Diana Thomaz is a PhD student at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, Wilfrid Laurier University. Diana researches injustices faced by ‘undesirable’ migrants and the often parallel injustices faced by certain groups of citizens. She seeks to understand better in what ways ‘migrant’ and ‘citizen’ are not necessarily starkly opposed categories and how political mobilizations by marginalized migrants and marginalized citizens challenge our conceptions of political belonging and agency. Her work explores not only how migration is governed but how migrants have resisted being governed, claimed rights, and questioned the limits imposed on their political subjectivity, and how they have done so alongside citizens facing similar oppressions. For her doctoral dissertation, Diana is researching how poor and racialized migrants and citizens are struggling for housing dignity in the global cities of São Paulo, Brazil and Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Diana holds a BA in International Relations from Fluminense Federal University, Brazil, and a MA in International Relations from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Her MA thesis investigated the way Haitian migrants in Brazil contested their depoliticizing portrayal as “victims of a natural disaster” and devised ways to escape a precarious shelter at the Amazonian border with Peru and Bolivia, where she did her fieldwork in 2014. Diana’s interest in the politics of migration is highly influenced by her experience as an eligibility assistant at Caritas Rio de Janeiro, a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees implementing partner in Brazil, where she volunteered for one year.