Migration, Urban Cultures and the Arts (2020-2021)


Migration has always shaped the cultural fabric of urban centers, but exactly how, where, when and to what extent artists’ migration has affected creative expression on the urban level is still an open question. More research is needed to examine the relationship among migration, urban development and cultural production, and to map these cultural dynamics and developments across space and time.

Project Description

This project team will develop a data-driven study of migration and its relationship to arts and culture. Team members will engage with the ongoing research of a team of international collaborators and work with related primary sources to develop new datasets that will be used to investigate the the impact of migration on local visual cultures, as well as the social, political and regulatory reactions to these changes among immigrant and non-immigrant populations. Research will focus on historical cases throughout Europe.

This project builds on the work of the Duke Art, Law and Markets Initiative (DALMI).

Anticipated Outputs

Datasets; publicly accessible database; interactive website


Fall 2020 – Spring 2021

  • Fall 2020: Form working groups and delegate tasks; complete workshops on data collection, organization, cleaning and visualization; collect and analyze contextual and theoretical sources
  • Spring 2021: Complete data analysis and visualization; plan and complete workshops with guest speakers; organize and execute event showcasing research progress and outcomes


Image: Latvian National Library - Riga, by TeaMeister, licensed under CC BY 2.0


Team Leaders

  • Kaylee Alexander, Trinity - Art, Art History and Visual Studies-Ph.D. Student
  • Fiene Leunissen, Arts & Sciences-Art, Art History, and Visual Studies
  • Hans van Miegroet, Arts & Sciences-Art, Art History, and Visual Studies

/graduate Team Members

  • Romina Damini, MIDP 2 Year Masters
  • Yanping Ni, East Asian Studies-AM

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Ian Acriche
  • Yijin Chen
  • Charles Colasurdo
  • Elyse Demas
  • Grace Gao
  • Gautam Iyer
  • Hannah Long
  • Joshua O'Donovan
  • Elif Tunaboylu, Economics (BS), Psychology (AB2)
  • Jennie Ya-Ren Wang, Economics (BS)
  • Christina Zhang, Public Policy Studies (AB), Int Comparative Studies (AB2)

/yfaculty/staff Team Members

  • Felipe Alvarez de Toledo, Trinity - Art, Art History and Visual Studies-Ph.D. Student
  • Joel Herndon, Duke Libraries
  • Anne-Sophie Radermecker, Arts & Sciences-Art, Art History, and Visual Studies
  • Lee Sorensen, Duke Libraries

/zcommunity Team Members

  • Anna Ancane, Latvian Academy of the Arts
  • Stoyan Sgourev, ESSEC Business School
  • Filip Vermeylen, Erasmus Universiteit
  • Kathrin Wagner, Liverpool Hope University
  • Sabina de Cavi, Universidad de Cordoba
  • Sandra van Ginhoven, Getty Research Institute