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Postdoctoral Fellows

Our Migrations postdoctoral fellows build interdisciplinary conversations and collaborations around the study of migration.

Sabrina Axster

Sabrina Axster

Sabrina Axster holds a PhD in political science from Johns Hopkins University. Drawing from a wide-range of interdisciplinary literatures, Sabrina's research interrogates how the relationship between racism, capitalism, and colonialism shaped contemporary forms of border violence and the policing of racialized minorities in Western Europe and the United States. 

Sabrina's current book project examines how vagrancy and anti-Roma laws, the policing of seasonal agricultural laborers from Poland from the 1850s to 1918 alongside efforts to bring Chinese workers to the German colonies in the Pacific, the expansion of prisoner of war camps during World War I, and the targeting of Jewish migrants from Eastern Europe in the post-World War I era led to the making of Germany's contemporary border regime.

During her time at Cornell, she will study how the interplay of economic and nativist interests facilitate the rendering of migrants as excludable and exploitable other. Sabrina has also co-developed a broader research project that interrogates how capitalism relies on different forms of colonial violence. 

Former Postdocs: Where are they now?

  • Eleanor Paynter is a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Italian studies at Brown University, working on Africa-Europe mobilities, transnational Italy, and literatures and politics of migration. 
  • Ángel Escamilla Garcia is an assistant professor of sociology at Yale University. 
  • Grace (Kieu Trang) Tran is a UX researcher in industry.