Histories of Refuge – An Introduction

By Marcia C. Schenck

Are you interested in the history of refuge seeking in Africa? Please check out the upcoming blog series on Histories of Refuge. This series looks at how people have migrated, sought refuge, and settled, in and out of Africa. It also examines issues such as who gets to be called a refugee, and why? We investigate historical and present-day examples from all over the continent. Recent contributions explore polish refuge seekers in British colonial Africa, white settler returnees to Portugal in 1975, dynamics of refuge-seeking in southern Mozambique between 1895 and the 1980s, West African Muslim Migration East between the late 1890s and early 1900s, the use of biometrics in tracking refugees in East Africa, and Africa’s 1969 refugee convention. The series is first published on Africa is a Country and is edited by Madina Thiam. It will include essays by Christoph Kalter, Lazlo Passemiers, Rose Jaji, Keren Weitzberg, Alfred Tembo, Jochen Lingelbach, Aderito Machava, Njung George, Anita Vukovic and Marcia C. Schenck. This initiative is a result of the Exploratory Workshop “Rethinking Refuge: Processes of Refuge Seeking”, which Marcia C. Schenck organized at the Forum Transregionale Studien in Berlin in June 2019.

You can find the first contribution to the series here.

© Georges Khalil


Marcia C. Schenck is a professor of Global History at Potsdam University. She is committed to the study of Africa and Africans as an integral part of writing global history. Her research interests include the history of migration and processes of refuge seeking, labor history, education history, oral and life history, African and global history and the history of international organizations. Her peer-reviewed articles have appeared in Africa, African Economic HistoryLabor HistoryStichprobenand Atelier.


Marcia C. Schenck, Histories of Refuge – An Introduction, in: TRAFO – Blog for Transregional Research, 26.04.2021, https://trafo.hypotheses.org/27308.


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