01/23/2024 - FRANCESCA MELONI, PH.D. | Author of Ways of Belonging: Undocumented Youth in the Shadow of Illegality
The Immigration Initiative at Harvard (IIH) fosters a community of scholars engaged in the exchange of research, ideas, and practices related to serving immigrant origin children, adolescents, and young adults.
Our first special guest of the 2024 season, Francesca Meloni, is Assistant Professor of Social Justice in the School of Education, Communication & Society at King’s College London. Her research focuses on the impact of legal status on the experiences of belonging and access to social services.
Her talk, ‘Ways of Belonging: Undocumented Youth in the Shadow of Illegality,’ examines the experiences of belonging of undocumented young people who are made invisible and are excluded from K-12 schools in Montreal, Canada. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork and a participatory project on access to education, it asks questions about the “in-between” spaces inhabited by undocumented young people. How can we reconceptualize young people’s belonging beyond deficit assumptions? How are configurations of “illegality” experienced across different social spaces? And what is the role of ethnography in narrating the stories and the struggles of undocumented young people?