Lessons from the past: framing post-war immigration in Germany by historical analogies
In many West European countries, the experience of mass immigration after 1945 was perceived as something basically new and unprecedented. In the lengthy process of coming to terms with the new situation and of developing a self-understanding as countries of immigration and of ethnic pluralism, historical arguments often played an important role. By placing present-day immigration into a historical perspective, by constructing narratives of continuity (and discontinuity) and not least by presenting persuasive historical analogies, historians (and others) introduced arguments that informed the debates of the day and allowed the experiences of immigration and multi-ethnicity to be integrated into (national) narratives of identity. The German case is particularly interesting in this respect, since a tradition of tolerance and successful integration had to be invented in spite of the fresh memories of the Nazi-past that were witness to the contrary.
Christhard Hoffmann (born 1952 in Luneburg, Germany) is a German historian and professor of modern European history at the University of Bergen. In the period 2007-2013 he was Head of the Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion.
Hoffmann defended in 1986 his doctoral dissertation on German Antiquity historians’ representation of Jews and Judaism in the 19th and 20th centuries  at the Technische Universität Berlin, where he also worked as a researcher for many years. From 1994 to 1998 he was a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and since 1998 he has worked at the University of Bergen.
Hoffmann has an extensive list of publications in the fields of German-Jewish history and cultural history, history of anti-Semitism and migration history.
Communicating Migration Seminar series
The IMER seminar series for 2014 will cover how migration and ethnic relations are communicated in every-day encounters, in mass and social media, in politics and in teaching at the universities. Has the way people talk about migration and migrants in different social contexts changed over time, and in which ways has it changed? How does migration theory and research fit in with other topics and theories in the social sciences, and how do results from migration research inform public debate and policy development?
Communicating migration will be discussed from various angles in our seminar series on international migration and ethnic relations during spring and autumn 2014. We welcome papers that touch upon this broad theme from different angles. Historical analyses of change over time in regard to politics and public debate, research foci and disciplinary concerns are specifically welcomed.
COMMUNICATING MIGRATION SEMINARS: ESPEN HELGESEN – “Your dad is looking for you” – Children’s perspectives on state intervention in immigrant families in Norway
Several recent international news stories have described state-initiated forced separation of children and parents in Norway, illustrating how local decisions in the Child Welfare Service can have widespread ramifications outside the families involved. In this paper I draw on ethnographic fieldwork among immigrant families in Kristiansand, Norway, to show how a group of children responded when one of their friends suddenly disappeared. The secrecy surrounding the inner workings of the Child Welfare Service led the children to frame the incident as a “kidnapping”, and several children expressed fear that they, too, would be separated from their families. Frustrated with the lack of an explanation of what had happened to their friend, the children turned to online worlds, where they could express their fears and concerns by sharing artwork with friends outside the adult gaze.
Espen Helgesen is a PhD candidate at the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Bergen, currently finishing his thesis on technology-mediated sociality and self-formation among children of immigrants in Norway.
Communicating Migration Seminar Series IMER Bergen spring and autumn 2014
The IMER seminar series for 2014 will cover how migration and ethnic relations are communicated in every-day encounters, in mass and social media, in politics and in teaching at the universities. Has the way people talk about migration and migrants in different social contexts changed over time, and in which ways has it changed? How does migration theory and research fit in with other topics and theories in the social sciences, and how do results from migration research inform public debate and policy development? Communicating migration will be discussed from various angles in our seminar series on international migration and ethnic relations during spring and autumn 2014. We welcome papers that touch upon this broad theme from different angles. Historical analyses of change over time in regard to politics and public debate, research foci and disciplinary concerns are specifically welcomed. The seminar series will end with a two-day conference in October/November 2014.
Nando Sigona – The politics of refugee voices: representations, narratives and memories
This paper reflects on existing debates surrounding the politics of ‘refugee voices’ by examining the relationship between representations, narratives, and memories of refugees’ experiences. Drawing on literature framed by post-structuralist and critical theories, the chapter problematizes assumptions regarding the existence of ‘a refugee voice’ on the one hand, and the extent to which academic and policy discourses often fail to listen to or to hear such voices on the other. It does so by identifying different configurations of the production and consumption of emic narratives of forced migration and displacement (that is, produced by forced migrants themselves), exploring the factors shaping these narratives and the embedded power relations that permeate them. In particular, the paper explores the practices and spaces which refugees enact and embody to contest the processes which lead to the silencing and marginalization of their narratives and experiences. To do so, the chapter is divided in three main sections which in turn address different yet interlinked manifestations of the ‘refugee voice’.
Nando Sigona is a lecturer and Birmingham Fellow at the University of Birmingham. He is also Research Associate at the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) and Refugee Studies Centre, both at the University of Oxford. His research interests include: statelessness, diasporas and the state; Romani politics and anti-Gypsyism; ‘illegality’ and the everyday experiences of undocumented migrant children and young people; and governance and governmentality of forced migration in the EU.
His work has appeared in a range of international academic journals, including Sociology, Social Anthropology, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Identities and Ethnic and Racial Studies. He is one of the editors of the Oxford Handbook on Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (Oxford University Press 2014), Associate Editor of Migration Studies, a refereed journal by Oxford University Press, and co-author of Sans Papiers. The social and economic lives of undocumented migrants (Pluto Press, 2014).
Elaine Chase and Jenny Allsopp: The ‘tactics’ of time and status: Young people subject to immigration control making the transition to ‘adulthood’ in the UK
Young people who arrive in the UK from outside Europe without a parent or legal guardian are institutionally categorised according to a range of possible legal statuses and usually afforded time-limited Leave to Remain in the UK. These categorisations are associated with specific welfare entitlements which tend to diminish over time and become particularly uncertain as young people transition into ‘adulthood’. Situated within a broader research programme examining the link between migration, ‘wellbeing’ and ‘futures’, this paper examines the multiple transitions imposed on young people subject to immigration control as they approach the age of 18 and beyond, (from child to ‘adult’, from being accorded a temporary residence permit to more permanent leave to remain or from legality to ‘illegality’) and the implications for their access to various dimensions of welfare provision. The paper shows how different components of the ‘state’ have time limitations at their disposal to control access to welfare and state support according to chronological age. From young people’s perspectives, such ‘tactics’ fundamentally control their trajectories and future prospects unless they can formulate strategies of their own to counter such tactics.
Read more about Elaine Chase here
Read more about Jenny Allsopp here
Rolf Halse: Muslim characters in the television serial 24
The presentation will centre on my PhD thesis – a thesis that I according to plans will defend 7 November this year at the University of Bergen. The thesis presents an examination of the US television serial 24’s representation of Muslim characters, and it explores to what extent the perception of these characters can be determined by the cultural and ethnic belonging of the audience. The main reason for choosing to study 24 exclusively is that after 9/11 the serial played a central role in the public debate about whether Muslims are being stereotyped in US television entertainment. Hence, I will discuss whether the critics of 24 have a valid point with regards to the show’s portrayal of negative stereotypes. I will also assess to what extent the serial’s effort to introduce Muslim counter-stereotypes proved to be an adequate response to the criticism.
Rolf Halse is a Ph.D. Candidate at the Department of Information Science and Media Studies, at the University of Bergen. His research interests lie in popular culture, media audiences and the politics of representation. Halse has published his work in renowned media studies journals such as Critical Studies in Television: the International Journal of TV Studies, Journal of Arab and Muslim Media Research and Nordicom Review.
Contact: Rolf Halse, Department of Information Science and Media Studies, University of Bergen, Box 7802, 5020, Bergen, Norway. E-mail: email@example.com
The conference is open: No registration
The IMER seminar series for 2014 have covered how migration and ethnic relations are communicated in every-day encounters, in mass and social media, in art, in politics and in research and teaching at the universities. Has the way people talk about migration and migrants in different social contexts changed over time, and in which ways has it changed?
How does migration theory and research relate to other topics and theories in the social sciences, and how do results from migration research inform public debate and policy development? What are the challenges we encounter in communicating migration?
Thursday October 23. 2014
Lauritz Meltzers hus Fosswinkelsgate 6, 9. floor. (in English)
10.00 : Teaching race, Racism and Ethnicity: Education, politics and practice John Solomos
11.00: Studying race and discrimination in a colorblind society: the case of France Patrick Simon
13.00: Migration and Integration in Norwegian Sociology Mette Andersson
13.30: Distinction Home and Abroad in Migration Research Tor Aase
14.00: Migration and Social Theory Randi Gressgård
14.30: Migration in Literature Studies Lene Johannessen
15.00:Migration in Political Science Hakan G. Sicakkan
15.30: Concluding Discussion
Friday October 24. 2014
Literature house Bergen, Østre skostredet 5, 2nd floor (in Norwegian)
10:00 – 10:15 Velkommen IMER leader Synnøve Bendixsen
10:15 – 10:40 IMDI: Fakta om innvandring til Norge v/ regionsdirektør Bente Blytt
10:45 – 12:00 Norsk-svensk innvandringskrangel– hva handlet den om, og hvor står debatten i dag? v/ Tidl. Statssekretær Ketil Rakes (N) og forfatter Henrik Arnstad (S)
12:00 – 13:00 Pause
13:00 – Å kommunisere migrasjon gjennom film og kunst. Diskusjon med kunstnerne Thomas Østbye og Shwan Dler Qaradaki sammen med antropolog Marry-Anne Karlsen.
14.00 Utstilling og film: Imaging Immanuel (2011. Regissør: Thomas Østbye. 52 min)
IMER Bergen, International Migration and Ethnic Relations, is a multidisciplinary research unit at Uni Research Rokkansenteret and the University of Bergen. The aim of IMER Bergen is to contribute to research-based knowledge about international migration, not least related to European countries, including the consequences of immigration and emigration for societies. IMER Bergen started as a unit at the University of Bergen in 1996, and has since then been an important contributor, both nationally and internationally, to the migration research field. IMER is a prioritized research area at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Bergen.
A short introduction to the debate on Friday:
Om diskusjonene om migrasjon i kunst og film:
IMER Bergen har som en del av Communicating Migration konferansen invitert to kunstnere til å snakke om sitt arbeid. Begge kunstnerne jobber med migrasjon som tema og i samtalen vil vi ta opp spørsmål som: Hvordan kan migrasjon kommuniseres gjennom kunsten? Hva er forholdet mellom politikk og kunst? Er det likheter mellom kunst og samfunnsfagene? Hvilke dilemmaer star man ovenfor når man representerer andre mennesker gjennom kunst, og hvordan kan man løse slike dilemma. Kan kunsten gi mennesker en stemme?
I foredraget vil antropolog Mary-Anne Karlsen snakke med kunstnerne Thomas Østbye og Shwan Dler Qaradaki.
Thomas Østby, kjent for å ha laget den prisbelønte filmen Imaging Emanuel som vi vises etter samtalen. Østby har også en rekke andre arbeider som har fått anerkjennelse både nasjonalt og internasjonalt. Les mer: http://www.plymserafin.com
Shwan Dler Qaradaki levde i mange som papirløs i Norge selv. Dette har preget hans kunstneriske uttrykk der han er opptatt av tematikk som flukt, konflikt, identitet, tilhørighet og mangfold. Les mer: http://dlerqaradaki.tumblr.com/
Film: Imaging Emanuel
Emanuel har ukjent identitet og oppholder seg illegalt i Norge. Han kom til landet i 2003, men ønsker ikke å leve som illegal, og har forsøkt å få returnere til sitt hjemland uten hell. Han hevder å komme fra Liberia, men norske myndigheter hevder derimot at Emanuel kommer fra Ghana, og har tvangssendt ham dit to ganger. Hver gang har Ghana returnert ham til Norge med beskjed om at han ikke er Ghaneser. Emanuel er dermed dømt til et liv i limbo, uten oppholdstillatelse og rettigheter, men også uten utreisemulighet. Thomas Østbye tilnærmer seg Emanuel ved hjelp av en rekke forskjellige dokumentarsjangere, og de forskjellige avbildningene gir oss ulike inntrykk av den samme mannen. Hvem er Emanuel? Hva er identitet? Hvordan kan identitet avbildes? Hvem besitter sannheten?
Redigert av Christine Jacobsen, Synnøve Bendixsen, Karl Harald Søvig
Med en unik kombinasjon av juridisk og antropologisk blikk, går boken regelverket nærmere i sømmene, drøfter gatebyråkraters utfordringer og hverdagslivet til irregulære migranter og deres barn.
Hvilke regelverk får konsekvenser for irregulære migranters levevilkår? Hvordan blir dette regelverket forstått og etterfulgt av gatebyråkrater? Og hvordan blir hverdagslivet til irregulære migranter og deres barn påvirket av regelverket og dets fortolkning?
Denne boken er aktuell for velferdsprofesjoner som møter irregulære migranter som en del av sin yrkesutøvelse. Både leger, sykepleiere, helsesekretærer, lærere, helsesøstre, skolerådgivere, sosialarbeidere, sosionomer og barnevernspedagoger vil ha god nytte av Eksepsjonell velferd? Irregulære migranter i det norske velferdssamfunnet. Boken retter seg også mot frivillige organisasjoner som jobber med ulike aspekter ved migranters situasjon i Norge og andre som er engasjert i temaet.
Susanne Wessendorf: Pioneer migrants in a super-diverse context
Urban areas in Europe and beyond have seen significant changes in patterns of immigration, leading to profound diversification. This diversification is characterized by the multiplication of people of different national origins, but also differentiations regarding migration histories, religions, educational backgrounds, legal statuses and socio-economic backgrounds. This ‘diversification of diversity’ is now commonly described as ‘super-diversity’. Despite an increasing number of studies looking at how people live together in such super-diverse contexts, little is known about new patterns of immigration into such contexts. What are the newly emerging countries of origin which add to the diversification of already super-diverse areas? Where do recent migrants from unusual source countries, who cannot draw on already existing migrant or ethnic ‘communities’, find support? And what kinds of social networks do they form? This paper discusses pathways of settlement among recently arrived migrants from non-traditional countries of origin in the London Borough of Hackney. Drawing on earlier migration literature and the notion of ‘pioneer migration’, the paper addresses the challenges of analysing increasingly fragmented migration stories and pathways of settlement in super-diverse contexts.
Thomas Hylland Eriksen: The tension between superdiversity and cultural reproduction
From a bird’s eye perspective, Alna borough in eastern Oslo definitely looks superdiverse. Scores of languages are spoken in its population of 40,000, and its inhabitants come from about as many countries. Yet at the local level, social and cultural reproduction takes place to a great extent at the ethnic or community level. As one of our informants says, ‘I sometimes feel as though I am in Pakistan’. Had it not been for the strong presence of the Norwegian state, the suburb would have resembled the plural societies described in the mid-20th century by Furnivall and Smith, where ethnic groups, like pearls on a necklace, lead parallel lives but meet in the marketplace. How comprehensive is the influence of the state; in what ways does diversity in public affect the private sphere, and what are the main elements in the cultural reproduction of minority groups?
Kicking off a new semester with IMER lunch seminars, our first seminar this year is building on exciting fieldwork from Bergen. Hilde Danielsen from Uni Research Rokkansenteret is giving a presentation about the symbolic value of birthday parties in contemporary Norway.
Danielsen argues that birthday celebrations have become more than a private family matter, and are increasingly seen as a socially charged question in Norwegian society. Many parents with and without migration background, as well as teachers and other actors, claim that birthday parties have the potential to create social inclusion. They are especially concerned that children with migrant background should celebrate and attend. Celebrating birthdays has seemingly become one of the litmus tests of whether an immigrant individual or an immigrant group is integrated into Norwegian society.
Note the place: Lauritz Meltzers hus (SV-bygget), room 212.
As usual, a light lunch will be served. All are welcome!
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) work closely with refugees by providing services and assistance. However, refugees might also be subjected to misconduct by NGOs. In such a scenario, how can NGOs be held accountable for wrongful acts?
For this IMER lunch seminar, Marianne Nerland from the Faculty of Law at UiB will present preliminary findings from her PhD project which explores recourses available to refugees seeking justice against NGOs. By drawing on interviews conducted with refugees as well as aid workers in Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, Marianne will argue that there are serious legal obstacles that refugees face when wanting to file complaints against NGOs. This case highlights the need for an enhanced structure for NGO accountability in refugee camps.
A light lunch will be served! All welcome!