Watson Institute for Internation and Public Affairs
Brown International Advanced Research Institutes


Forced Population Displacements and the Making of the Modern World

Massive population displacement has long been an engine for the formation of the modern world as well as for producing modern knowledge regimes. The institute explores the historical roots of displacement from the colonial conquest of the Americas and the slave trade to industrialization and rise of nation states. It brings together scholars, practitioners, and activists working on present day displacements from the Syrian civil war to the Three Gorges Dam project in China. Participants will discuss the conceptual tools and forms of political and social mobilization shaping our understanding of and responses to the human and ecological dynamics of forced displacements.



Beshara Doumani is the Joukowsky Family Professor of Modern Middle East History and Director of Middle East Studies at Brown University. He works on the social, economic, and legal history of Eastern Mediterranean. 


Keisha-Khan Y. Perry is Associate Professor of Africana Studies and specializes in the critical study of race, gender, and politics in the Americas with a particular focus on black women's activism, urban geography and questions of citizenship, feminist theories, intellectual history and disciplinary formations, and the interrelationship between scholarship, pedagogy, and political engagement. She has conducted extensive research in Mexico, Jamaica, Belize, Brazil, Argentina, and the United States.