A Bird's Eye View: More-Than-Human Migrations


  • Carol M. Lee University of Ottawa




With a focus on bird migrations, this essay seeks to understand Derrida’s (2000) concept of hospitality and its corollary, the relationship between guest and host, in the more-than-human world. The essay begins by considering the implications of migratory movement on the more-than-human “hosts” residing in both summer and winter habitats. It then considers how, depending on one’s perspective, migratory bird populations might be considered both guests and hosts simultaneously in/of two locals, and yet also foreigners as they move out, through, and into various territories. I use this three-part paradox to tease out subtle distinctions toward an understanding of hospitality in relation to both humans and more-than-human contexts. This essay also draws on key related concepts from Deleuze and Guattari (1987) and uses Barad’s (2007) diffractive methodology to understand the intersection of hospitality and migration in more-than-human and human landscapes.

Author Biography

Carol M. Lee, University of Ottawa

Carol Lee is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa, which is located on unceded Anishinaabe territory. Her Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and Ontario Graduate Scholarships (OGS ) funded doctoral research looks at collaborative youth story-making as an instrument of reconciliation. She is currently an Assistant  Editor with the Journal for the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies (JCACS).