Displacements of Memory


  • Philip Marfleet University of East London




refugee experiences, refugee voices, national histories, refugee movements, exclusion, belonging, memory, nationalization


The experiences of refugees—their “voices” and memories—have routinely been excluded from the historical record. With rare exceptions, refugees are absent from mainstream history: although specific episodes of forced migration may be carefully recorded and even celebrated in national histories, most refugee movements are ignored and their participants silenced. This article examines the practice of exclusion and its implications for historical research and for the study of forced migration. It considers experiences of refugees from the early modern era until the twenty-first century, mobilizing examples from Europe, the Americas, and South Asia, and offering comparative observations. It examines relationships between forced migrants and institutions of the nation-state, and the meanings of exclusion within ideologies of national belonging. It considers remedial measures and their implications for current efforts to ensure refugee voices are heard and understood.


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How to Cite

Marfleet, P. (2016). Displacements of Memory. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 32(1), 7–17. https://doi.org/10.25071/1920-7336.40379

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