“Canada as safe haven? Documenting two generations of US war resister migrations”
Guest Speaker: Alison Mountz, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Global Migration at the Balsillie School of International Affairs at Wilfrid Laurier University
This talk draws on oral histories with US war resisters who migrated to Canada during US-led wars in Vietnam and Iraq. Although these two generations entered distinct political and legal landscapes in Canada and faced different outcomes in their quest for protection, there are important parallels in their histories and in the social movements they forged. This research prompts timely questions about what kind of safe haven Canada has been historically and might continue to be for people migrating from the United States for political and legal security.
Alison Mountz is a geography professor and Canada Research Chair in Global Migration at the Balsillie School of International Affairs at Wilfrid Laurier University. Before moving to WLU, she spent eight years at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School for Citizenship and Public Affairs. She also spent two years at Harvard University’s Canada Program, most recently as the Mackenzie King Visiting Professor of Canadian Studies. Her work explores how people cross borders and access migration and asylum policies. Mountz’s recent scholarship examines detention and asylum-seeking on islands, and US war-resister migration histories in Canada. Her monograph, Seeking Asylum: Human Smuggling and Bureaucracy at the Border (U of Minnesota) was awarded the Meridian Book Prize from the Association of American Geographers. She has a new book out in 2018 – Boats, Borders, and Bases: Race, the Cold War, and the Rise of Migration Detention in the United States (U of California, with Jenna Loyd), and another forthcoming: The Enforcement Archipelago: Hidden Geographies and the Death of Asylum (U of Minnesota). Mountz directs WLU’s International Migration Research Centre, edits the journal Politics & Space, and is a member of the College of the Royal Society of Canada.