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Displacement Studies

A refugee holds a suitcase aloft as she walks along a road

Displacement studies is an emerging interdisciplinary field that examines processes of displacement and the structural systems that contribute to forced relocation. The field intersects with refugee and migration studies.

Displacement studies focuses on the ways in which humans experience processes of displacement, whether due to natural disaster, climate change, government-induced development, civil unrest, or eminent domain. The field also examines how these experiences are addressed — or not — in laws, policies, technologies, housing, and historical narratives about displacement. Finally, the field explores the intersections among related issues such as human rights, citizenship, statelessness, sovereignty, (national) security, housing, social services, and community health.

The Virginia Tech Center for Refugee, Migrant, and Displacement Studies places attention on broader infrastructures of power to examine displacement issues that require interdisciplinary approaches, including humanistic approaches that examine representations of these issues and how displacement affects the human condition.