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Summer School: How to do race in migration studies in Europe

We invite PhD candidates and advanced research master students to apply for this Summer School, to be held 22 – 25 June 2020. Deadline is 15 February.

Migration studies has a race problem. In the social sciences more broadly, race has been gaining significance as an analytical category. Critical race theory and other forms of theorizing race, racism and racialisation are increasingly influential, and calls to decolonise knowledge production by activists/scholars find more and more fertile ground. In migration research however, race remains marginal.

The field of migration studies has been historically constituted by methodological whiteness, leading to race’s near invisibility in critical discussions around migration. This invisibility is perhaps stronger than elsewhere in continental Europe, where rejection of racism has resulted in political and scholarly reticence to use the concept of “race”. This elision sees discussions of race absent from many of the central questions animating migration studies today concerning why people migrate; how they migrate; migration processes and pathways; and political and public attitudes towards migration. In policy terms, race continues to animate discussions around migration either explicitly such as in the cases of Brexit, the Hostile Environment and the Windrush Scandal in the UK, or through its absence in say the new European Commissioner for ‘Promoting Our European Way of Life’ under which EU migration policy now falls. Important questions also remain unasked regarding how race intersects with categories such as gender, sexuality, and class in migration practices and politics.

This summer school aims at bringing together early career scholars working on race and its relation to migration (broadly defined) with more senior scholars and practitioners to explore how to do race in migration studies.

The Summer school will consist of lectures and discussions with senior scholars; intensive feedback sessions where we discuss participants’ work; and exchanges with practitioners. Confirmed speakers include Sinan ÇankayaDarshan Vigneswaran, and Betty de Hart.