputes about the exploitation of natural resources during the second half of the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries.

2023 Workshop Participants

Evren Altinkas in an assistant professor in the department of history at the University of Guelph. He obtained his doctoral degree from Dokuz Eylul University in 2011 based on his dissertation comparing the development of the concept of intellectuals in Europe and in Turkey. Altinkas has written several articles in academic journals and published book chapters. His research areas include the History of the Middle East, Turkish Politics, Turkish History, International Organizations, Comparative History, International Law, the Cyprus problem and Intellectual History.

Roy Bar Sadeh is a postdoctoral fellow in the Abdallah S. Kamel Center for the Study of Islamic Law and Civilization at Yale University Law School. A global historian of South Asia and the Middle East, his research moves across the British, Ottoman, and Russian Empires and their successor states to understand how Muslims across the Indian subcontinent and the Mashriq experienced and shaped local and global debates about sovereignty, minority status, and management of religious difference. Roy received his PhD in history from Columbia University and he is currently working on his first monograph, Muslims and the Minority Question: A Global History, 1856-1947. This book project is a global intellectual history of the concept of a minority and its role in connecting Muslim thinkers throughout South and West Asia and Eurasia. Roy’s previous peer-reviewed research has been published in Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History.

Nadezhda Beliakova is currently a research fellow as a scholar at risk at the University of Bielefeld and at the Cluster “Religion und Politik” at WWU in Münster. She received her PhD in History from Lomonosov Moscow State University. She was a Senior Scientific Fellow at the Institute of World History, Russian Academy of Sciences. Her main research fields are social history of Christian communities in the USSR, religious minorities and migration, religion and communication during the Cold War, and minority and charity.

Barbara Henning is a historian with a focus on late-Ottoman and early Turkish-Republican settings. She holds a PhD in Turkish Studies from Bamberg University and her research interests include Ottoman-Kurdish history, post-Ottoman transfrmations, memory studies, (post-)imperial biographies and the history of knowledge. In her current book project, she traces the history of the descendants of the Prophet Muhammad in Ottoman and post-Ottoman contexts and asks about perceptions of difference, social hierarchies in transition and the translation of status. She is a member of the DFG Research Network Post-Ottoman Transformations and an associated member of the DFG Research Priority Program Transottomanica. Since 2020, she holds the chair for the History of the Islamic Mediterranean at Mainz University and in April 2023 she joined the DFG Research Training Group Byzantium and Euro-Mediterranean Cultures of War as a core faculty member.

Rustam Khan is a graduate student in the History, Anthropology, Science, Technology, and Society doctoral program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research weaves histories of postcolonial Europe, race and migration, and media technologies together. He studies how “migrant” communities in Belgium create and mobilize visual and sound technologies to narrate histories of (post)colonialism and segregation in public and urban environments.

Jan Lambertz is a historian and editor at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Her recent publications include “Early Post-war Holocaust Knowledge and the Search for Europe’s Jews” (Patterns of Prejudice, 2019); “The Urn and the Swastika: Recording Death in the Nazi Concentration Camp System” (German History, 2020); “Going Underground: Burial, Restitution, and Jewish Space in Postwar Germany” (Medaon, 2021); and (coeditor) More than Parcels: Wartime Aid for Jews in Nazi-Era Camps and Ghettos (Wayne State University Press, 2022).

Charis Marantzidou is a Ph.D. Candidate in Modern European History at Columbia University. Her research centers on refugees from Russia and the Soviet Union in the Balkans and Eastern Europe during the first half of the twentieth century.

Nour A. Munawar is Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies. He holds a PhD Degree in archaeology & heritage studies from the University of Amsterdam UvA (Netherlands). Before joining the Doha Institute, he held a position at Brown University, USA, as a Postdoctoral Research Associate, and he also worked at UCL-Qatar in Education City, Doha, as Associate Research Fellow. Munawar participated in several archaeological excavations in Qatar, Syria, Poland, and Italy. Munawar has published several articles and book chapters in peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes in critical heritage studies and archaeology. Munawar is a UNESCO expert on the Emergency Safeguarding of the Syrian Cultural Heritage project and member of several international organizations, such as the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA) and the Association of Critical Heritage Studies (ACSH).

Martin Nekola, Ph.D. received his doctorate in political science at the Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. His research is focused on non-democratic regimes, the era of Communism, Czech communities abroad and the East-European anti-communist exiles in the USA during the Cold War. From time to time he participates in the election observation missions organized by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). He is the member of the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES). He is the author of numerous articles and books and currently acts as coordinator for the Czechoslovak Talks Project (www.czechoslovaktalks.com/en).

Phi Nguyen is a PhD candidate in the joint program between the Lab of Urbanism, EDAR, EPFL, and the Department of Interior Architecture, HEAD-Genève. She holds a Master in Architecture from Harvard University, Graduate School of Design and a Bachelor of Arts (valedictorian, summa cum laude) from Berea College, USA. Phi is a fellow within the research project Site and Space in Southeast Asia, organized by the University of Sydney and supported by the Getty Foundation as part of its Connecting Art Histories Initiative (2018-2022). Together with an international team, she received the Graham Foundation grant to coordinate an exhibition at Museum of Fine Arts on Huế City’s local architectural heritage (2018-2019). Phi has experiences working in both art/ design practice. She co-founded research/ design studio atelier NgNg based in Saigon, Vietnam, whose works have been published internationally.

Benjamin Tromly teaches Russian, East European and Modern European history at University of Puget Sound. He is the author of Cold War Exiles and the CIA: Plotting to Free Russia (Oxford University Press, 2019) and Making the Soviet Intelligentsia: Universities and Intellectual Life under Stalin and Khrushchev (Cambridge University Press, 2014), as well as articles in Cold War History, Contemporary European History, Europe-Asia Studies, European History Quarterly, History and Memory, Intelligence & National Security, Journal of Cold War Studies, Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, Nationalities Papers: the Journal of Nationalism and Ethnicity, and Russian Review. He is working on a study of the Vlasov Movement in history and memory.

Ramon Wiederkehr is a doctoral student and assistant at the chair for Contemporary History at the University of Neuchâtel. He studied History and English Literature at the University of Bern and was a visiting student at Trinity College Dublin and the Humboldt University of Berlin. He is a member of the Conférence des Universités de Suisse occidentale (CUSO) and the transdisciplinary doctoral program “Migration and Postcoloniality Meet Switzerland” at the University of Fribourg. His doctoral thesis on Switzerland and the international refugee regime in the wake of the Second World War is supervised by Prof. Kristina Schulz in codirection with Prof. Till van Rahden.

Ani Yeremyan received her doctorate degree from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi in October 2022. She was granted a fellowship by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations to pursue both M.Phil and Ph.D. at JNU. Her thesis is on the Armenian Diasporic Community in India. Particularly, she worked on the complex diasporic identity through time and space. Yeremyan’s research interests are diaspora studies, diaspora identity, forced migration, and digital diasporas.

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