In this line of research, I'm interested in heritage practices developed by groups whose experiences have been overlooked and marginalised. My work focuses especially on the not-so-easily-pinned-down heritages of transnationally-mobile people.

In the societal outreach I do related to this theme, I focus on bringing together scholars, heritage practitioners, artists, and educators with the objective to creatively and collectively re-envision how mobile lives can be better integrated into the ways in which our histories are learned and incorporated  both in education and in everyday life.

See below for:

Current projects







Current projects


Roots Guide



Here's what I've been publishing in this research area...

Mehus, I., Eldalil, R., Wurpel, D., Ormond, M. & Kashash, H. (2022). Roots Guide: Nederland - Verbind je met mensen en plaatsen. [Roots Guide: The Netherlands - Connect with people and places.] Haarlem: Pocket Stories. ISBN: 978-90-9035371-5

Ontdek Nederland zoals nooit tevoren. Roots Guide nodigt je uit om uit je dagelijkse routines te stappen en in het hier en nu te leven. Ga mee op een interactieve en diep persoonlijke reis met deze vier stappen: Reflect, Connect, Explore, Share. Tijdens je reis word je vergezeld door inspirende gidsen van verschillende migratieachtergronden. Speciaal ontworpen vragen zullen je aanzetten tot reflectie en dialoog. Laat je meenemen op avontuur met spannende activiteiten en deel je nieuwe ervaringen met bekenden en onbekenden. Aan het einde van je Roots Guide reis zal je Nederland niet alleen anders zien, maar wil je misschien ook anders in Nederland zijn.

Ormond, M. & Vietti, F. (2021) 'Beyond multicultural "tolerance": guided tours and guidebooks as transformative tools for civic learning', Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 30(2-3), 533-559. 

In bringing people together that otherwise might have little more than passing contact with one another, tourism is appreciated for its potential to transform mindsets by fostering multi-perspectivity, a cornerstone of global citizenship education, among both ‘tourists’ and ‘locals’. Hence, while tourism plays a significant role in marginalising and exploiting immigrants’ bodies, labour and heritages, it also holds significant potential as a critical pedagogical tool for transcending the limits of multicultural tolerance discourse and combatting exploitation and xenophobia. In this article, we reflect on two Europe-based global citizenship-inspired initiatives bringing together migration and tourism in novel ways: Migrantour guided walking tours and the Roots Guide guidebook. They endeavour to rework guided tours and guidebooks, two of tourism’s most common pedagogical tools, into ‘good company’ that supports the Arendtian practice of ‘visiting’ as a key mode of civic learning. In so doing, we explore the representational and structural opportunities and challenges that these two initiatives encounter as they seek to co-create multi-dimensional narratives and routes in ways that recognise guides’ diverse experiences and perceptions of the places they call home, avoid stereotypical representations of ‘communities’ and hold space for the real-life frictions that accompany diversity.

Ormond, M. (2018) ‘Adoption, genealogical bewilderment and biological heritage bricolage’, in H. Muzaini and C. Minca (eds), After Heritage: Critical Geographies of Heritage-From-Below, London: Edward Elgar, pp. 148-168.

Closed adoptions – where birth and adoption records are legally sealed to obscure adoptees’ biological parentage – were once the norm in many western Anglophone countries. Grassroots resistance to closed adoption relied upon the belief that deprivation of knowledge of their true biological origins could lead to psychological trauma among adoptees. In this chapter, I reflect on my own mother’s sense of deprivation as a resullt of closed adoption, her desire for a coherent origin story and her consequent process of cobbling together disparate fragments of legally-, religiously-, scientifically-, commercially- and familiarly-authorised and -authorising heritages from among diverse analogue, digital and biotechnical resources rendered intelligible, relevant and truthful by societal and (bio)technological transformations over time. In so doing, I call attention to complicated power relations in everyday personal heritage practices that challenge the simplistic pitting of ‘heritage from below’ (Robertson 2012) against ‘Authorised Heritage Discourse’ (AHD) (Smith 2006).

Ormond, M. (2018) ‘Heritage from below’, Hiraeth Podcast, July, Amsterdam.

In the Hiraeth podcast episode, I address the concept of 'heritage from below'. I do this by discussing my own complicated sense of personal heritage, linked to my two passport countries (the U.S. and Portugal) as well as the Netherlands (my current home) and other countries that have touched my life. My identity has been shaped by both my own travels around the world and my family history, which includes my mother’s search for her birth parents on two continents

Ormond, M. (2018) 'Travel and hospitality as political acts', Pocket Stories, Haarlem, July.

What responsibility do we have to recognise and respect (seemingly) distant others? This is a personal story about the significance of both intra- and inter-national travel and migration in the ways I came to make sense of my relationship with the people and places of my youth in a small town in the United States.

Ormond, M. (2018) ‘This place, that place and the other’, Hiraeth Magazine, Amsterdam, July.

What conditions must be satisfied for someone able to claim a national identity? This is a personal story exploring my shifting relationship with my second passport country, Portugal, after I left the country. Do I still have the right to claim Portuguese-ness? Did I ever?

Ong, C.E., Ormond, M., and Sulianti, D. (2017) 'Performing "Chinese-ness" in Singkawang: Diasporic moorings, festivals and tourism', Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 58(1), 41-56. DOI: 10.1111/apv.12149

Through an examination of two festivals – Qing Ming and Cap Go Meh – in the town of Singkawang in Indonesian Borneo (Kalimantan), we show how Singkawang-bound Chinese Indonesian tourists and their Singkawang-based relatives produce a diasporic heritage network through ‘moorings’ generated by both transnational and internal migration. Instead of returning to a singular ‘homeland’ in distant China, these tourists return to Chinese-majority Singkawang as a result of their personal genealogical roots and of their broader cultural allegiance with a kind of Chinese-ness that Singkawang has come to represent within a post-Suharto Indonesia. Through these two festivals, we demonstrate how personal heritage practices like ‘roots tourism’ and visiting friends and relatives (VFR) are intimately bound up with identity and developmental politics at local, national and international scales. In so doing, we identify a range of ways in which migratory and tourism flows by Chinese Indonesian internal migrants shape relations to their ancestral hometowns and cultural ‘homelands’ in Indonesia within the context of membership to and participation in a broader transnational diaspora.

Fonseca, M.L. and Ormond, M. (2008) ‘Defining “family” and bringing it together: the ins and outs of family reunification in Portugal’, in R. Grillo (ed.), The Family in Question: Immigrants and Ethnic Minorities in Multicultural Europe, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, pp. 89-112.


Book abstract: The family lives of immigrants and ethnic minority populations have become central to arguments about the right and wrong ways of living in multicultural societies. While the characteristic cultural practices of such families have long been scrutinized by the media and policy makers, these groups themselves are beginning to reflect on how to manage their family relationships. Exploring case studies from Austria, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and Australia, The Family in Question explores how those in public policy often dangerously reflect the popular imagination, rather than recognizing the complex changes taking place within the global immigrant community.

Fonseca, M.L., Ormond, M., Malheiros, J.M., Patrício, M. and Martins, F. (2005) Reunificação familiar e imigração em Portugal [Family Reunification and Immigration in Portugal], Lisbon: ACIME.

'Reunificação familiar e imigração em Portugal' ('Family reunification and immigration in Portugal') provides a framework of the phenomenon of family reunification and the integration of immigrants in host societies, by examining the experiences of countries with a deeper tradition of immigration than Portugal, such as North-western European countries and the United States. It also comprises an overview of Portugal’s experience with immigration, based on information available from official statistical sources, an appendix with a comparative table that summarises selected European Union member-states’ national legislation on family reunification, as well as an analysis comparing the Portuguese legislation with the EU Directive relative to family reunification (Directive 2003/86/CE). Taking into account the general lack of data and the limitations of the data that does exist, a survey was performed on a sample of non-EU citizens living in Portugal representative of the largest immigration populations or of populations that, despite currently being small, have displayed significant growth potential. In order to evaluate the potential to receive immigrant families at the regional level, case studies were conducted in a variety of districts across the country based upon interviews and focus groups with immigrants, socio-cultural institutions, NGOs and other relevant local actors from both public and private sectors.

Ormond, M. (2002) ‘Mapping Minority Media: The National Context—Belgium’, Diasporic Minorities and their Media in the EU: A Mapping, Media@LSE, London School of Economics.


This report was part of the project led by Myria Georgiou (Media@LSE, London School of Economics) entitled 'Diasporic Minorities and their Media in the EU: A Mapping' completed in 2003.



Here's what I've been up to in this research area...

Migrantour Conference

Milan, 3-4 Dec. 2019

Presenter, discussing Roots Guide in relation to the Migrantour concept.

Association of European Migration Institutions Annual Conference

Antwerp, 2-5 Oct. 2019

Panellist, 'A Kaleidoscope of Stories. Families, Neighbourhoods, Churches, Trade Unions and Governments: Panel' session organised by Marijke van Faassen and Rik Hoekstra, Huygens Institute. See conference webpage

MeditHerity Summer School

Malta, 14-22 Sept. 2019

Lecturer teaching on 'Migration, heritage politics and the role of tourism' at the summer school organised by Francesco Vietti (University of Milan-Biccoca) and Rachel Radmili (University of Malta).

Roots Guide


Curator and core production team member for Roots Guide, a novel travel guidebook and travel diary that invites us to undertake both outer and inner journeys by revisiting what we think we know about life in the Netherlands starting at our very own doorsteps. This social inclusion and heritage education tool will be published in 2020.

Heritage-From-Below Education and Research Collective (HERC)


Coordinator of a network of scholars, heritage practitioners and artists focusing on 1) how, by whom and where novel heritage-from-below practices are being developed by and with groups whose heritages have been overlooked and marginalized, 2) developing collaboration among different actors interested in opening up the ways in which history and heritage are framed and learned, and 3) assessing the existence of, and opportunities for developing, history and geography curricula and lesson plans suited to primary and secondary schools in the Netherlands that gives students new perspectives on collective and personal heritage and their interconnections.

'The Value of Life: Measurement, Stakes, Implications’ International Conference

Wageningen, 28-30 Jun. 2017

Co-organiser with Karin Peters (Wageningen University) of the double session enttitled ‘Whose heritages matter? Re-imagining “Dutch-ness” through migration in and beyond the Netherlands’.

Expatriate Archive Centre


Board member of the Expatriate Archive Centre (EAC), which collects and preserves the life stories of expatriates worldwide for research. EAC promotes the study of expatriate life from a wide range of perspectives. Their definition of ‘expatriate’ is anyone who lives temporarily in a country other than their ‘home’ country.



There's so much great work being done out there. Here's what really inspires me these days.


The cities of the Migrantour network offer intercultural urban walks, a form of responsible tourism at kilometer zero, which sees as protagonists fellow citizens also coming from distant worlds.

MeLA European Museums in an Age of Migrations

MeLa was a four-year (2011-15) multidisciplinary and collaborative research project involving nine  European partners funded by the European Commission. Adopting the notion of “migration” as a paradigm of the contemporary global and multi-cultural world, MeLa investigated the role of museums in 21st century Europe, and their ongoing evolution triggered by accelerated mobility, fluid circulation of information, ideas and cultures, and the consequent increase of cultural encounters, cross-fertilisation and hybridisation of societies and identities, as well as by the politic, economic and cultural processes pertaining to the creation and consolidation of the European Union. By analysing contemporary museums both as cultural spaces and physical places, MeLa aimed at identifying innovative practices which may enhance their role in fostering mutual understanding, social cohesion, and a sharper awareness of an inclusive European identity.

Teaching Tolerance

Their mission is to help teachers and schools educate children and youth to be active participants in a diverse democracy. US-based Teaching Tolerance provides free resources to educators—teachers, administrators, counselors and other practitioners—who work with children from kindergarten through high school. Educators use our materials to supplement the curriculum, to inform their practices, and to create civil and inclusive school communities where children are respected, valued and welcome participants. Their program emphasizes social justice and anti-bias. The anti-bias approach encourages children and young people to challenge prejudice and learn how to be agents of change in their own lives. Their Social Justice Standards show how anti-bias education works through the four domains of identity, diversity, justice and action.


Related supervised thesis projects

Contact me at meghann.ormond [@] wur.nl if you're interested in being supervised on topics related to migrant heritage.

Here are some examples of thesis proejcts I've supervised in this area: