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Charles Carlo Handy


I am a Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholar currently pursuing a joint Ph.D. program in Sociology at McMaster University under the supervision of Dr. Vic Satzewich and in Geography at the CNRS Laboratoire Caribéen de Sciences SocialesUniversité des Antilles under the supervision of Dr. Cédric Audebert. My dissertation's tentative title is Black Refuge: Ethno-racialization, Nationalism, and the Sociopolitical Incorporation of Haitian Asylum Seekers in Canada, the United States, and France. 

My Ph.D. research project and my interest in international migration, geopolitics, and nationalism are inspired by my personal and professional experiences in Haiti, Venezuela, France, the U.S., and Canada. Indeed, after completing high school in Haiti, I moved to Venezuela to study and work as a Teacher of French as a Second Language. This experience sparked my curiosity about human mobility and the processes of immigrant incorporation and integration, which motivated me to undertake university studies to understand such phenomena.

I then moved to France to pursue two bachelor's degrees in sociology and psychology at the Université Lumière Lyon II. While studying there, I became involved in a number of organizations whose works focus on immigrant resettlement and integration in France. I completed three research internships and one research assistantship, while also participating in a socio-artistic project in the United Kingdom, a mission of international solidarity in Cameroon and an exploratory research trip in India.

These experiences allowed me to familiarize myself with research in the area of international migration, as well as immigrants' subjective experiences with the process of socio-economic and political incorporation in Europe in the period of migration and refugee 'crisis' in 2015. At the end of my undergraduate studies in France, I was selected and funded by the Regional Government Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes to pursue my first master's degree as an exchange student in sociology at York University in Canada for the academic year of 2016-2017.

At York, I became involved with the Centre for Research on Latin American and the Caribbean as a research associate, while also teaching French as a Second Language at l'Alliance Française de Toronto. These experiences motivated me to pursue a second master's degree in sociology, as well as a graduate diploma and summer course in migration and refugee studies at the Centre for Refugee Studies at York in 2017-2018. While doing so, I also worked as a research assistant for my master's supervisors Dr. Christopher Kyriakides (Canada Research Chair in Ethno-racialization, Citizenship, and Social Justice) and Dr. Luin Goldring (Citizenship and Employment Precarity) on migration and refugee issues. In addition, I pursued my passion for activism as the Vice-President Equity at York GSA and as a Chief Steward in York CUPE 3903.

This set of experiences allowed me to understand the lives of immigrants and international students in Canada at a moment where a record number of asylum seekers from the U.S. reached a peak and became a 'concern' for politicians and some segments of civil society in Canada. In the summer of 2017, as a great number of those asylum seekers were Haitians, I became interested, in my second master's degree, in how Haitians were perceived and represented by the government, civil society through the media, and community-based organizations. I made several voluntary trips to Montreal and Miami to seek to understand the background story of the Haitians that were fleeing the U.S., as well as the reasons why they were coming to Canada.

In the meantime, the number of Haitian asylum seekers also reached a peak in French Caribbean departments, such as French Guiana, Martinique, and Guadeloupe. I thus became interested in documenting and contrasting their experiences with the process of acquiring legal statuses as refugees in France and Canada. This motivated me to pursue my current joint Ph.D. degree in sociology and geography in order to understand the process of sociopolitical incorporation of Haitian asylum seekers in both countries. 

Click on this link for a description of my Ph.D. research project:



Teaching Assistant

SOCIOL 1Z03 - Introduction to Sociology, McMaster University, Fall 2018, Winter, Spring, and Fall 2019

SOCIOL 2ZO3E - Introduction to Sociological Research, McMaster University, Winter 2020

Educational Assistant - Collège Louis Jouvet, Villeurbanne, France, September 2015- July 2016

Part- and Full-time Teacher

FSL A1-C2 - French as a Second Language, Alliance Française de Toronto, ON, January - August 2017

FSL A1-C2 - French as a Second Language, Alliance Française de Caracas, Venezuela, July 2011- August 2013



Race, Ethnicity, and Migration (Comprehensive Exam successfully passed in June 2019 under the examination of Drs. Jeffrey Denis (Chair), Lisa Kaida and Vic Satzewich (members)

Political Sociology

Human Geography

Other Research Topic Interests: Transnationalism; Diaspora; Nationalism; Geopolitics; Social-Political Boundary; Public Policy; Social, Intercultural, and Clinical Psychology


Peer-referred Articles: 

Kyriakides, C., Taha, D., Charles, C. & Torres, R.  (June 2019). "Introduction: The Racialized Refugee Regime". Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees35(1), 3-7. Retrieved from

Charles, C. (2019, In progress). Black Asylum: The Interplay between Ethnoracialization and Nationalism in the Reception of Haitians in Canada. Journal of Racial and Ethnic studies. 

Cénat, J.M., Charles, C. & Kebedom, P. (2019, Submitted). "Multiple Traumas, Health Problems, and Resilience among Haitian Asylum Seekers in Canada's 2017 Migration Crisis: Psychopathology of the Crossing. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies

Charles, C. & Vic Satzewich (In progress). The World Refugee Year 1959 – 1960: How Civil Society’s Mobilization Pushed the Canadian State toward Deracialization. Journal of Historical Sociology. 

Special Issues:

Kyriakides, C., Taha, D., Charles, C. & Torres, R.  (June 2019). Guest Editors for the Special Issue "Racialized Refugee". Refuge: Canada's Journal on Refugees. It may be accessed here: 

Book Chapters:

Charles, C. & Juárez, AG. (2019, Submitted). « La Recién Dinámica de la Migración Haitiana en Venezuela ». (The Recent Dynamics of Haitian Migration in Venezuela). Chapter in the book “Las Migraciones Haitianas en América Latina: Qué recién dinámicas? Co-edited by Cédric Audebert (CNRS, France) and Handerson Joseph (UNIFAP, Brazil). 

News Media Articles:

Charles, C. (2019, February). "Québec Trump-like Immigration Policies contradict Canada's welcoming image", The Conversation Canada and National PostRetrievable from: and 

Charles, C. & Lavau, S. (2018, June). "Les Free-Speech Wars, de l'Intérieur", a written piece on Komokum Medium France. Retrievable from:

Charles, C. (2018, February). "Is the Petro the Outcome of a Bloody Pact with Evil Voodoo Spirits?", Caracas Chronicles. Retrievable from: 

Media Interviews:

Charles, C. (2017 - present ). I am a regular commentator of Canadian, U.S., and French immigration policies on “Causerie Matinale” by Jean Rood Paul, Radio Translation, Cap-Haitian, Haiti.  

Charles, C. (2017, October). I was an invited guest to analyze the impacts of the asylum application process on Haitian refugee claimants' mental health, on "Sante Mantal" by Michel Guesly, Radio Translation, Cap-Haitian, Haiti.  

Charles, C. (2016, July). I was invited as a Guest on the TV show 'L'invité" by Happi D. to discuss a French mission of international solidarity in Cameroon, AfricaTV24, Duala, Cameroon.

Charles, C. (2016, February). I was interviewed by Ali Zaidi for the socio-artistic project "Hyper Real Portraits of Gender". Ali Zaidi's Art, London, United Kingdom.  



Charles, C. (2019, June). "Venezuela: A Transit Space in the South-South Migration of Haitians" at the International Metropolis Conference, Ottawa, ON, Canada.   

Charles, C. & Vic Satzewich (2019, June). "The World Refugee Year 1959 – 1960: How Canada Moved toward the Deracialization of its Immigration System" at the International Metropolis Conference, Ottawa, ON, Canada. 

Charles, C. (2019, June). Chair of the sessions "Race and Ethnicity: Macrosociological Processes and Identity Formation" and "Pardon Me, That's My Seat: Navigating through Racialized Spaces" at the 2019 Canadian Sociological Association (CSA-SCS) Congress, University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, Canada. 

Charles, C. (2019, June). “What Can the Reception of Haitian Asylum Seekers Tell Us about Race and Ethnicity in Canada?" Paper presented at the 2019 Canadian Sociological Association (CSA-SCS) Congress, University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, Canada.

Charles, C. (2018, October). "Multiculturalisme et Interculturalisme: Comment traiter de la diversité", Guest Speaker at the University of Quebec at Outaouais (UQO), Gatineau, Canada .

Cénat, JM and Charles, C. (2018, October; 2019, June). « Vulnérabilités, traumas et résilience chez les réfugiés haïtiens en Amérique du Nord : Psychopathologie de la traversée et de l’habiter », co-presentation with Jude-Mary Cénat at the Conference : « Parcours de Résilience : accompagner les réfugiés suite aux traumas », Centre d’Expertise sur le bien-être et la santé physique des réfugiés et des demandeurs d’asile and SHERPA at McGill University, Montréal, Canada; International Metropolis Conference, Ottawa, Canada. 

Charles, C. (2018, July). “The Interplay between Nationalism and Racialization in the reception of Haitians in Canada”. The Research Committees session “Migration and Perceptions of Racism and Anti-Blackness at the XIX International Sociological Association World Congress of Sociology in Toronto, Canada.

Charles, C. (2018, June). “Culture, Identity and Belonging in the Haitian Transnational State” at the 43rd Annual Caribbean Studies Association Conference in La Havana, Cuba.

Charles, C. (2018, June). “The Homemaking Experiences of a Haitian International Student in Canada” at the 43rd Annual Caribbean Studies Association Conference in La Havana, Cuba.

Charles, C. (2018, April). “What are the repercussions of sending Haitians back to Haiti?” On the panel Neither Here nor There: Remittances, Revenues, Returns, at “Harvard Romance Languages and Literatures Graduate Conference 2018: “Can the Migrant Speak?” Harvard University. 

Charles, C. (2018, April). “The role of Anti-Blackness in the Perception of Haitians in Canada” in the panel on Ethnic Policies, Politics and Belonging at the 48th Annual Conference of the Urban Affairs Association in Toronto, Canada.

Charles, C. (2017, October). “Quelles Sont les Répercussions de l’Éminente Déportation des Haïtiens Bénéficiaires du TPS sur l’État Transnational Haïtien? »Invited Talk, Université Libre d’Haïti, Cap-Haitian, Haiti. 

Culture, Inequalities, and Social Inclusion across the Globe. (2017, August). I attended various thematic sessions on racialization, stigmatization and discrimination, transmigration experiences and race relations at the 112th American Sociological Association (ASA) Annual Meeting, Montreal, Canada.

Charles, C. (2017, March). “Haitian Transnationalism: A framework to analyze Cultural Politics of Belonging and National Identity in the Haitian Diaspora in Canada”. Paper presented at the Undergraduate Research Fair with a juried selection and at the Center for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean CERLAC, York University, Toronto, ON. 



Research Assistant - Black Refuge: Ethno-Racialization, Nationalism, and the Sociopolitical Incorporation of Haitians in Canada and France funded by France-Canada Research Fund (2019-2020) under the supervision of Dr. Vic Satzewich, Full Professor at McMaster University and Dr. Cédric Audebert, Senior Researcher at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in France.

Research Assistant - Citizenship and Employment Precarity, Principal Researchers: Dr. Luin Goldring, York University & Dr. Patricia Landolt, University of Toronto, July - August 2018

Research Assistant - Borders of Mass Destruction: Racialization, National Belonging, and 'the Refugee' Principal Researchers: Dr. Kyriakides, C., Canada Research Chair in Ethno-racialization, Citizenship and Social justice at York University, and & Dr. Torres, RD, Full Professor at the University of California, Irvine. September 2017- September 2018

Research Intern - 2018 Summer Course Centre for Refugee Studies,  Directors Dr. Jennifer Hyndman & Johanna Reynolds, 2018  

Research Intern - Espace Projets Interassociatifs, work with the director Olivier Aillaud for Dr. Muriel Bossuroy's course on Intercultural Psychology, January - May 2016  

Research Assistant - Organizational Psychology for LIP/PC2S Laboratory of l’Université Pierre-Mendès France, and worked with Dr. Robert NGuetsa, June-July 2015

Research Intern - Gérard Philippe Social Centre. work with the Department of Social Psychology at the Université Lumière Lyon II, Bron, France, January – May 2015



Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholarship (2019-2022), Montreal, QC 

The Barkley's of Avonmore Bursary (2019), School of Graduate Studies, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON

Graduate, Entrance and Recruitment Scholarships (2018-2022), School of Graduate Studies, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON 

Student Travel Grants (2018-2019), Canadian Sociological Association, Canadian Union of Public Employees, York's Faculty of Graduate Studies, York University Sociology Graduate Student Association and York University Graduate Student Association, ON

CUPE 3903 Summer Research Assistance (2018), York University, Toronto, ON

The Michel Baptista Essay Prize (2018), Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean, York University, Toronto, ON 

York University Graduate Fellowship - Master's International (2017-2018), Faculty of Graduate Studies, York University, Toronto, ON                                                                       

Outstanding Global Engagement Award (2017), York International, Toronto, ON                                                                                                                                                         

Best Student Paper Award (2017), York University Sociological Undergraduate Student Association Conference, Toronto, ON                                                                   

Multidisciplinary Research Award (2017), Université Libre d'Haïti, Cap-Haitian, Haiti

Best Presenter and Best Paper Award for Global Perspectives in International Education (2016), York University, Toronto, ON

Explo'Ra Sup Bursary (2016), Université Lumière Lyon II, Région Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Lyon, France.



Canadian Sociological Association
International Sociological Association
Caribbean Studies Association