Climate Refugee Stories: Building an Archive of Resilience

September 21, 2021 - 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM

Tina Shull
Assistant Professor of Post-1960 US History
UNC Charlotte

This workshop explores how the disciplines of History and Ethnic Studies can contribute to our understandings of climate change and migration through a discussion of the digital humanities project Climate Refugee Stories, directed by Dr. Shull. Climate Refugee Stories uplifts stories of people around the world who have been displaced directly or indirectly by impacts of climate change, and documents the ways communities are responding to compounding crises--including the COVID-19 pandemic. The project uses mixed methods of participatory action research, oral history, archiving, and co-curricular development to invite audiences to debate and define “climate refugees” for themselves in order to reveal the historical, political, economic, and environmental causes of global inequality and displacement, to recognize community resilience, and to provide tools for allying movements for social and environmental justice.  

Tina Shull is a public historian of race, immigration enforcement, and climate migration in the modern US and World. Her current book project explores the rise of migrant detention in the 1980s as a form counter-insurgency in Reagan's Cold War on immigrants. Shull has been awarded a Soros Justice Fellowship from the Open Society Foundations for her work in immigration detention storytelling, and a National Geographic Documenting Human Migrations education grant for directing the digital history project Climate Refugee Stories.