Belonging and Participation in the Nordic societies

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The research network Multiculturalism, Cultural Homogeneity and Societal Security in the Nordic Region (NordHOME) provides a critical approach to the narratives of social cohesion and cultural homogeneity that are usually taken for granted in the understading of Nordic societal security and reflected in attitudes towards immigration and national minorities. The perception of the Nordic countries as exceptionally homogeneous in relation to culture and population is widespread in academic, administrative and public discussions. Such normative understandings neglect the histories of transnational migration and national minorities, as well as the colonial appropriation of land and assimilation policies in the Sami areas. Furthermore, such narratives have exclusionary and racialising effects on the lives of current migrants and minorities in the Nordic region.

This workshop seeks to question understandings of Nordic and national identities that rely on notions of homogeneity and to critically examine their effects on the lives of migrants and minorities. Moreover, it aims to open up discussions of how new understandings of belonging and forms of participation can be created in/through research, politics, activism and everyday encounters (in digital environments, city spaces, welfare practices etc.). How do​ migrants and minority organizations create spaces for participation in local, national and transnational politics? What kinds of notions of belonging and participation are created in policies, institutional practices and civil society mobilisations? How are power relations based on race, ethnicity, gender, class and sexuality negotiated in institutional encounters and social movement activities? How do discourses of societal security shape understandings of belonging and participation in the Nordic societies?

The workshop will take place at the University of Turku, November 10-11th 2016. It is part of a series of three exploratory workshops organised in 2016-2017 with the funding of NOS-HS (Joint Committee for Nordic Research Councils in the Humanities and Social Sciences).

Confirmed speakers

Dr. Umut Erel (Open University, United Kingdom)

“Migrant mothers enacting citizenship: participatory theatre as research method”

Bionote: Dr. Erel is a Sociologist at the Open University, UK. She has widely published on migration, ethnicity, gender and class. She is interested in how these issues play out in practices of citizenship, differentiated along gender and ethnic lines. Currently she is exploring migrant women’s mothering practices as citizenship practices in their own right and with respect to shaping their children’s ethnic, cultural, political identities and modes of citizenship. She is Principal Investigator (with CIs Prof. Maggie O’Neill, University of York and Prof. Tracey Reynolds, University of Greenwich) of PASAR – Participation Arts and Social Action in Research, funded by the ESRC investigating the potential of participatory theatre and walking as research methods for the social sciences.

She was PI, with Prof. Tracey Reynolds (CI) of an AHRC networking activity on migrant mothers’ citizenship and participatory theatre ‘Migrant Mothers Caring for the Future’.​

Recent publications include: Erel, Umut, Murji, Karim and Nahaboo, Zaki (forthcoming) ‘Understanding the contemporary race–migration nexus’, Ethnic and Racial Studies 10.1080/01419870.2016.1161808; Erel, Umut and Reynolds, Tracey 2014: research note: black feminist theory for participatory theatre with migrant mothers. Feminist Review SI Black British; a co-edited book with Louise Ryan and Alessio D’Angelo) ‘Migrant Capitals: Networks, Strategies, Identities, Palgrave, 2015.

Dr. Tjasa Kancler (University of Barcelona, Spain)

“Crisis, Borders and Decolonial Interferences”

Bionote: Tjaša Kancler (Maribor, 1978), artist, activist, researcher and associate professor at the Department of Visual Arts and Design, Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Barcelona. He holds B.A. in Law, Faculty of Law, University of Ljubljana and B.A. in Fine Arts, Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Barcelona. M.A. in Artistic Production and Research, Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Barcelona, and PhD in Fine Arts, Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Barcelona. He participated in exhibitions, art festivals and conferences including: Berlinale Talent Campus (Berlin 2009), Sarajevo Talent Campus (Sarajevo 2009), The Law of Capital: Histories of Oppression, City Museum (Ljubljana 2009), Decolonizing Knowledge and Life through Theory and Art, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (Vienna 2011), Art and Research: Shared Methodologies, Politics and Translation, Faculty of Fine Arts (Barcelona 2012), Festival Lezbična četrt, 25th anniversary of Lesbian Group ŠKUC-LL (Ljubljana 2012), Archives of the Non-Racial, JWTC (Johannesburg – Cape Town, 2014), Material Matters in Times of Crisis Capitalism. Transnational Feminist and Decolonial Approaches, University Justus-Leibig (Giessen 2014), Decolonizing the Museum, Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, MACBA (Barcelona 2014), Postcolonial and Postsocialist Dialogues: Intersections, Opacities, Challenges in Feminist Theorizing and Practice, University de Linköping, (Linköping 2015), Toward a non-Eurocentric Academia: 
Border Thinking and Decoloniality from Africa and Asia to Europe and the Americas, Duke University and University Chapel Hill (Durham 2016), Right to move/Libertad de movimiento, Goethe Institute (Barcelona 2016), 3ºMuestra de CineMigrante (Barcelona 2016), Inside/Outside: Queer Networks in Transnational Perspective, Leibniz University (Hannover, 2016).


Prof. Peo Hansen (Linköping University, Sweden)​

​”Refugee Crisis or Refugee Keynesianism? EU Migration Policy in Times of Fiscal Austerity”

Bionote: Peo Hansen is Professor of Political Science at the Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society (REMESO), Linköping University. A former senior fellow at the Remarque Institute at New York University, his research areas include European integration, EU migration policy, postwar European geopolitics and the history of colonialism and decolonization. His publications include The Politics of European Citizenship, co-authored with Sandy B. Hager (Berghahn Books, 2010); Eurafrica: The Untold History of European Integration and Colonialism, co-authored with Stefan Jonsson (Bloomsbury, 2014), and most recently ‘The European Unions’ External Labour Migration Policy: Rationale, Objectives, Approaches and Results, 1999‑2014’, OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers (No. 185, OECD Publishing, Paris).

Based on the three workshops, two publications will be prepared to elaborate on the network themes. The contributors to the publications will be invited mainly among the speakers and participants in the workshops.

Please find the list of abstracts in pdf form (updated 8.11.2016):