Shifting Identities in Transnational Spaces. Migrants and Minorities narratives through time
This call aims to contextualize and historicize on narrative identities. Identities, understood as fragmented and de-centered, shift among other through transnational processes of migration. This call aims to trace these narratives in migrant- and minority communities and/or individual stories. Shared memories, the transfer of knowledge, a particular language, habits and social strategies overlap or distinguish communities and social groups. To assume a ‘homogeneity’ of experiences of refugees, migrants and/or minorities, which leads to a shared identity, to a common reaction towards the country of arrival or even to communal forms of resistance is deceptive. A differentiated view on these individual and situated stories helps us to deepen our understanding of responses, individual, collective and/or intergenerational, towards exclusion and racialized categorization, which is endemic to experiences in education and in educational systems today.
Political and educational debates of migration tend to emphasize a singular event and/or to identify or isolate a particular group, which allegedly challenges the educational system. Often these discourses are framed by simplifications. The result is an over-dramatization and a neglect of already existing resources of both communities and the educational systems. The aim of this call is to bring research on migration, its specific history in relation to educational approaches and institutions into focus. In the center stand individual and collective narratives of identity.
Identities, understood as fragmented and de-centered (Hall 1992), shift among other things through transnational processes of migration. This call aims at these “narrative identities” (Mc Adams 2011) in migrants and minority communities and/or individual stories. Shared memories, the transfer of knowledge, a particular language, habits and social strategies overlap or distinguish communities and social groups. They merge in individual and/or family narratives of the self, as indicated by biographical approaches (Rosenthal/Worm 2018) or intergenerational research (Loizos 2007). Historical knowledge, as it is socially constructed, forms an important part in these moving narratives of identity (Myers 2015). To assume a ‘homogeneity’ of experiences of refugees, migrants and/or minorities, which leads to a shared identity, to a common reaction towards the country of arrival or even to communal forms of resistance is deceptive. On the other hand, expectations and intentions of the hosting country and organizations have demonstrated great varieties (Sheridan 2016).
A “refugee-centered history” (Gatrell 2013) and a differentiated view at the “detailed, situated, historical stories” (Schwarz 2003) helps us to deepen our understanding of responses, individual, collective and/or intergenerational, towards exclusion and racialized categorization.
We invite papers, which explore the situation of migrants and minorities in Europe now and then. Papers should address their topic historically and therefore explicitly relate certain timeframes with places/spaces and socio-political contexts.
Some possible areas of focus could be:
- Discourses and policies concerning migrants, minorities and refugees in different times and spaces. How are migrants addressed, how are they presented in public, in political contexts in terms of education? What power relations can be constructed in these contexts?
- Voices of and identity narratives of refugees, migrants and minorities now and then. Discourses about migration are omnipresent, but voices of refugees, migrants and minorities are still rare in research. We therefore invite papers that present voices from different times and spaces.
- Migration does not only impact the actual person, but also their children and grandchildren. Hence, biographical research is welcomed to explore the intergenerational transmissions and the impact it had on identity narratives.
- Educational approaches in working with migrants, refugees and minorities in different times and circumstances. In various contexts educators worked with migrants and minorities in schools, child care, youth work and also vocational education and training. They were inspired by different philosophies and used different approaches. Even though these concepts have to be discussed within their particular historical emergence, we might learn from them today with regard to social justice, inclusivity and intercultural education.
Susanne Spieker, University Koblenz-Landau/Hamburg University (Germany): spieker(at)uni-landau.de
Anke Wischmann, Europe-University Flensburg (Germany): Anke.Wischmann(at)uni-flensburg.de
Gatrell, P. (2013): The Making of the Modern Refugee. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hall, S. (1992): The Question of Cultural Identity, in: Hall, S.,Held, D.,Mc Grew, A. (eds.): Modernity and its Futures. Cambridge: Polity Press, pp. 273-316.
Leeman, Y., van Koeven, E. (2018): New immigrants. An incentive for intercultural education?, Education Inquiry, 10:3, pp. 189-207.
Loizos, P. (2007). ‘Generations’ in Forced Migration. Towards Greater Clarity. Journal of Refugee Studies 20(2): pp. 193–209.
Marfleet, P. (2007): Refugees and history: Why we must address the past. Refugee Survey Quarterly 26(3), pp. 136–148.
McAdams D.P. (2011) Narrative Identity. In: Schwartz S., Luyckx K., Vignoles V. (eds.): Handbook of Identity Theory and Research. Springer, New York, NY. doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-7988-9_5, pp. 99-115.
Myers, Kevin (2015): Struggles for a past. Irish and Afro-Caribbean Histories in England, 1951–2000. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Niedrig, H./Ydesen, C. (eds.) (2011): Writing Postcolonial Histories of Intercultural Education. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang Verlag.
Rosenthal, G., Worm, A. (2018): Geschichtswissenschaft/Oral History und Biographieforschung. In: Lutz, H. et al. (eds.): Handbuch Biographieforschung. Wiesbaden: Springer, pp. 151-161.
Schwarz, B. (2003): ’Afterword: the predicament of history. In: Schwarz, B. (eds.): West Indian intellectuals in Britain. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Sheridan, V. (2016). Support and surveillance: 1956 Hungarian students in transit to the Joyce Kilmer Reception Centre and to higher education scholarships in the USA. History of Education 45(6), pp. 775–793.