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Katja Girr, M.A.

Doctoral Researcher

Katja Girr

University of Bonn
Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies
Niebuhrstraße 5
D-53113 Bonn
Phone: +49 (0) 228 / 180-599-31
intern: 0180 / 599-31


(In)voluntary Return Migration:
Ivorian Domestic Workers Coming Home from Northern Africa

My research interests are in international migration, North-South and South-South relations, dependency, (mental) health, geopolitics and borders, especially the European border regime, with a regional focus on Nord and West Africa.

My Ph.D. project, based on an empirical perspective, focuses on return migration of illegalized Ivorian migrants from Northern Africa back to the Ivory Coast since 2011. The aim is to find out more about South-South return migration in the context of EU border externalization politics thus enabling a look into the dynamic nature of migration occurring at Europe's fringes. The proposed project is cross-connected to Research Area C, D and E as it explores labor related dependencies (Research Area D) and South-South mobility (Research Area D) of Ivoirian domestic workers in the context of gender (Research Area E) and EU border externalisation politics (Research Area C).


  • 2019–2022         Ph.D. in Geography, University of Bonn, Germany
  • 2017–2018         M.A. in International Development Studies, University Grenoble Alps, France
  • 2015–2016         Erasmus scholarship, University Grenoble Alps, France
  • 2013–2017         B.A. in Human Geography, Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany

Academic Positions

  • 2019–present     Research Associate in Research Areas C Institutions, Norms and Practices,  D Labor and Spatiality and
                               E Gender and (Insectionality) University of Bonn, Germany
  • 2016                   Student Assistant for International Master Students at the Institute for Urbanism and Alpine Geography,
                               University Grenoble Alps, France
  • 2014–2017         Member of the Student Body of the Faculty "Geography/Earth Sciences" at Goethe University Frankfurt,

Selected Presentations

  • 'Where is happiness?' The Impact of Tunisian and European Migration Policy on Irregular Sub-Saharan Migrants' Mental Health. International conference "Well-Being in the North and South: Explorations, Contradictions, Power, and Practices." Institut d'études politiques, Bordeaux, October 22–25, 2019.
  • Migration Policy and Mental Health: Irregular Sub-Saharan Migrants 'stranded' in Post-revolutionary Tunisia. Master Thesis presentation at "Junger Kongress für Geographie", Kiel, September 26–28, 2019.
  • Recomposition Migratoire au Lendemain de la Révolution Tunisienne: L'étude de Cas des Employé(e)s de Maison Subsaharien(ne)s. Bachelor Thesis presentation at "Junger Kongress für Geographie", Tübingen, September 30–October 5, 2017.
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