A Great Lakes Colleges Association initiative supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation


About the Project

MigrantStories is an ongoing digital humanities project that is dedicated to sharing the history of migration through the voices of migrants themselves. The local and global media too often characterize the plight of migrants and refugees through one of two tropes, as helpless victim or as a destabilizing danger. The media often speaks about migrants and refugees rather than with them. MigrantStories is dedicated to amplifying the voices of migrants and allowing them to narrate their own experiences. This is not only about equitable inclusion; focusing on these voices offers a wider array of evidence to challenge and nuance current dominant public perceptions of migrants and refugees.

MigrantStories is currently focused on conducting oral history interviews within Pittsburgh’s Somali-Bantu community. In the spring of 2019, students of Allegheny College’s 20 th century Migration and Refugees (HIST 358) conducted five oral history interviews within the Somali-Bantu community. This project is ongoing.

Written by

Brian JK Miller is the co-director of the Allegheny College Public Humanities Program and is an Assistant Professor in the History Department where he teaches classes on the interconnected histories of Europe and the Middle East. Miller’s teaching and research utilizes oral history to investigate and nuance socio-cultural changes within the nineteenth and twentieth-century world. Miller’s 2015 dissertation, Reshaping the Turkish Nation-State: The Turkish-German Guest Worker Program and Planned Development 1959-1985, utilizes oral history interviews that Miller conducted with returned Turkish migrants during a 2012-13 research trip to Turkey. Miller is currently developing a digital humanities project entitled that is dedicated to amplifying the voices of migrants so that they may narrate their own experiences.

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