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).
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.
If a LGBTI person can “stay in the closet” in the country of origin, should she then be denied asylum as a refugee? This is currently a thorny issue for several European countries, when facing asylum seekers who apply for protection on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. For this IMER seminar, Andrea Grønningsæter from the faculty of law at UiB will discuss how this is currently practiced in Norway.
Research has shown that that LGBTI people (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people) often face specific legal and procedural challenges when applying for refugee status. In a number of jurisdictions, including Norway, LGBTI asylum seekers have been denied refugee status with reference to the fact that they can abstain from behavior that may result in a risk of persecution. A gay person can live as a gay within the confines of the home, for example, but not on the streets – and may thus not be granted protection. It is then concluded that the requirement in refugee law of establishing a ‘well-founded fear’ of persecution is not fulfilled, because concealment will mean that the asylum seeker is not revealed to potential persecutors.
In 2012 the Norwegian Supreme Court considered the right to refugee status based on sexual orientation (Rt. 2012 s. 494). In the court’s decision it was stated that a gay person may not be required to hide their sexual orientation in the country of origin to avoid persecution. In cases where it is concluded that the asylum seeker will choose to conceal their sexual orientation, the court established a step-by-step approach for assessing whether the asylum seeker is entitled to refugee status.
For her PhD project, Grønningsæter looks at how the approach that was established by the Supreme Court in 2012 for assessing asylum cases based on sexual orientation or gender identity is interpreted by the courts and the immigration authorities. She explores how the courts and immigration authorities establish the asylum seeker’s reason for concealment, as well as how concepts such as ‘being open’ or ‘discreet’ about sexual orientation or gender identity is understood.
A light lunch will be served. Welcome!
Andrea Grønningsæter is a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Law, Bergen University.
In current debates about multicultural societies, ideas about active citizenship sometimes play a part. The increase of ethnic, cultural and religious diversity in Scandinavia has led to integration and naturalization policies that focus on social cohesion and stress the need for a shared set of values, identities and commitment to active participation in society. What kind of engagement is seen as good and legitimate, and what kinds of engagement are seen as illegitimate? For this IMER lunch seminar, Noor Jdid from PRIO and SKOK will present insights from her PhD project, which explores active citizenship in Norway and Denmark, among both minority and majority populations. She draws on ethnographic fieldwork in five different neighbourhoods in Oslo (Tøyen, Holmlia, Røa) and Copenhagen (Østerbro, Sydhavn), consisting of 69 life history interviews and 13 focus group discussions with residents of these neighbourhoods, as well as expert interviews and participatory observation. The analysis shows that the intersection of place, gender, class and ethnicity often shapes citizens’ understandings of their own civic engagement. When determining what ‘counts’ as a legitimate and valuable contribution to society, the research participants drew gendered and racialized discursive boundaries between the public and the private spheres.
Noor Jdid is a Doctoral Researcher at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) and Center for Women’s and Gender Research (SKOK). Her PhD is part of the larger SAMKUL-project “Active Citizenship in Religiously and Culturally Diverse Societies”.
‘Crimmigration’ has become a critical “catch all” concept for legal scholars, criminologists, and sociologists alike. The concept describes the way two previously separate state control spheres – border control and crime control – influence each other and are part of the same control mechanism experiences and developments. This concept, for example, helps understand Trump’s effort to legitimize the tightening of immigration policy. It refers to both the protection of American economy and jobs and the explicit intent to protect American citizens from terrorists, rapists, and gang members. For this IMER lunch seminar, Synnøve Jahnsen from Rokkansenteret will talk about the usefulness of crimmigration as a concept in other settings. She will draw on empirical examples from her research on prostitution and human trafficking, Norwegian labour market crime policies, and the policing of outlaw motorcycle clubs and youth gangs in Australia and Europe. She will also use the opportunity to promote her new co-edited book “Criminal Justice in the Era of Mass Mobility” and highlight some of the methodological challenges faced by researchers in her field.
A light lunch will be served. All welcome!
The question of migration is a multifaceted one. It impacts upon individual and social life long before a person’s departure or the crossing of borders. Tuning in with pre- and post-departure perspectives from the African-European border zone, this seminar will argue that migration cannot be understood if addressed as a series of events or movements in the here and now. On the contrary, it must be seen in relation to the experiences and ideas that predate and at the same time reach beyond the temporal settings in which they unfold. For this IMER seminar, Knut Graw from the Institute for Anthropological Research in Africa at the Kathlieke Universiteit Leuven will elaborate on this argument in relation to Senegal as a case study.
Knut Graw (PhD) works at the Institute for Anthropological Research in Africa (IARA) and the Interculturalism, Minorities and Migration Research Centre (IMMRC) of the University of Leuven and, as associated researcher, at Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO), Berlin. His current research focuses on the situation of Senegalese migrants in Southern Europe and the cultural dynamics and transfers in the African-European borderzone.