My research focuses on children in modern situations of war and displacement. My doctoral thesis was a transnational analysis of the resettlement of 1,115 Holocaust child-survivors from Europe to Canada. It retraced the trajectories of these young people and examined the discourses of the various actors (NGOs, immigration agents, health professionals) that participated in their resettlement. This resulted in a history that shed light on population management and migration control and took into consideration the voices of the young survivors. It has received four best doctoral dissertation awards from the Fondation Auschwitz (2018), the French Association of Canadian Studies (2018), the International Council for Canadian Studies (2019), and the Faculty of Humanities at the Université du Québec À Montréal (2019).
My doctoral research was the starting point of two fully funded two-year projects during which I further examined the history of migration control and tried to unravel refugees’ voices. The first was a comparative history of Jewish refugee activism in Britain and Canada in the 1940s and 1950s funded by the Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah in Paris. The second was an in-depth analysis (including the collection of twenty testimonies) of how Holocaust child-survivors narrate their post-war journeys. This project was funded by the Fondation Claude Levy in Strasbourg and resulted in a teaching toolkit for highschool students on Jewish children during the Holocaust.
My ongoing project aims at producing the first history of age assessment and migration control and providing historical context to current discussions surrounding the arrival of asylum-seeking youth in Europe. It brings together a history of expert knowledge (how assessment techniques were developed and implemented in migration control) and a history from below of how young people on the move experienced these assessments. I am developing this research in collaboration with the John Rylands Research Institute and the Centre for the History of Science Technology and Medicine in Manchester.