Class of 2022

Hometown: Ellicott City, MO

Majors: Political Science and International Comparative Studies

Mellon Project: Named, Contested, and Unprotected: Climate Migrants in Sudan

Weather- related displacement already represents a larger number of internally displaced people (IDPs) than those displaced by conflict and violence. Models estimate as few as 25 million and as many as one billion migrants in the next 50-100 years. Climate and environmental scientists have identified residents in the Horn of Africa, namely Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda, as particularly vulnerable to climate-change induced migration. Global discourse around the migration-environment nexus has long presented mass climate migration as a looming consequence due to climate change. Public and scholarly discourse have thus focused on the production of crisis, vulnerability, and “climate refugees” in this region and the consequent “threats” to Amero-European borders and other destination areas. Such security framings have resulted in political consequences around border policing, global climate change governance, and climate adaptation. What is concealed, obscured, or contested by global narratives on climate-induced migration (CIM) and climate refugee discourses? How do different labels for CIM (e.g. climate refugee, environmental migrant, environmental refugee) impact borders, community agency, security, and the protection of local livelihoods? My research uses critical discourse and narrative analytical approaches to review discourses relevant to climate migrants in Sudan as well as narratives from Sudanese climate migrants themselves. I argue that vulnerability is contingent on state power and dominant discourses. As such, for climate refugees in Sudan, projects of protection and adaptation on legal, familial, and governmental scales, produces varying results.


What is the best thing about your Mellon Mays experience?

The best thing about MMUF is the community! MMUF provides you with a group of supportive, innovative, and inspiring peer scholars as well as connects you with incredible faculty!