Date of Graduation

Spring 5-19-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Migration Studies


College of Arts and Sciences


Migration Studies

First Advisor

Susan Katz


Currently, an estimated 218,000 stateless persons are living in the United States. With no legal structure specifically addressing statelessness, stateless persons are left in a perpetual state of legal ambiguity. This project explores current research on statelessness in the United States, examines general awareness and attitudes towards the stateless population, and seeks to further understand how to increase empathy and engagement in the push for stateless rights. Guided by the lens of feminist political theory, I attempt to answer the following research question: Can autobiographical works of art be utilized as healing tools of empowerment and catalysts for political recognition and change for the stateless community in the United States? Beginning with a conceptual overview of statelessness and analysis of the current political positioning of stateless persons in the United States, I explore the use of autobiography as a scholarly resource and art as an educational tool to understand how each can be utilized to increase awareness of and willingness to engage in solidarity work for the stateless community. Through an analysis of quantitative survey data collected to develop measures of current awareness and attitudes towards statelessness along with qualitative data exploring the impact of art exhibitions, I present the design of a website intended to serve as a platform for education, engagement, and active solidarity with the stateless community. The website employs both information-based and art-based educational features, drawing on feminist political theory’s call for understanding power relations, the rejection of essentialism, the critique of theoretical exclusion, and the focus on individual experience. Throughout the life of the website, I hope to further understand the impact of autobiographical art-based education on raising awareness and willingness to engage in solidarity work for the stateless community.

Keywords: Statelessness, Relational Aesthetics