Fellow Highlight

Sarah C. Bishop
Tuesday, March 12, 2019

2018 AHDA fellow Sarah C. Bishop published a new book with Oxford University Press entitled “Undocumented Storytellers: Narrating the Immigrant Rights Movement”.

Undocumented Storytellers offers a critical exploration of the ways undocumented immigrants harness the power of storytelling to mitigate the fear and uncertainty of life without legal status and to advocate for immigration reform. Sarah C. Bishop draws from a mixed methodology of interviews with undocumented immigrants from eighteen unique nations of origin, critical-rhetorical ethnographies of immigrant rights events and protests, and narrative analysis of immigrant-produced digital media to chronicle the ways young activists uncover their lack of legal status experientially and make the decision to cultivate public voices. Providing an unparalleled view into the ways undocumented storytellers reframe their messages when stories have unintended consequences, Bishop offers broad insights into the role of strategic framing and autobiographical story-sharing in advocacy and social movements.


The book is accompanied by the following reviews:

“Sarah Bishop has given us an illuminating book about storytelling--as testimony, as evidence, and as method--and the undocumented storytellers who find identity and power in their narratives.” --Mae Ngai, Columbia University

"Undocumented Storytellers is an incredibly important scholarly work that offers an insightful and incisive analysis of the role of narrative in the contemporary undocumented immigrant rights movement. For anyone who wants to understand the complicated connections between stories and activism or the details about the narrative strategy in this vibrant movement, Undocumented Storytellers is a must-read.” --Karma R. Chávez, University of Texas, Austin

“In the remarkable narratives woven throughout this book, we witness people speaking as a way to gain voice, cope, and survive injustice and oppression. Readers of Undocumented Storytellers can respond to this era’s ‘alternative facts’ by learning how to listen so that we, too, can know ourselves and change the world for the better.” --Kent Ono, The University of Utah; Incoming President (2020), National Communication Association 

“With a keen sense of narrative detail, Sarah Bishop offers a powerful account of the lives of young immigrant activists. Undocumented Storytellers is a compelling contribution to the study of contemporary migration in the United States.” --Radha S. Hegde, New York University