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The first session of the new lecture series: Bridging Race and Migration Studies invites Fatima El-Tayeb to speak about her influential work on migration/race and queer of color critique(s) in European migration studies. Fatima El-Tayeb's research explores how European identities are constructed by- and through “racial amnesia” and how the concepts of whiteness, race and migration are mobilized in European politics. In this session she will discuss her work with Eline Westra and Sonja Evaldsson Mellström.

Event details of Bridging Race and Migration Studies: Fatima El-Tayeb
Date 27 January 2021
Time 19:00 -20:00

Fatima El-Tayeb is Professor  of Literature and Ethnic Studies and associate director of critical gender studies at the University of California, San Diego, where her innovative scholarship deals with issues of migration, sexuality, ethnicity, queerness and race in Europe. In her transdisciplinary research El- Tayeb pays particular attention to the racialization of migrants, refugees, Muslim-, Black- and queer Europeans of color.  El-Tayeb is the author of several influential books and academic publications, including "European Others. Queering Ethnicity in Postnational Europe" (2011) and “UnGerman. The Construction of Otherness in the Postmigrant Society” (2016) which explores European identities through the lens of racial, ethnic, migrant and sexual histories across the continent. 

About the Series

In 2021, ACES launches a new online lecture series titled “Race and Migration - scholarship in between, on and beyond the borders”. Starting January 27th and reaching until June 10th, the series invites speakers and the audience to reflect on the historical divides and bridges between race and migration scholarship in Europe. During five monthly sessions, scholars from various fields are invited to discuss how they tackle the intersections between race- and migration in both their scholarly work and in institutional settings. The series is convened by Sonja Evaldsson Mellström and Eline Westra, UvA Department of Political Science.

What are the points of contestation between race- and migration studies in 21st century Europe? Why have these two fields developed parallel to, but not always in conversation with, each other?

The study of race- and ethnicity in Europe has historically been concerned with imperial pasts, postcolonial presents and constructions of race across the continent. Migration studies, on the other hand, has predominantly tackled issues of migrant settlement, integration and global mobilities focusing on questions of labour markets and economics, national identity and social cohesion, and state sovereignty. While there are notable exceptions, serious engagement with issues of race- and ethnicity has traditionally been lacking in European migration studies. Over the past decades, a shift has occurred in Europe where scholars within critical race-, migration-, post/colonial - and mobility studies increasingly have treated race and ethnicity as constitutive of migration processes.

This IMES/ACES lecture series invites six scholars to reflect on how the intersections between ethnicity-, race,- post/colonial- and migration scholarship inform both their own work and the larger field of migration studies. The series offers a platform for students, scholars and practitioners to critically engage with the historical divides and bridges between race and migration scholarship. Through the discussions the series aim to create avenues for tackling the issue of race in studies of transnational mobility and to provide a space to reflect on how academia institutionally can bridge the historical divides.