Bucerius Young Scholars Forum at GHI West (Berkeley)

“Histories of Migration: Transatlantic and Global Perspectives”

October 17 - 20, 2018
Bucerius Young Scholars Forum at GHI West (Berkeley)
Convener: Andrea Westermann (GHI West)

GHI West, the Pacific Regional Office of the German Historical Institute, Washington DC, invites proposals for papers to be presented at the 2nd Bucerius Young Scholars Forum at UC Berkeley, October 17-20, 2018. We seek proposals from post-doctoral scholars, recent PhDs, as well as those in the final stages of their dissertations with a background in history and/or related fields.

The Bucerius Young Scholars Forum, funded by the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius, is an annual program designed to bring together a transatlantic group of ten junior scholars from Germany, Europe and North America to explore new research and questions in the history of migration with a particular focus on questions arising from interlacing the perspectives of migration and knowledge. The forum is connected to the Annual Bucerius Lecture on “Histories of Migration: Transatlantic and Global Perspectives,” which will be delivered and commented on by two prominent figures in the field of migration studies.

We call for empirically rich papers that rephrase questions and methodological issues in migration history from a history of knowledge perspective or vice versa. Without labeling themselves historians of knowledge, scholars of migration must repeatedly address issues related to the production of knowledge, such as categorization, racialization, or legalization of migrants by state officials. This is also true for researchers following migrants’ trajectories. Migrants themselves often turn into experts of migration: They produce, contest, and deploy political, legal, or economic knowledge pertaining to their everyday lives as migrants. Moreover, they might possess and take with them a range of other (professional, religious, cultural) forms of knowledge. Last but not least, migrants are likely makers of historical knowledge and memory, and they suffer from or contribute to instances of intentional forgetting or silencing of past encounters and experiences.

The Bucerius Young Scholars Forum aims to look at the knowledge and migration nexus from a supra-epochal, transregional, or interdisciplinary perspective and seeks to account for categories such as religion, ethnicity, gender, or age and generation. While the focus of the forum will be on historic discourses, we encourage applications from emerging scholars working in the social sciences, political sciences, or the fields of anthropology, migration, and area studies.

Papers will be pre-circulated to allow maximum time for mentors and peers to engage in discussions on the state of the research field. The group will visit the National Archives at San Francisco to explore the excellent source material on immigration history and discuss the challenges of extracting migrants’ agency and knowledge from state-produced and/or state-preserved documents. The workshop language will be English. The organizers will cover basic expenses for travel and accommodation. Please send short proposals (750 words max.) and a one-page CV to Heike Friedman (friedman@ghi-dc.org) by March 5, 2018 March 15, 2018. Successful applicants will be notified by late April 2018.