Histories of Migration: Transatlantic and Global Perspectives

Oct 18, 2021 - Oct 21, 2021

Fifth Annual Bucerius Young Scholars Forum at the Pacific Regional Office of the GHI in Berkeley | Conveners: Franziska Exeler (Department of History, Free University Berlin; Centre for History and Economics, University of Cambridge) and Sören Urbansky (Pacific Regional Office of the German Historical Institute Washington, Berkeley)

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Call for Papers

The Pacific Regional Office of the German Historical Institute Washington DC (GHI PRO) invites proposals for papers to be presented at the fifth Bucerius Young Scholars Forum, which will be held at UC Berkeley, October 18–21, 2021. 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 scholars based in Germany, Europe, North America, and beyond to explore new research in the history of migration. The forum is connected to the 2021 Annual Bucerius Lecture on “Knowing Refugees: Historical Perspectives,” which will be delivered by historian Peter Gatrell (University of Manchester) on October 18, 2021.

We call for empirically rich and theoretically informed contributions in migration studies that interrogate questions of knowledge production, the creation of borders, and the everyday lives of people in borderlands.

Borderlands are realms of ambiguity, from opposition between center and periphery to relations between empires and/or nation states, and between majorities and minorities. Borderlands are also places of political, economic, social, and cultural entanglements, with ever changing dynamics of migration, communication, and circulation. Historically, states have introduced various forms of control in order to overcome such ambivalence at their peripheries. State officials have continuously sought to categorize, racialize, or legalize migrants– processes with knowledge at their core. The formation of associated knowledge regimes helped state actors to classify different groups of people, shape immigration policies, and channel their movement.

At the same time, local residents, cross-border migrants, nomads, and transient people have often challenged territorialization efforts. One may even argue that state boundaries as crossroads are places where the mobility of people becomes a robust driver of knowledge that challenges state regulations: As migrants themselves become experts onmigration, they produce, contest, and deploy political, legal, andeconomic knowledge pertaining to their everyday lives as migrants, and they contribute to the circulation and transfer of all kinds of other knowledge, whether professional, communal, oracademic.

Borderlands and state boundaries, then, render emotionally embedded conflicts over state security, national identity, and migration particularly visible. Contributions could therefore interrogate borders and borderlands as places of different forms of migration (forced, work, multiple citizenship) and places of different forms of knowledge production. Alternatively, papers might examine particular types of infrastructure (railways, airports, telegraph networks, checkpoints, quarantine stations) in relation to migration and the formation/permeability of state borders. They could also investigate the ways in which migrants become creators and transmitters of knowledge; how they contest, support, or undermine border regimes; and how theyshape everyday life in the borderlands.

The Bucerius Young Scholars Forum approaches its annualtheme from a trans-epochal, transregional, or interdisciplinary perspective, seeking to consider categories such as religion, class, race/ethnicity, gender, and age/generation. With its focus on the intersection of migration and knowledge, the forum encourages applications from junior scholars in history, the social sciences, political sciences, anthropology, geography as well as area studies and other related fields.

Papers will be precirculated to allow maximum time for peers and invited senior scholars to engage in discussions on the state of the field. The workshop language will be English. The organizers will cover basic expenses for travel and accommodation. The forum is hosted by Sören Urbansky (GHI PRO) and Franziska Exeler (Free University Berlin/University of Cambridge). Please upload a brief CV and a proposal of no more than 750 words by March 15, 2021, to our online portal. Please contact Heike Friedman if you have problems with submitting your information online. Successful applicants will be notified in April 2021.

Should international travel be prohibited because of the ongoing pandemic, we will hold the workshop in a virtual or hybrid format. We will also accommodate individual requests of participating at the workshop remotely.