Odyssey: Abdelmalek Sayad Research Group is linked to the Department of Social Sciences at the State University of Montes Claros (Unimontes) and registered in the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq). It focuses on research on Abdelmalek Sayad’s thought through a genealogical approach. Our aim is to understand how his work and his key concepts of migration developed throughout his personal and research career. At the same time, we propose to reveal how his methodological approach, concepts and hypotheses can provide strong support to empirical research covering contemporary migration. In this sense, the research themes revolve around his writings based on research conducted in Algeria and France, as well as the intellectual debate established with academics, activists, writers and, especially with migrants and non-migrants in both countries. In other words, this research group proposes to explore what we understand as social study conducted in both colonial and neocolonial worlds, and the impact of modern capitalism on vulnerable populations. Thus, Odisseia seeks to fill gaps in the field of migration studies developed in Brazil: to expand understandings of the intellectual legacy by Abdelmalek Sayad; to stimulate debate around of his work among younger generations of researchers through academic production (scientific publications, seminars and featured, It also aims to establish dialogue with researchers of Sayad's thought in research centers in Brazil and around the world.
The group is interested in the following lines of research:
* Migration and Migrant Subject;
* Migration and State;
* Migration and Colonialism.
The name of the group is a reference to the fact that the author the Odyssey, which Abdelmalek Sayad, explored in his writings (1998; 2000). This well-known Greek epic poem, attributed to Homer (928 B.C. - 898 B.C.), tells the long and nonlinear return of the hero Odysseus to his homeland, Ithaca, during a ten-year long journey following the Battle of Troy. The strong Homeric influence appears in later works that likewise narrate epic journeys. We highlight Eneida, by Publio Virgilio (70 B.C. - 19 B.C.), and The Lusiads, by Luis Vaz de Camões (1524 - 1579/80). It is Interesting to note that, through Sayad and his totalizing reading of the migration phenomenon, the poem also gains presence in the Social Sciences. Homesickness, whose only remedy is the return home, and which Ulysses’s experienced on his journey back to Ithaca, was one of the ways found by Sayad to explore the journey of his interviewees, peasants stripped of their land, who migrated between the rural world of a newly independent, but not autonomous, Algeria, and the suburbs of French urban centers. This is, therefore, also the inspiration for our research group’s name.