Migration Project: Engaging Migration in Europe

Under the auspices of a grant from the Jean Monnet Lifelong Learning Programme, sponsored by the EU Commission, the Center for European Studies and the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence will offer a series of academic and cultural events related to the topic of European migration during 2008-2009 academic year.

The project is entitled “Engaging Migration in Europe” (EMIE) and includes several interdisciplinary mini-workshops which will bring key international scholars, whose work focuses on specific topics related to EU migration, to the UF. In conjunction with the mini-workshops several cultural events are also scheduled, including public lectures, film screenings, and a photography exhibit. The overall objective of this initiative is to promote the development of new research and expand general awareness about issues related to EU and Trans-Atlantic migration.

You can check for scheduled events on the CES webpage. For further information, please contact the coordinators of the program:

  • Esther Romeyn (esromeyn@ufl.edu)
  • Maria Stoilkova (stoilkov@ufl.edu)

Esther Romeyn
Assistant Scholar

Esther Romeyn received her Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota. She taught in the Interdisciplinary Humanities Program at Arizona State University from 1998 until 2005. Her main interests lie in Ethnic Studies, Cultural Studies, Performance Studies, Jewish Studies, Urban Studies, and cross-cultural psychology.

Her publications are concerned specifically with immigrant acculturation as a process of cultural “translation” (or “mistranslation”); the performance of ethnic identity (in daily life, festivals, parades, and theater); and the shifting boundaries of “race” in American culture.

Maria Stoilkova
Assistant Professor

Maria Stoilkova holds a joint position with the Center for European Studies and the Department of Anthropology at UF. She earned her Ph.D. in Anthropology in 2004 from the University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Stoilkova specializes in international migration and transnationalism with an emphasis on Europe and Eastern Europe.

She is currently working on a book manuscript exploring social processes in post-communist Bulgaria and the impact of neoliberal policies on citizenship and mobility. At the center of her explorations is the experience of migrant Bulgarian professionals following the collapse of the Cold War system, both in the U.S. and at home. She joins us after completing a project this past two years with the World Bank in D.C. on migration management in the post-communist Eurasian region.

Dr. Stoilkova teaches courses on Transnationalism, International Migration and Human Trafficking, Gender and Migration, Anthropology of Europe, and Anthropology of Postsocialism.

2009

  • “Immigrant Cultural Production in Europe”
  • (October 9, 2009)
  • “Citizenship and Rights in Cosmopolitan Societies of Europe”
  • (March 26-28, 2009)
  • “Migration in the Neoliberal Age”
  • (January 30-31, 2009)

Immigrant Cultural Production in Europe

Overview

Immigrant cultural production, broadly construed as forms of creative expression produced by members of immigrant and/or subaltern groups, frequently thematizes the experience and affect of exile, uprootedness, and dislocation. In Europe and elsewhere, film, literature, poetry, music, art, and the performing arts serve as a medium for immigrants and “post” immigrants to respond to the ethnocentric homogeneity of host cultures, and articulate ethnic and diasporic identities.

This workshop engages the cultural politics of works produced from the viewpoint of “exiles” and “immigrants,” and seeks to respond to several general questions:

  • Do such works exemplify a different poetics and aesthetics, and if so, what are its defining features?
  • How do such works problematize the normative representation of immigrants in host cultures, which are typically structured around the tropes of the nomad, the laborer, the uprooted victim, the hybrid cosmopolite, and the (Muslim) transmigrant?
  • What are the politics of memory embedded in such works?
  • What are the effects of the reification of immigrant cultures, and the commercialization of immigrant cultural production?

Participants

Heather Bigley

Film Studies, UF

Angeline Escafre-Dublet

National Institute for Demographical Studies, Paris

Claudia Hoffmann

English and African Studies, UF

Christina Horvath

Department of French Studies, Oxford Brookes University

Robin Ostow

Centre for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, University of Toronto

Graziella Parati

Comparative Literature and Women’s and Gender Studies, Dartmouth College

Azade Seyhan

German and Comparative Literature, Bryn Mawr College

Carol Silverman

Anthropology, University of Oregon

Citizenship and Rights in Cosmopolitan Societies of Europe

Overview

Contemporary migration, in its tendency towards “multi-connectedness” and “flows,” challenges politics of sovereignty, citizenship, and culture, which have traditionally been defined within the context of the national unit. Globalization and the reshaping of Europe within the context of EU enlargement provide the broader context for this new topography of migration. These processes, in turn, have a profound impact on the historical connection of nationality, citizenship and rights.

To what extent does mobility entail a privation (or extension) of rights? What alternative conceptions of citizenship might accommodate the realities of mobility and transnationalism? Does European citizenship, as it is now being debated, present a viable alternative to prevailing concepts of citizenship? What are the effects of the interplay between security and citizenship as contemporary political concerns increasingly focus on borders, mobility and migration as “threats”.

Participants

Gerard Delanty

University of Sussex (UK)

Website: sussex.ac.uk/sociology/profile101974.html

Dr. Delanty is Professor of Sociology and Social & Political Thought, University of Sussex. In 2006 he was a visiting professor at Deakin University Melbourne and he previously held visiting professorships in Kyoto and Toronto.

He has written on various issues in social and political theory, European identity and the cultural and historical sociology of modernity. He is editor of the European Journal of Social Theory and author of ten books including Inventing Europe: Idea, Identity, Reality (Macmillan, 1995), Social Theory in a Changing World (Polity Press, 1999), Modernity and Postmodernity: Knowledge, Power, the Self (Sage, 2000), Citizenship in the Global Age (Open University Press, 2000), Community (Routledge 2003) and (with C. Rumford) Rethinking Europe: Social Theory and the Implications of Europeanization (Routledge 2005) and the Cosmopolitan Imagination (Cambridge University Press 2009). He has edited many volumes, including the Handbook of Contemporary European Social Theory (Routledge 2005), Europe and Asia Beyond East and West (Routledge, 2006) and (with Krishan Kumar) The Handbook of Nations and Nationalism (Sage 2006). He is the author of over one hundred research papers. Recent articles have appeared in the British Journal of Sociology, Comparative European Politics, Citizenship Studies, International Review of Sociology, International Sociology.

He participated as the UK research partner in a EU 5th Framework, “The European Dilemma: Institutional Patterns and Politics of ‘Racial’ Discrimination”. He is currently a research partner for a three year EC FW 7 project “Art Festivals and European Public Culture” and has recently supervised a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow on Varieties of Democracy and been a co-principal investigator in a EC funded project, titled the 5th EU Enlargement Impact Study.

Ivaylo Ditchev

Sofia University (Bulgaria)

Website: ivayloditchev.cult.bg

Dr. Ditchev is professor of cultural anthropology at Sofia University, Bulgaria. He taught at different French universities. His research is on the development of political cultures in the process of EU accession in Eastern Europe, the post-communist city, migration and citizenship. He writes columns for magazines in Bulgaria and Germany.

Abdoulaye Kane

University of Florida (US)

Dr. Kane received his Ph.D. in 2001 at the Amsterdam’s School for Social Sciences Research in the Netherlands. He is currently an assistant professor at the UF department of Anthropology and the Center for African Studies. His research focuses on the transnational migration of Haalpulaar, a Fulani group from the border area between Senegal, Mauritania and Mali. He has done extensive research on the transnational experiences and social organization of the Haalpulaar migrants in both Europe and the United States. In his research, he looks specifically at the flow of people, ideas, money and goods between Haalpulaar immigrant communities and their places of origin. His publications have examined the way Senegalese hometown and religiously based organizations are used as effective instruments to create a sense of home for migrants in host societies while also allowing the continuity of strong connections to their communities of origin.

Damani J. Partridge

University of Michigan (US)

Dr. Partridge is an assistant professor of sociocultural anthropology and African diasporic studies at the University of Michigan. He graduated from Amherst College with a B.A. in music and political science. After spending a year in Berlin as a Fulbright scholar, he then went on to study Anthropology at the University of California Berkeley. He has been at Michigan since 2003 where he has published and taught on questions of race, sexuality, citizenship, mobility, post-socialism, europeanization, consumption, power, and displacement. His articles appear in Zeitgeschichte and Cultural Anthropology among other publications. He is currently an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation visiting fellow at the Institute for European Ethnology at the Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany.

Esther Romeyn

University of Florida (US)

Dr. Romeyn received her Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota. She is currently Assistant Scholar at the Center for European Studies at the University of Florida. Her most recent publication is Street Scenes: Staging the Self in Immigrant New York, 1880-1924 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2008). Her current research focuses on immigration, diasporic identity, neoliberal capitalism and its effects on conceptions of subjectivity and the experience of intimacy.

Saskia Sassen

Columbia University (US)

Website: columbia.edu/~sjs2

“Neither National nor Global: Immigrant Spaces and Subjects”

Dr. Sassen is the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology and Member, The Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University. Her new books are Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages (Princeton University Press 2008) and A Sociology of Globalization (W.W. Norton 2007). Other recent books are the 3rd. fully updated Cities in a World Economy (Sage 2006), the edited Deciphering the Global (Routledge 2007), and the co-edited Digital Formations: New Architectures for Global Order (Princeton University Press 2005). She has just completed for UNESCO a five-year project on sustainable human settlement with a network of researchers and activists in over 30 countries; it is published as one of the volumes of the Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (Oxford, UK: EOLSS Publishers). The Global City came out in a new fully updated edition in 2001. Her books are translated into nineteen languages.

She serves on several editorial boards and is an advisor to several international bodies. She is a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the National Academy of Sciences Panel on Cities, and chaired the Information Technology and International Cooperation Committee of the Social Science Research Council (USA). She has written for The Guardian, The New York Times, Le Monde Diplomatique, the International Herald Tribune, Newsweek International, OpenDemocracy.net, Vanguardia, Clarin, the Financial Times, Huffington.com, among others.

Ermitte St. Jacques

University of Florida (US)

Ermitte St. Jacques is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Florida. Her dissertation examines the relationship between the socioeconomic mobility of Senegalese and Gambian immigrants in Spain and their engagement in transnational practices. She received a National Science Foundation Dissertation Grant to fund her dissertation research. After receiving her degree, Ermitte plans to continue research on transnational migration among West African immigrants in Spain with funding from a National Science Foundation Minority Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania.

Maria Stoilkova

University of Florida (US)

Dr. Stoilkova holds a joint position with the Center for European Studies and the Department of Anthropology at UF. She earned her Ph.D. in Anthropology in 2004 from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Stoilkova specializes in international migration and transnationalism with an emphasis on Europe and Eastern Europe. She is currently working on a book manuscript exploring social processes in post-communist Bulgaria and the impact of neoliberal policies on citizenship and mobility. She has also worked on projects with the World Bank in D.C. on migration management in the post-communist Eurasian region.

Anwen Tormey

University of Chicago (US)

Anwen Tormey is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Chicago (degree expected September 2009). Her work engages issues of asylum adjudication, law, immigration policy, political subjectivity, and citizenship in Ireland and the European Union.

Migration in the Neoliberal Age

Overview

The era of globalization has had a profound impact on the commodification of human labor and migration. An increased proportion of the world population has been assembled directly into capitalist labor markets and transnational labor regimes. This has resulted in new paths for migration and social mobility that now transcend nation-states, as well as new alignments of sovereign rule, market rationality and regimes of citizenship. How has this been experienced in Europe? How do contemporary welfare and labor regimes, claims on citizenship rights, immigration rules, interethnic and racial experiences inform the movement of people?

This event, hosted by the Center for European Studies, is part of a series of academic and cultural events this year focusing on a broad range of issues related to Migration in Europe.

Participants

Greg Feldman

University of British Columbia (Canada)

Email: gfel@interchange.ubc.ca

“Monitoring the Migrant: Transformations in Police and Military Surveillance in Today’s Neoliberal Economy”

Analyses of neoliberalism highlight the rise of self-governing subjects in response to the withdrawal of government bureaucracy and the liberalization of global markets. Critiques of circular and temporary migration well explain how this situation functions in an economic context. However, inextricably linked to market liberalization and economic migration is the astonishing rise of the police state and of international efforts to monitor and repel illegal migratory flows. This face of neoliberalism, also deeply concerned with the individual, shows how the “state” has refocused the definition of a security threat from the proverbial invading army to deviant individuals working nebulous international networks that lurk within the mass of today’s global travelers. This presentation examines how a mighty surveillance regime is growing out of the EU’s efforts to manage migration and how the policy officials involved in its production create new norms for the migrants and travelers who compose today’s political economy.

Gregory Feldman is Assistant Professor of International Migration at the University of British Columbia. His current research on migration management in the European Union is funded by Canada’s Social Science and Humanities Research Council. It is also the basis of a book manuscript in progress entitled Managing Migrants: Security and Labor in Age of European Demographic Decline (under contract, Stanford University Press). His previous research examined issues of nationalism and subjectivity in pre-EU Estonia’s ethnic integration policy. He co-founded the AAA’s Interest Group for the Anthropology of Public Policy and is a founding member of the Network of Concerned Anthropologists.

Cristiana Giordano

UC Davis (US)

Email: cristiana.giordano@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu or sbiricri@yahoo.com

“Therapeutic Encounters: Migrating Meanings and Practices in an Italian Ethno-psychiatric Clinic”

Recent scholarship and on-going public debate have called attention to the ways in which technologies of health and life have influenced the domain of medical and therapeutic intervention and practices of citizen-making. Clinical spaces and clinical encounters are often thresholds through which humans are interpolated as particular kinds of subjects and enter into multiple power-laden relationships with authorities, therapeutic technologies, institutions, and nation-states. In this paper, I focus on the encounter between patients and ethno-psychiatrists in the context of the Centro Frantz Fanon in Turin, Italy, a clinic that offers psychological support to migrants and to Italian social workers, religious people, and volunteers who work with them. Partly inscribed in a recent revival of clinical ethno-psychiatry in Europe, this clinic is a site where, through the incorporation of different etiologies of mental suffering and healing approaches, a strong counter-discourse to normative psychiatry is produced. I argue that along with a different clinical and therapeutic discourse, ethno-psychiatry also fosters what I call a form of “cultural citizenship.” By using culture as a therapeutic tool, ethno-psychiatrists encourage the reactivation of connections and forms of belonging with the migrant’s culture of departure as a condition for healing and for being able to adapt to the host society without abdicating one’s own difference. This paper reflects on ethno-psychiatry as both a therapeutic practice and a practice of making citizens.

Cristiana Giordano is currently a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Center for Reducing Health Disparities, UC Davis Medical School. Prior she help a postdoctoral position in Transcultural Psychiatry at McGill University (2007-2008). She has a Ph.D. in Anthropology from UC Berkeley, and her research interests encompass the anthropology of mental health (in particular Ethno-psychiatry), migration, citizenship, psychoanalysis, religion, and the new Europe.

Laurie McIntosh

Harvard University (US)

Email: mcintosh@fas.harvard.edu

“Race, Belonging and Blackness in Contemporary Norway”

The politics of integration have come to define contemporary European debates on citizenship, rights and the disconnects of globality. Norway – known for its high standard of living and generous social welfare programs, presumably in danger of being cut back in tandem with new immigration legislation – has only recently confronted increased non-European migration across its borders. This paper explores how African origin residents of Norway – a country hailed for its adherence to social democratic principles, and where concepts of equality, solidarity and decency are historically well established – apprehend these ethical standards and behaviours in the face of discourses of difference and multicultural anxieties: encounters which have come to disrupt an ostensible belief in the absolute “likeness” of every person, and amplify persistent contradictions to already ambiguous (self)understandings of the nation. How do people respond to racialized exclusion and challenges to their identities? How are they rearticulating moral vocabularies of belonging to generate new conceptualizations of participation, cultural practice and membership?

Laurie N. McIntosh is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University, and a graduate fellow of the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Her research explores the ethics and politics of “new” immigrant integration in Northern Europe – primarily in Scandinavia – the contested content of national identities, and the gendered, racialized and sexualized character of state initiatives to regulate the social lives of particular groups and persons.

Ayşe Parla

Sabancı University (Turkey)

Email: ayseparla@Sabancıuniv.edu

“The ‘Inclusive Exclusion’ of Turkish Immigrants from Bulgaria”

Since the 1990s, the Turkish state has enacted a series of visa regime changes concerning the Bulgarian Turkish labor migrants, who, according to the most recent modification, are allowed to reside at most for ninety days in Turkey within any six month period. This paper traces the fall from grace, as it were, of these “insider outsiders,” who, once granted citizenship as “ethnic kin” (soydaş), are now systemically rendered temporary in accordance with the needs of the labor market. I also argue, however, that the state continues to instrumentalize “ethnic kinship,” but in reconfigured fashion: by granting temporary residence permits in return for immigrant votes in the Bulgarian elections, the state both sustains immigrant irregularity and consolidates its transnational political interests. Finally, I explore how the immigrants themselves respond to these sovereign acts that arise out of the realigned relationship between state rule, market rationality and citizenship regime.

Ayşe Parla is currently Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Sabancı University, İstanbul. She received her B.A. from Harvard in 1995 and her Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from New York University in 2005. Her research interests include transnational processes and irregular migration; migration policies and governmentality; citizenship and belonging; postsocialism; Eastern Europe and Turkey.

Annie Phizacklea

University of Warwick (UK)

Email: Annie.Phizacklea@warwick.ac.uk

“Migration, Gender and Globalisation”

The paper considers whether conceptually we can move towards a model of migration that avoids casting migrant women as victims of globalizing forces without denying the impact of those same forces on the daily lives of the women in question. I’ll start by making some general observations about the relationship between globalization and migration, go on to consider some of the issues raised by the debate around global care chains and finally examine one instance of collective transformation made possible by the solidarity and determination of one group of migrant workers in the UK. The case study relates to the campaign forged by migrant domestic workers and their supporters to gain regularization of their visa status. Due to no fault of their own these women had joined the growing ranks of the undocumented on the transnational labor market, leaving them vulnerable to all kinds of abuse and living in the shadow of deportation.

Annie Phizacklea is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick, UK. Her research has concentrated on migration, globalisation and gender over the last 40 years, starting with collaborative work with Robert Miles (eg. Labour and Racism; 1980; White Man’s Country; 1983 and in that year editing the volume One Way Ticket, Migration and Female Labour). Subsequently she has examined the gendered aspects of migration in Unpacking the Fashion Industry, 1990 and Homeworking Women, 1995, more recent research has focused on the relationship between migration and globalisation (eg Transnationalism and the Politics of Belonging). Her current research aims to extend our understanding of the concept of global care chains and the presentation for the workshop will reflect this.

Monika Salzbrunn

Ecole des Hautes Etudes En Sciences Sociales (France)

Email: Monika.Salzbrunn@ehess.fr

“Place-based Belonging in a Neoliberal Age. How Migrants Create We-groups in Paris”

This paper gives an empirical example that addresses the mutually constituting dynamics between migration and the restructuring and marketing of a global city, Paris. I focus on festive events as platforms for the negotiation of the inclusion/exclusion of newcomers and the transformation processes experienced by both the migrants and the city as a result of migration. I use political and cultural events as the entry points to understand the different pathways of migrant urban incorporation in these places. This paper does not operate with an a priori-defined ethnic or religious groups as the units of analysis; there is no assumption that people who share a religious or national origin settle as a community. By linking the scholarships on rituals and events and on translocal social spaces to an analysis of subjective rescaling processes, the paper draws attention to the innovative methodological instruments of action theory. I demonstrate how through participation in political and cultural events in a city, migrants become actors in both the restructuring and rescaling of the place. Ethnic origin, which might be used as an initial resource within festive events, leads to the emergence of a place-based belonging facilitated not by cultural difference but by the efforts to restructure and market urban space.

Monika Salzbrunn (Dr. rer. soc./Docteur en Anthropologie) teaches Ethnology and Sociology at the EHESS Paris and is co-speaker of the sections “Migration” at the French Society for Sociology and “Urban Studies” at the International Association of French-Speaking Sociologists. She is currently leading the French Team in the European GEMMA project on policy-making, gender and migration (FP 7). Her main research areas are festive events, religious networks in Europe and the USA, and gender issues. Her latest co-edited book deals with “The Making of World Society. Perspectives from Transnational Research” (published by transcript/Transaction Publishers in 2008).

Paul Silverstein

Reed College (US)

Email: silversp@reed.edu

“The Diaspora and the Cemetery: Emigration and Social Transformation in a Moroccan Oasis Community”

Since the 1940s, the southeastern oases of Morocco have been a demographic pump, sending streams of labor migrants to northern cities and across the Mediterranean. This essay explores the history and social consequences of this emigration. It examines the close symbolic and material relations between physical and social mobility, as migrant remittances transform embedded hierarchies based on property ownership, irrigation rights, and economic independence. The paper situates these micro-level dynamics in the larger political tensions around clandestine emigration (harrag), Berber ethnic activism, tribal land rights, and racialized violence that have recently struck rural Morocco. In so doing, the paper re-visits the literature connecting emigration to social death.

Paul A. Silverstein is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Reed College and a 2008 Carnegie Scholar. He is author of Algeria in France: Transpolitics, Race, and Nation (Indiana, 2004), and co-editor (with Ussama Makdisi) of Memory and Violence in the Middle East and North Africa (Indiana, 2006). He has pursued ethnographic research on immigration and the Berber Cultural Movement in suburban Paris and southeastern Morocco.

 

2009

  • “Spiritualities in Circulation: Faith, Migration, and the Social Construction of the Global Islamic Ummah”
  • – Kristen R. Ghodsee
  • (October 15, 2009)
  • “Framing Europe: Location and Circulation in a Mediated World”
  • – Deniz Göktürk
  • (September 11, 2009)
  • “Neither National nor Global: Immigrant Spaces and Subjects”
  • – Saskia Sassen
  • (March 26, 2009)
  • “Islam and European Secularism”
  • – Jocelyne Cesari
  • (March 19, 2009)

Spiritualities in Circulation: Faith, Migration, and the Social Construction of the Global Islamic Ummah

Speaker: Kristen R. Ghodsee – Associate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies, Bowdoin College

After the collapse of communism in 1989 and the beginning of the Bosnian War shortly thereafter, international Islamic charities expanded their charitable work to include their long lost Muslim faithmates in the Balkans. When they arrived in Southeastern Europe, however, they were disheartened to find that local Muslims practiced a form of Islam that the foreigners considered “impure” and full of forbidden innovations. In addition to providing much needed humanitarian aid, many international Islamic organization and their local counterparts also attempted to facilitate a return to the “true” Islam among the Balkan Muslims. One of the core strategies of this purification process was to send young Muslims abroad to study Islam in Jordan, Kuwait or Saudi Arabia, and to provide employment opportunities for Balkan Muslims in Arab countries. Newly built mosques announced free Qur’an courses as well as job announcements for truck drivers in Saudi Arabia. These opportunities created new migratory networks between the Balkans and the Middle East. This presentation focuses on one small community in the Rhodope Mountains of Bulgaria. It explores how the increased global circulation of bodies concomitantly produces a circulation of new religious beliefs and practices, which can end up reshaping ethnic identities and national allegiances.

Bio

Kristen Ghodsee has her Ph.D. from the University of California – Berkeley and is an Associate Professor in Gender and Women’s Studies at Bowdoin College. She is the author of two books: The Red Riviera: Gender, Tourism and Postsocialism on the Black Sea (Duke University Press 2005) and Muslim Lives in Eastern Europe: Gender, Ethnicity and the Transformation of Islam in Postsocialist Bulgaria (Princeton University Press, 2009), and numerous articles on gender, postsocialism, civil society and Eastern Europe. She is the recipient of national fellowships from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Fulbright, the National Council on Eurasian and East European Research (NCEEER), the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) and the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). Ghodsee has also won residential research fellowships at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC, the Max Planck Institute in Rostock, Germany and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.

Framing Europe: Location and Circulation in a Mediated World

Speaker: Deniz Göktürk – University of California, Berkeley (German Department)

Can films convey knowledge about places that Google Maps do not provide? My paper poses the question how spectators construct a sense of locality in relation to world cinema, especially when it comes in digital format. I will discuss interrelated strategies of localization and delocalization with examples from films by traveling directors, primarily Fatih Akin’s The Edge of Heaven (2007). Cinema has become an important platform to imagine Europe as a transnational and multilingual space with shifting boundaries. The DVD presentation of such films offers extra features that allow the spectator to interactively participate in the construction of place. The performance of authorship in a director’s commentary serves as a quality signature on many a DVD. However, other features such as outtakes and behind-the-scenes documentaries, which invite spectators to perform combinatory tasks, open up more interactive forms of reception and multilayered readings, which render the filmic text less stable and contained. As spectators choose to follow cues, watch fragments on the DVD, and look for supplemental material on Google and YouTube, they learn to negotiate complex and often contentious entanglements between local stakes, nation-state policies, and global circulation. Regional identification, especially in the context of European integration, appears as a process of constant mediation, based on mobility, contact and interference, not a return to the roots.

Bio

Dr. Göktürk is an Associate Professor in the Department of German at the University of California at Berkeley. Her publications include a book on literary and cinematic imaginations of America in early twentieth-century German culture: Künstler, Cowboys, Ingenieure: Kultur- und mediengeschichtliche Studien zu deutschen Amerika-Texten 1912-1920 (1998) as well as numerous articles on migration, culture, and cinema. As a translator from Turkish into German she co-edited an anthology of contemporary Turkish literature, Jedem Wort gehört ein Himmel (1991, with Zafer Senocak), and translated novels by Aras ören and Bilge Karasu. She is co-editor of The German Cinema Book (published by the British Film Institute in 2002, co-edited with Tim Bergfelder and Erica Carter). She has been collaborating with Anton Kaes and a team of students on the “Multicultural Germany Project” and has organized workshops and conferences such as “Rethinking Diversity in Europe and the USA” and “Goodbye Germany? Migration, Culture, and the Nation State.” Germany in Transit. Nation and Migration, 1955-2005, a co-edited sourcebook growing out of this project, was published in 2007 by University of California Press. She is one of the co-founders of TRANSIT, the first electronic journal in German studies, launched by the Berkeley German Department in September 2005. She teaches courses and graduate seminars on: “Transnational Cinemas,” “World Cinema/Global Cities,” “German Cinema: Space, Borders, and Mobility,” “Comedy and Community,” “Nation, Migration, and Multiculturalism,” “Auteur Cinema: Werner Herzog,” “Kafka and Modernism,” “Hybrid Cultures: Jews and Turks in Germany,” and “German Orientalism.”

Neither National nor Global: Immigrant Spaces and Subjects

Speaker: Saskia Sassen (Columbia University)

Sponsors: Jean Monnet Chair / The Center for European Studies / Commission of the European Union / College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Part of the “Citizenship and Rights in Cosmopolitan Societies of Europe” workshop.

Bio

Dr. Sassen is the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology and Member, The Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University. Her new books are Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages (Princeton University Press 2008) and A Sociology of Globalization (W.W. Norton 2007). Other recent books are the 3rd. fully updated Cities in a World Economy (Sage 2006), the edited Deciphering the Global (Routledge 2007), and the co-edited Digital Formations: New Architectures for Global Order (Princeton University Press 2005). She has just completed for UNESCO a five-year project on sustainable human settlement with a network of researchers and activists in over 30 countries; it is published as one of the volumes of the Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (Oxford, UK: EOLSS Publishers). The Global City came out in a new fully updated edition in 2001. Her books are translated into nineteen languages.

She serves on several editorial boards and is an advisor to several international bodies. She is a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the National Academy of Sciences Panel on Cities, and chaired the Information Technology and International Cooperation Committee of the Social Science Research Council (USA). She has written for The Guardian, The New York Times, Le Monde Diplomatique, the International Herald Tribune, Newsweek International, OpenDemocracy.net, Vanguardia, Clarin, the Financial Times, Huffington.com, among others.

Islam and European Secularism

Speaker: Jocelyne Cesari (Harvard University)

Sponsors: Jean Monnet Chair / The Center for European Studies / Commission of the European Union / College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Jocelyne Cesari will present and analyze recent encounters between expression of Islamic faith and secular cultures of Europe, from the head scarf crisis to the cartoons controversy or the Shari’a debate.

Bio

Dr. Cesari is an Associate at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and Center for European Studies and teaches at the Harvard Divinity School and Government Department. Her areas of expertise include Islam and globalization, Muslim minorities in Europe and America, and Islam and politics in North Africa. Over the course of her career, Dr. Cesari has published thirteen books and more than fifty journal articles. Her most recent books are When Islam and Democracy Meet: Muslims in Europe and in the United States and European Muslims and the Secular State.

 

2009

Breaking and Entering

October 5, 2009 @ 9:00pm at The Hippodrome State Theatre

Synopsis: A mother and her daughter, a mother and her son, and a man living with one and attracted to the other. Miro, a teen from Sarajevo, lives near King’s Cross with his mother; he’s nimble, able to run across roofs, so his uncle hires him to break into office skylights, so the uncle can boost computers. Twice they steal from Will’s architectural firm, so Will stakes it out at night. He follows Miro home and returns the next day and meets Miro’s mother, Amira. At home, Will’s relationship with Liv is strained – he feels outside Liv and her daughter Bea’s circle. The stakeout and Amira’s vulnerability are attractive alternatives to being at home. The police, too, watch Miro. (2006)

La Haine

October 5, 2009 @ 7:00pm at The Hippodrome State Theatre

Synopsis: When he was just 29, Mathieu Kassovitz took the international film world by storm with La Haine (Hate), a gritty, unsettling, and visually explosive look at the racial and cultural volatility in modern-day France, specifically in the low-income banlieue districts on Paris’s outskirts. Aimlessly whiling away their days in the concrete environs of their dead-end suburbia, Vinz (Vincent Cassel), Hubert (Hubert Koundé), and Saïd (Saïd Taghmaoui) – a Jew, an African, and an Arab – give human faces to France’s immigrant populations, their bristling resentment at their social marginalization slowly simmering until they reach a climactic boiling point. A work of tough beauty, La Haine is a landmark of contemporary French cinema and a gripping reflection of its country’s ongoing identity crisis. (1995)

Hop

co-sponsered by the Center for the study on Race and Race Relations

September 28, 2009 @ 9:00pm at The Hippodrome State Theatre

Runtime: 1 hour 44 minutes

Synopsis: Shot in striking black and white with a digital 24p Panasonic video camera, HOP marks the feature film directorial debut of Dominique Standaert. Set in Brussels, the film follows an African… Shot in striking black and white with a digital 24p Panasonic video camera, HOP marks the feature film directorial debut of Dominique Standaert. Set in Brussels, the film follows an African teenager named Justin and his father as they struggle to overcome racism in their predominantly white surroundings and the hassles of being illegal immigrants. When Justin’s father is caught by authorities and in danger of being deported, Justin must think of a way to save him so that they can be together again. He finds an unlikely ally in Frans, a reclusive communist activist who spends his time building bombs in his home.

Starring: Antje De Boeck, Jan Decleir

Director: Dominique Standaert

Inch’Allah Dimanche

September 28, 2009 @ 7:00pm at The Hippodrome State Theatre

Runtime: 1 hour 38 minutes

Synopsis: Inch’Allah Dimanche, a deep and poetic film about the immigrant experiences of an Algerian family in France, is set in the aftermath of WWII. In an attempt to replenish its weakened work force, France recruits men from North Africa. Years later, in 1974, the government invites their wives and children to join them and immigrate to France. Zouina (played in a near-silent and richly emotional performance by Fejria Deliba) is an Algerian woman with three young children who travels with her mother-in-law, Aicha (played in an abrupt, hostile, and powerful performance by Rabia Modedem), to meet her husband, Ahmed (Zinedine Soualem). Torn from her own loving mother and harshly browbeaten by Aicha, Zouina rejoins a distant husband who scorns her and finds herself imprisoned in a land that is foreign and unaccommodating to her Algerian traditions. Her neighbor, Madame Donze (a hilarious France Darry), is both fearful of Zouina’s otherness and so obsessed with winning the prize for the best flower garden that she cannot empathize with Zouina. Meanwhile, a young woman who works in a makeup factory, Nicole (Mathilde Seigner), helps Zouina feel accepted, and sparks her interest in French culture and the new world around her. It is this curiosity, and Zouina’s longing for freedom and experience, that drives Zouina to take secret excursions with her children on Sundays, the one day that her husband and mother-in-law are out of the house. Through these little adventures, she comes to terms with the difficulties of immigration, change, and adaptation to a new culture. Inch’Allah Dimanche is a complex, textured film with a beautiful, moving soundtrack, and excellent performances by its delectable cast. This film was included in the Rendez-Vous with French Cinema 2002 festival organized by the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York City.

Starring: Rabia Mokedem, Amina Annabi, Anass Behri, Hamza Dubuih

Director: Yamina Benguigui

Das Fräulein

September 21, 2009 @ 9:00pm at The Hippodrome State Theatre

Runtime: 81 minutes

Synopsis: Fräulein is Andrea Staka’s artfully crafted story of the friendship among three women from Yugoslavia. Reza left Belgrade more than 30 years ago to seek a new life in Zurich. Now in her fifties, she has completely detached herself from the past. Unmarried, she owns a cafeteria and maintains an orderly, joyless existence. Mila, a waitress there, is a good-humored Croatian woman who also emigrated decades ago. But unlike Reza, Mila dreams of returning to a house on the Croatian coast. Both of them receive a jolt when Ana, a young, itinerant woman who has fled Sarajevo, breezes into the cafeteria looking for work. Reza hires her but is annoyed by Ana’s impulsive and spirited efforts to inject life into the cafeteria. But the acrimony dissipates as Ana begins to thaw Reza’s chill.

A Sundance alumnus with her short Hotel Belgrad, Andrea Staka returns with a stirring and mature debut feature. Marked by subtle characterizations and a wonderful contemplative tone, Staka’s understanding of Reza and Ana is far too sophisticated to stall on superficial divisions. She’s interested in watching them peel away each other’s layers, revealing the world of complex emotions running below. Though Reza can’t connect to life, she’s strangely moved by Ana, while Ana’s carefree demeanor belies the untold wounds she brings from Bosnia. Their gradual discovery of each other is, of course, a discovery of themselves.

Starring: Mirjana Karanovic, Marija Skarieiae, Ljubica Joviae

Director: Andrea Staka

Spare Parts

September 21, 2009 @ 7:00pm at The Hippodrome State Theatre

Runtime: 87 minutes

Synopsis: In this bleak Slovenian drama, Peter Musevski plays Ludvik, an unhappy widower living in Krsko – a small Slovenian town near the Croatian border, in the shadow of a nuclear power plant – who makes his living smuggling illegal immigrants. His bosses send him a new assistant, a young man named Rudi (Aljosa Kovacic), and after initial tension, they begin to become friends. But Ludvik’s failing health, the harsh conditions endured by the illegal immigrants, and ill-advised romances all contribute to the instability and chaos that surrounds them.

Starring: Peter Musevski, Aljosa Kovacic

Director: Damjan Kozole

Difference and Diversity in Europe: Sofia of the “Others”

Photographs by Dimitar Variyski

December 1, 2009 – January 4th, 2010, the Marston Science Library

This exhibit features the work of a young Bulgarian photographer, Dimitar Variysky, who is showing perspectives on the life of new immigrant communities in Sofia, the capital of the ex-communist Bulgaria, a country that recently also became a member of the European Union.

During socialism, for the longest time, Bulgaria has had very little experience dealing with international migration, as citizens were restricted in traveling even within the interior of their country. There were two noticeable exceptions. In the heated Cold War competition with the capitalist world, some Bulgarian professionals were still allowed to work in “Third World” countries, as part of the incentive to gain political leverage in this region over the capitalist West. On the other hand, a guest worker program during the 1970s brought some workers from Vietnam to Bulgaria. This community, however, left almost in its entirety by the end of the 1980s. And then, in the early 1990s, following the collapse of the communist regime, suddenly hundreds of young and educated Bulgarians began leaving the country, turning Bulgaria into one of the primary migration-source countries of Europe.

Today, some 20 years later, as a new member of the European Union, Bulgaria is slowly reversing the trend and turning into a migration-destination country on its own terms. Some of the more prominent communities of foreigners that have settled in the country come from such diverse places as China, Iran, Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, the Philippines, various states in Africa, but also from England and Japan. For Bulgarians, unaccustomed to thinking of themselves as an immigrant country, this situation brings some intriguing dilemmas. To begin with, the state is not well equipped to perform an expected new role as a guardian of the expanding borders of Europe. For Bulgarians themselves, the novelty of the experience facing such a variety of new cultures and diversity seems to bring a mix of excitement, but also fears. There are still no pronounced immigrant neighborhoods in Sofia, as foreigners settle in all over the city, mingling with the local population. Yet, bazaars, ethnic restaurants, night clubs, and large warehouse-areas in the outskirts of the city are typical sites where one can spot working foreigners. Unlike other parts of Western Europe, in Bulgaria there is practically no unemployment among immigrants. Almost the entire community is engaged in various commercial activities, which contributes, on the whole, to the more positive attitude of Bulgarians towards these new immigrants. Unfortunately, the ultimate “other” for Bulgarians seems to still be one of the longest-settled communities of ethnics in the country, that of Roma.

About the photographer

Dimitar (Mitko) Variyski is 25. He is finishing his BA in Photography at the New Bulgarian University in Sofia, Bulgaria. His is particularly interested in portrait photography but also likes street photography and photojournalism. He has participated in various exhibits already, even though he has only begun taking pictures just five years ago. His main inspiration is people, with their stories and uniqueness. “I like to meet people, talk to them, and then take their photos,” says Mitko. Photography takes the larger part of his time, and he almost never parts from his camera.

This exhibit is sponsored by The Center for European Studies and the Jean Monnet Center of Excellence with the support of the Commission of the European Union and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences as part of a year-long series of events, ENGAGING MIGRATION IN EUROPE.