Logo en Global Donate now


Actor Details


Print and save

Researcher / Research team

Sarah Zell


Sarah Zell is a PhD Candidate in Geography at the University of British Columbia. She studies transnational migration patterns and processes, with interests in citizenship, biopolitics, theories of the border and state, neoliberal governmentality, global ethnography, and feminist methodologies. Her Master’s research took her to Brazil, where she explored the intersections of social networks and state policies in Brazilian migration flows to the United States and Japan.

Her PhD project, under the supervision of Geraldine Pratt, explores the management of Mexican temporary migration to Canada, examining the role that third-party recruiters play in constituting, regulating, and enabling the mobility of foreign labour. She is interested in how states both externalize and withdraw their territorial borders, strategically expanding and contracting their sovereignty—and attendant jurisdictional and liberal-democratic obligations. Her work maps how everyday practices of gatekeeping in the recruitment of foreign workers (re)produce the borders of the state. Her work also explores ways of engaging in ethnographic methods and feminist approaches to embodiment to study global mobility.

Sarah earned her BA in English and Romance Languages at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her MA in Latin American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She has worked as a research consultant with governmental and nongovernmental agencies on issues including temporary labour migration, immigrant settlement and EAL services, and immigrant labour market integration. She is currently a Junior Researcher with Metropolis British Columbia, and has publications in both the academic and policy worlds.

At present, Sarah is conducting ethnographic fieldwork in British Columbia and Manitoba, Canada as well as Mexico City, and is currently based in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Policy commentaries: https://www.policyalternatives.ca/authors/sarah-zell





Economic sectors

Agriculture and horticulture workers, Occupations in services - Domestic work, Sales and service occupations - general, Trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations - general, Natural resources, agriculture and related production occupations - general, Labourers in food, beverage and associated products processing, Dancers, and Other

Target groups

(Im)migrants workers, Policymakers, Journalists, Public awareness, Employers, agencies and their representatives, Researchers, Unions, and NGOs/community groups/solidarity networks

Geographical focuses

Canada, Ontario, Alberta, México, Manitoba, Quebec, British Columbia, Other provinces, America - Central & Caribbeans, America - South, Federal, Guatemala, Jamaica, Honduras, Colombia, Equator, Other Caribbean States, Haiti, Cuba, Dominican Repulic, El Salvador, Nova Scotia, Peru, Regional relevance, Regional relevance, National relevance, and Belize

Spheres of activity

Geography, Law, and Political science