CALACS: 2021 CALACS Graduate Essay Prize

CALACS 2021 Graduate Essay Prize Winner


It is with great pleasure that the Canadian Association of Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CALACS) announces the recipient of the 2021 CALACS Graduate Essay Prize: Veronica Øverlid, for her original paper Mobility as Resistance or Resisting Mobility – the UN Response to “the Migrant Caravans” By focusing on the migrant caravans that took place from Central America to the United states, between 2018 and 2019, Veronica Overleid’s essay makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the role of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in supporting migrants but also limiting and re-directing their mobility. This detailed, well-documented, and exceptionally well-written analysis challenges the alleged apolitical and neutral position of these international agencies. By taking the caravaneros’ resistance as a starting point, the essay reveals the ways in which these agencies have redirected the Caravan’s mobility in a way that contradicted the Caravan’s own aims and converted migrants from active agents to passive subjects.

The CALACS Graduate Essay Prize aims to provide recognition to the most outstanding essay-length contribution by a graduate student conducting research on Latin America or the Caribbean to be presented at the annual CALACS Congress. The essays were adjudicated by a three-person jury, through a double-blind review process. The jury and CALACS would like to congratulate all nominees for the outstanding quality of their submission and thank them for participating in the competition.