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How do immigration regimes produce a racialized local/immigrant dichotomy? How do deportations affect people’s lives? What are the ways in which people resist the machinations of racial politics? Can lived cultures of conviviality and cosmopolitanism be non-metropolitan and provincial? Join Ben Rogaly (University of Sussex), author of Stories from a migrant city: Living and working together in the shadow of Brexit and Luke de Noronha (University College London), author of Deporting Black Britons: Portraits of deportation to Jamaica, as they are joined in conversation with Javiela Evangelista (City Tech, CUNY) to discuss migration, deportations and everyday multi-culture in the UK and beyond.

Stories from a migrant city: Living and working together in the shadow of Brexit By Ben Rogaly

This book intervenes in the immigration debate, showing how moving away from a racialized local/ migrant dichotomy can help to unite people on the basis of their common humanity. Drawing on over one hundred stories and eight years of research in a provincial English city, Rogaly asks what that city (and indeed England as a whole) stands for in the Brexit era. Stories from the city’s homes and streets, and from its warehouse and food factory workplaces, challenge middle-class condescension towards working-class cultures. They also reveal a non-elite cosmopolitanism, which contrasts with the more familiar association of cosmopolitanism with elites. The book combines critique with resources for hope. It is aimed at general readers as well as students and lecturers in geography, sociology, migration studies and oral history.

Deporting Black Britons: Portraits of deportation to Jamaica By Luke de Noronha

In the last two decades, the UK has deported thousands of people to Jamaica. Many of these ‘deportees’ left the Caribbean as infants and grew up in the UK. Deporting Black Britons traces the life stories of four such men who have been exiled from their parents, partners, children and friends by deportation. It explores how ‘Black Britons’ survive once they are returned to Jamaica, and questions what their memories of poverty, racist policing and illegality reveal about contemporary Britain. Based on years of research with deported people and their families, Deporting Black Britons presents stories of survival and hardship in both the UK and Jamaica. These intimate portraits testify to the damage wrought by violent borders, opening up wider questions about racism, belonging and deservingness in anti-immigrant times.


Ben Rogaly is a Professor in the Geography Department at the University of Sussex (UK) and is a member of the Sussex Centre for Migration Research. His early research with seasonal migrant workers in India and his more recent work in the UK have contested standard terms of public and academic debates on migration, racialization and class. A practitioner of oral history, two of his books are based on long-term residential fieldwork in small English cities: Moving Histories of Class and Community: Identity Place and Belonging in Contemporary England (co-authored with Becky Taylor) (Palgrave, 2009) and Stories from a Migrant City: Living and Working Together in the Shadow of Brexit (Manchester University Press, 2020). With film-maker Jay Gearing, Ben co-produced Workers (2018, 42 mins); he is currently collaborating with Moushumi Bhowmik on the role of music in resistance, and its potential for building transnational solidarities in the face of resurgent racial nationalism.

Luke de Noronha is a Lecturer at the Sarah Parker Remond Centre for the Study of Racism and Racialisation, at UCL. He researches and writes on deportation, racism and immigration control. His first book, Deporting Black Britons: Portraits of Deportation to Jamaica, was published with Manchester University Press in September 2020. He was also one of the co-authors on recent book Empire’s Endgame: Racism and the British State (which came out with Pluto Press in February). He has also produced a podcast with deported people in Jamaica, Deportation Discs [soundcloud.com], a riff on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, in which deported people tell their stories via their life’s soundtrack.

Javiela Evangelista is an Assistant Professor in the African American Studies Department of the New York City College of Technology of CUNY. As a public anthropologist she engages in participatory research that counters inequalities, particularly at the intersections of citizenship and racialization in the Caribbean and the African Diaspora. Currently, she is developing her book manuscript, an ethnographic analysis of the largest case of mass statelessness in the western hemisphere, the contemporary denationalization of Dominicans of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic. This research has been supported by the Mahindra Center for the Humanities of Harvard University, Andrew Mellon Foundation, Social Science Research Council (SSRC), the Professional Staff Congress-CUNY Foundation and a Faculty Fellowship at the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics (CPCP).

This event is co-sponsored by The Center for Place, Culture and Politics, The Center for the Humanities, and the Department of Anthropology at the Graduate Center, CUNY; and the Sarah Parker Remond Centre for the Study of Racism and Racialisation at UCL. It is free and open to the public. For further details, queries may be directed to Mythri Prasad-Aleyamma ([email protected]).