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Open Seminar at SKOK: Native/Immigrant/Refugee: Crossings and Divides

Open Seminar at SKOK

Native/Immigrant/Refugee: Crossings and Divides

Time: Wednesday and Thursday, 28th – 29th of August 2019

Place: SKOK, Parkveien 9

About the seminar

Refugees, immigrants, and indigenous peoples are typically constructed as separate categories within nation-states, and thus are studies in relation to white “natives”, but seldom in relation to one another. Immigrants, indigenous people and refugees are conventionally imagined as communities with little in common.

This seminar, jointly organized by SKOK and the Center for Race and Gender at UC Berkeley will tackle the question: how do these communities, and the fields of study focused on these communities, intersect? A key question for the seminar will be how these communities are imagined to diverge through conceptions of time and space, and how such imaginaries are gendered. The participants will explore convergence and divergence among these three populations with respect to legal status and the attendant social and material contexts as well as cultural/political discourses and cultural forms and practices, particularly the “ground up” imaginaries and practices of natives, immigrants, and refugees.

Programme:

28th of August

9:30 – 10.00 Welcome, about the project Christine M.Jacobsen and Leti Volpp

10.00 – 11.00 Leti Volpp, Native/Immigrant/Refugee: US Legal Imaginaries

11.00 – 12.00 Marry-Anne Karlsen, How Long Time is Enough? Irregularity, Time, and Belonging in Norway

12:00 – 13:00 Debarati Sanyal, Messengers from Melilla’s Border

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch

14:00 – 15:00 Kari Jegerstedt, Caught between Colonial Violence and Eco/Tourism: A Second Lool at Zakes Mda’s The Heart of Redness (2000)

15:00 – 16:00 Stine Bang Svensen, Remapping Land: Indigenous Lands, Colonization, and Migration

16:00 – 17:00 Common Discussion

29th of August

09.30 – 10:30 Kari Anne Drangsland, Troubling the Periodization of Waiting

10:30 – 11.30 Fantasia Painter, Crossing Paths in the Borderlands: Indigenous Life and US Militarization at US-Mexico Border

11:30 – 12:30 Astrid Dankertsen, Colonial Hauntings in the Sami/Norwegian inbetween Space

12:30 – 13:00 Common Discussion

For more info, please click here

BSRS 2019 Keynote: The Borders of Outreach: Do we need to reframe the Public Role of Academics?

Scholars are increasingly called upon to engage with and have an impact on the wider world. Yet reaching out is not always that simple, as Ruben Andersson has come to note in his research on migration, borders, and security. Indeed, these political fields are illustrative of a deeper problem of outreach faced by many academics today: which messages and audiences should we prioritise, and how may our findings and analyses translate into a crowded and fractured public debate?

In this talk, Ruben Andersson reflects on his own experience of crossing the borders between academia, policy, the media and advocacy, arguing for the need to take back control over the ways in which we engage. Instead of finding ourselves captured by more powerful interests, answering pre-set policy questions on a given problem, he puts focus on how we may help switch the parameters of debate – including by asking new questions altogether.

 

Ruben Andersson is an anthropologist and associate professor at the Department of International Development, University of Oxford. He has written extensively on the anthropology of borders, migration, and security, and is the author of Illegality (2014) and No Go World (2019).

 

The session will be moderated by associate professor Synnøve Bendixsen.

Time: Tuesday 18th of June 2019, 17.00 – 18.00

Place: Auditorium 4, Faculty of Law

IMER Lunch Seminar 23.05: Home Accommodation of Asylum Seekers in Finland: Solidarity and Resistance

In Finland, like in other European countries, civic mobilization for supporting migrants and defending the right to asylum have proliferated since the so-called asylum ‘crisis’. Since the autumn of 2015, home accommodation of asylum seekers has become a popular way to assist asylum seekers and express solidarity amongst Finnish people.

For this IMER lunch seminar, Paula Merikoski from the University of Helsinki, examines this form of hospitality as a way for people to contest tightening asylum policies. By drawing on interviews with hosts, she argues that this phenomenon blurs the boundaries between public and private, and consolidates the understanding of the private home as a political site. She will present findings focusing on what motivated people to open their homes, and show how hosting can be a politicising experience for hosts. By opening their doors to asylum seekers, citizens take part in the debate over who is welcome to the country. 

 

A light lunch will be served!

 

  Paula Merikoski is a PhD candidate in sociology at University of Helsinki. In her PhD project she is investigating the hospitable social movement of home accommodation of asylum seekers in Finland. Paula is part of the research project Struggles over Home and Citizenship. Neighborhood Solidarities as a response to Asylum ‘Crisis’ (University of Helsinki) and the NORDHOST research project (University of Oslo).

Time: Thursday 23rd of May 2019, 12.30 – 13.30

Place: Bergen Global CMI/UiB, Jekteviksbakken 31

 

IMER Seminar 15.05: The Design Politics of the Passport

In this seminar, Mahmoud Keshavarz will present his recently published book, The Design of the Passport: Materiality, Immobility and Dissent. It is an interdisciplinary study of the passport and practices as a means of uncovering the workings of what he calls ‘design politics’. It traces the histories, technologies, power relations and contestations around this small but powerful artefact to establish a framework for understanding how design is always enmeshed in the political and how politics can be understood in terms of material objects.

Combining design studies with critical border studies, alongside ethnographic work among undocumented migrants, border transgressors and passport forgers, this book shows how a world made and designed as open and hospitable to some is strictly enclosed, confined and demarcated for many others – and how those affected by such injustices dissent from the immobilities imposed on them through the same capacity of design and artifice.

 Mahmoud Keshavarz is a postdoctoral researcher at the Engaging Vulnerability Research Program, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology, Uppsala University. He is the co-founder of Decolonizing Design group and co-editor-in-chief of Design and Cultural Journal.

This seminar is organized by IMER in cooperation with the at the WAIT-project at the Centre for Women’s and Gender Research (SKOK).

Time: Wednesday 15th of May 2019, 10.00 – 11.30

Place: SKOK, Parkveien 9

IMER Lunch Seminar 11.04: NGOs in Refugee Camps: Accountability for Human Rights Violations

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!

 Marianne Nerland is a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Law, UiB

Time: Thursday 11th of April 2019, 12.30 – 13.30

Place: Bergen Global CMI/UiB, Jekteviksbakken 31

 

IMER Lunch Seminar 04.12: Refugees, Temporality, and the Public Refugee Service System

Refugees that are granted residency in Norway are temporarily immobilized in their new home municipalities through a combination of regulations. These regulations include the Introduction Act and the government’s policy of refugee dispersal. In what is to be their temporary community over a period usually lasting somewhere between 2-5 years, those settled undergo a process of (re-)qualification, or the introduction program, through which they are to be prepared for life in Norway. For this IMER lunch seminar, Gard Høibjerg from Inland University of Applied Sciences will present data gathered through seven months of ethnographic fieldwork in four rural municipalities. In his fieldwork, Gard followed the daily operations of refugee administration and adult education centers, interviewed the users of these services (i.e. people settled as refugees) and attended a series of meetings and activities organized by the volunteer sector. Based on this fieldwork, Gard will present findings from a paper that is currently under review named ‘We do not use freezers in Syria’: exploring the pursuit of belonging among refugees in a Norwegian village. Here, he offers a theoretical approach to better understand the process of refugee integration through a focus on the mundane activities of everyday life.

A light lunch will be served. All welcome!

 Gard Ringen Høibjerg is a PhD-candidate in public innovation at the Inland University of Applied Sciences in Lillehammer. His PhD project aims to analyze refugee integration in rural municipalities in Norway through a service perspective.

IMER Lunch Seminar 15.11: What does it mean to be an “active citizen” in Scandinavia?

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.

The seminar will take place at the seminar room, 2nd floor at Sampol.

A light lunch will be served. All welcome!

  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

IMER Lunch Seminar 20.09: Managing Diversity in the City

MER Bergen starts off our seminar series this fall with a local focus. The city of Bergen has become increasingly ethnically diverse. Refugees have settled here, and labor migrants have come here to seek work. How does this impact the city of Bergen? What are the benefits, and what are the challenges? How does the municipality of Bergen manage this increasing diversity?

In this presentation, Sølve Sætre from the municipality of Bergen will present how the city of Bergen attempts to approach diversity. For several years, Sætre has been the main responsible for developing diversity policy at the municipality. Among other things, he has initiated a dialogue project together with the mosques in Bergen, he has been working with issues related to Roma migrants, and written the plans for diversity and inclusion. How has this approach worked?

A lunch will be served at the seminar. Welcome!

Sølve Sætre is an advisor at the Municipality of Bergen, tasked with developing diversity policy. He has a master’s degree in Comparative Politics from UiB.

 

 

Lunch seminar 12.04: Diaspora mobilization – Syrian activism in the West

In recent years, a large number of Syrian refugees have settled in Europe. In the media, most of  the debate concerning these refugees has been about how they impact their host societies. But how does this large Syrian diaspora impact politics in Syria itself?

For this IMER lunch seminar, we will be joined by Amany Selim and Espen Stokke, PhD candidates at sociology and comparative politics at UiB. They both do research projects where they explore the engagement of Syrian diaspora activists, and how these activists try to make a difference in the homeland. With their work on the Syrian case, they are hoping to contribute to the growing body of literature that attempts to bridge social movement theory and diaspora politics.

In the presentation, Selim and Stokke will give a brief overview of the field: What do we know about the activism of the Syrian diaspora? They will also present their own projects, and what they wish to add to the field.

 

Place: Christies gate 17, seminar room 212 at the second floor of “Adm. org.”.  Time: 12.04, 12.30 to 14.00.

As usual, a light lunch will be served. All are welcome!

 

Epsen Stokke is a PhD candidate at the Department of Comparative Politics at UiB.

 

 

 

Amany Selim is a PhD candidate at the Department of Sociology at UiB.

Lunch seminar 20.02: Between a rock and a hard place – what happened to the Islamic Council of Norway?

It is time for another IMER lunch seminar. This time, it is about a recent event: The remarkable story about how the Islamic Council of Norway was torn into two, after 25 years of existence. Olav Elgvin will be giving a presentation based on recent fieldwork.

In Western Europe, representative Islamic councils have been seen as important policy instruments. By relying on dialogue with representative Islamic councils, it has been assumed that authorities and Muslim minority groups may be able to interact in a better way. But in most European countries, these councils have been highly unstable, with frequent conflicts and splits.

Why have these conflicts occurred? In his presentation, Elgvin will look in detail at the case of the Islamic Council of Norway. Between 1993 and 2017 it functioned as the umbrella organization for most of the mosques in Norway. It was unique in Western Europe in that close to all the mosques and the major Islamic organizations took part. It had maintained dialogue activities with various other life stance communities. It received funding from the state. It had built up a successful halal franchise.

In 2017, all of this changed. Several of the largest member mosques broke out. They lost the funding from the state. Their main partner in the halal franchise cut ties with them. Relations between authorities and Islamic organizations were thrown into disarray. How did all of this happen?

 

Place: Christies gate 17, the meeting room at the second floor of “Adm. org.”.  Time: 20.02, 12.30 to 14.00.

As usual, a light lunch will be served. All are welcome!

 

Olav Elgvin is a PhD candidate at the Department for Comparative Politics. He is also the coordinator of IMER.