Voices from Abroad 2019


This year the IOB and CeMIS are happy to welcome Prof. dr. Nina Glick Schiller (University of Manchester and Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology)


April 1st, 10-12h, Seminar: 'Migrants and City-Making: the Role of Migrants and Non-migrants in Processes of Dispossession, Emplacement, and Urban Regeneration'.

Location: Hof Van Liere, W. Elsschotzaal, Prinsstraat 13, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium


Beginning with Georg Simmel and Louis Wirth, concepts of urbanity have generally failed to reflect upon the ways in which life in various cities is constantly reconstructed within multiple multi-scalar fields of power. In this seminar I build on past and ongoing work (Glick Schiller and Caglar 2010; 2011; 2012; 2015; Caglar and Glick Schiller 2018) on comparative perspectives on city making. This work assesses the actors who construct urban life, demonstrates the ways in which migrants must be considered as among the city-makers of past and present urban life, and re-examines approaches to urban sociability. To develop this perspective I discuss concepts of dispossession, displacement, disempowerment and emplacement. This conceptual framework provides an analytical vocabulary that allows us to address not only global cities but also disempowered cities whose residents live within the competitively disadvantaged national, regional, and global positioning of their locality.


April 1st, 17-19h, Evening Lecture: 'Migration and Development: Theorizing Changing Conditions and Ongoing Silences'

Location: Hof Van Liere, Tassiszaal, Prinsstraat 13, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium


To formulate an approach to migration and development that speaks to the growing impediments to migrants’ international movement and settlement, scholars and policy makers need both knowledge of previous arguments about the topic and an assessment of the changing conditions. These assessments must address the past and contemporary political climate within nation-states and around the world with regard to migration and people of migrant-background. In assessing the political climate, it is important to ask when and why in the past and present migration becomes a hot topic of political debate and migrants become contested problematic figures. A consideration  of the ways in which methodological nationalism has marked much of the migration debate is part of this assessment.  Methodological nationalism is an intellectual orientation that assumes that nation-states can be equated with the boundaries of society and that each state is an independent political actor, which therefore can serve as the primary unit in historical, economic, political and cultural analysis. In this lecture I revisit migration and development debates, not as a review of the vast migration literature but to establish a way of assessing what is missing from contemporary discussions.


Registrations have closed.


About the speaker:

Nina Glick Schiller is Emeritus Professor of Social Anthropology (University of Manchester; University of New Hampshire), Co-Editor of Anthropological Theory, and Research Associate at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology.

She developed a comparative and historical perspective on migration, transnational processes and social relations, diasporic connection and long distance nationalism. Her concern has been to explore differences of power within transnational social fields in relationship to the constitution of gender, race, class, status, poverty, the second generation, citizenship, and national identity. To foster publications from this perspective, in 1992 she founded the journal Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power and edited it from 1992 to 2001. She has since served on the editorial boards of a range of journals including American Ethnologist, Social Analysis, Focaal, and Anthropological Theory. Her research has been conducted in Haiti, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany and she has worked with migrants from all regions of the globe.

Her most recent book projects develop migration and urban theory by examining the relationship between the migrant and the city. These books contest the methodological nationalism of most migration studies that remain fixed within the comparative framework of individual nation-states and state policies. Her latest monograph (2018) “Migrants and City Making: Dispossession, Displacement, and Urban Regeneration”  was co-authored with A. Caglar and published by Duke University Press.