|Putin’s Memory War. Russia’s Battles over the History of World War II||Lecture||Clemena AntonovaSergei MedvedevTimothy Snyder||
In the past decade, memory politics has become greatly contested. Russia under Putin launched a major propaganda offensive ahead of the 75th anniversary of victory in World War II (8 May in the rest of the world, 9 May in Russia), aiming to fight the “falsifications” of war history by the West, and to deny the crimes of Stalinism during the War. This presentation explored the implications of this memory war on Russia’s relations with Europe, and its role in legitimizing the ruling regime.
|The Coloniality of Migration||Seminars and Colloquia||Ayşe ÇağlarPrem Kumar Rajaram||
Speakers: Ayşe ÇağlarPrem Kumar Rajaram
Series: Seminars and Colloquia
Refugees and migrants are often studied as though they have no relation to the racial and class structures and histories of the societies in which they reside. They are taken to be external strangers to be governed by ‘integration’ policy and border management. Migration, and in particular forced migration, can be usefully understood in relation to practices of material and cultural dispossession and value expropriation so as to ensure a steady supply of cheapened labour power. These practices were central to the way colonial capitalism of the 19th and 20th centuries was organised, and remain pertinent to contemporary intersections of politics, economics and culture. The persistent coloniality of contemporary migration is evident in struggles to control and direct the social reproduction of culturally-demeaned others (including migrants and other racialised groups) with the aim of ensuring the regular supply of cheapened labour.
|Innovative Methods of Research in Migration & Refugee Studies||Panels and Discussions||Ayşe ÇağlarSandro Mezzadra, Giorgio Grappi, Lydia Potts||
Speakers: Ayşe ÇağlarSandro Mezzadra, Giorgio Grappi, Lydia Potts
Series: Panels and Discussions
|Junior Visiting Fellows' Conference Winter 2020||Conferences and Workshops|
|Refugee Sponsorship: Will Civil Society Keep Stepping Up?||Seminars and Colloquia||Ayşe ÇağlarJennifer Hyndman||
Speakers: Ayşe ÇağlarJennifer Hyndman
Series: Seminars and Colloquia
For more than 40 years, groups of Canadians have raised funds and offered their time to support over 325,000 refugee newcomers through the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program (PSRP). In 2020, planned numbers for private refugee sponsorship (20,000) in Canada were double the number of government-assisted refugees to be resettled. Based on an original qualitative study, this paper probes how voluntary sponsorship – as a kind of civil society mobilisation – has been sustained over decades. Refugee newcomers who land in Canada as permanent residents become part of the communities and society in which they stay. Many have left family members behind in refugee camps and sanctuary cities without permanent status, and so become sponsors themselves with a view to reuniting in Canada. This phenomenon of ‘family-linked’ sponsorship is a unique, defining and sustaining feature of the program by motivating family members in Canada to team up with experienced sponsors to ‘do more’. Our data show that sponsorship is a community practice that occurs across scales – linking local sites in Canada to countries where human atrocities are common and neighbouring states that host those who flee. Sponsorship connects people in various communities across the world, and these transnational links are important to understanding the sustainability of sponsorship over time in Canada.
|Language Policies in Multilingual Countries: Western and Non-Western Approaches||Seminars and Colloquia||Volodymyr KulykWolfgang MerkelMiloš Vec||
The presentation was based on the nearly completed Ukrainian-language book that examines the varieties of language policy in a number of Western and non-Western multilingual countries, looking not only at those with official bi- or multilingualism but also at those promoting one dominant language. The book seeks to describe and explain their successes and failures in promoting certain languages, ensuring human rights, maintaining social stability, and forging national unity, with a keen eye on identifying those arrangements that could be adopted in today’s Ukraine. In the presentation, however, Volodymyr Kulyk focused on similarities and differences between prevalent patterns of multilingualism and its management by the state in Western and non-Western (post-colonial and post-imperial) countries. He explored sociolinguistic, historical and political factors determining these countries’ choices of language policy and their degrees of success in its implementation.
|Belarusian Protests: In Search of Democracy, or the Restructuring of State Institutions||Seminars and Colloquia||Ludger HagedornMarci ShorePavel Barkouski||
For more than 100 days in Minsk, citizens’ protests against the authorities, which falsified the results of the last presidential elections, have not subsided. Forms of suppression unprecedented in Europe – violence and brutality against protesters – have forced many citizens to reconsider their attitude to what is happening. If initially the protest was inspired by the desire to establish democratic mechanisms for the change of power, we are now talking about a more basic level of relations within the framework of the social contract. Citizens insist on a return to the meaning of constitutional rights.
|“Blame-Games” and “Blame Avoidance”||Seminars and Colloquia||Markus RheindorfRuth WodakMiloš Vec||
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world both dramatically and irrevocably. For months, politics and media have focused on COVID-19 and the countless facets of its impact of ever more uncertainty and insecurity in our lives. Following Zygmunt Bauman’s Liquid Fear (2006) and Wodak’s The Politics of Fear (2021), it has become evident that a “politics of fear (and hope)” has been reinforced and instrumentalized by numerous national governments, in significantly different ways. Accordingly, the range of discourses appear to have changed equally dramatically, in terms of both subject matter and discursive practices. Has the pandemic truly altered the strategies and mechanisms of mediatized politics? Which well-understood/well-studied discursive patterns and trends – including interdiscursivity, (re)nationalization, securitization – and which discursive strategies – like the blame-game (Rheindorf & Wodak 2018) and blame avoidance (Hansson 2015) are still to be found in times of COVID-19, perhaps in altered forms? Some may have been marginalized, while the pandemic may have acted as a catalyst for others. Drawing on the Discourse-historical Approach (DHA) in Critical Discourse Studies (CDS), we will raise such questions and attempt to answer them through theoretical considerations and empirical evidence.
|Mental Illness as a Cultural and Societal Phenomenon||Seminars and Colloquia||Anna KiedrzynekEric ReinhartLudger Hagedorn||
The collapse of communism in the CEE region 30 years ago was the start of a long-term process of sociopolitical change, in which a major transformation of the mental health system was expected. Unfortunately, this transformation is not yet complete. For example, in Poland people with severe mental illnesses and disabilities are treated in large psychiatric institutions and lack access to community-based care. The stigma around people with severe illnesses remains higher there than in Western European countries (according to The Lancet Psychiatry): they face exclusion on many levels and often remain marginalized. It is crucial that mental illnesses is seen, by both academic researchers and journalists, as not just a biological fact but also a societal and cultural phenomenon.
|Narrative Making in the European Capital||Seminars and Colloquia||Ivan VejvodaJulia De Clerck-Sachsse||
As great power competition increasingly spills over into the information space, a compelling European narrative has become a geopolitical imperative. Europe finds itself in a battle of narratives between democracies and authoritarian regimes that cannot be decided on the basis of facts alone. To resist populist and autocratic forces, the European Union needs to communicate in a more personal and empathetic way demonstrating that its policies can deliver for its citizens. Just as the old adage has it that the personal is always political, the political will need to become more personal if Europe wants to hold its ground in the battle of narratives.