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In the second Divers Europe Seminar, Claske Vos will dive into the questions of belonging in a changing Europe with Anna Korteweg, Elizabeth Buettner and Nana Osei-Kofi.

Event details of Negotiating Belonging in a changing Europe
Date 11 May 2021
Time 16:00 -17:30

In the context of the changing fabric of contemporary Europe, questions of belonging and non-belonging have received increasing traction in debates on migration, multiculturalism, and identity. On the one hand, there are renewed efforts to understand cultural processes and practices of group identity formation and constructions of the self, alongside experiences of racialization and marginalization. On the other hand, researchers have been questioning the forms of non-belonging that are actively produced by nation-states and majoritarian (nationalist) discourses that seek to draw strict boundaries on who can and cannot belong. In yet another picture, the very methods of historically understanding national, European, and cosmopolitan forms of belonging are being questioned.

This seminar seeks to bring these issues together in an interdisciplinary discussion focused how nation-states, communities, and individuals actively negotiate processes of belonging (and non-belonging); inhabit and challenge spaces of in-betweenness; and reflect how questions of class, race and sexuality shape conditions of belonging. The speakers will address these issues from their own research perspectives, considering questions of identity formation, terminology, and methodology from an interdisciplinary perspective.

About the speakers:

Anna Korteweg (Department of Sociology, University of Toronto)

Anna Korteweg is Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Her research focuses on the ways in which the perceived problems of immigrant integration are constructed in the intersections of gender, religion, ethnicity and national origin. From this critical vantage point, she has published extensively on debates surrounding the wearing of the headscarf, so-called “honour-based” violence, and Sharia law. Her current projects look at the return of women who joined IS to their European home countries, the construction of LGBTQ/gender rights in refugee politics, and the citizenship implications of refugee sponsorship in Canada.  Her research has been funded by multiple SSHRC grants and funding from the DAAD and CERIS.

Nana Osei-Kofi (Difference, Power, and Discrimination Program, Oregon State University)

Nana Osei-Kofi is Associate Professor of Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies and Director of the Difference, Power, and Discrimination Program at Oregon State University. As a critical feminist scholar, her research employs two lines of inquiry centered on justice and the politics of difference. One line of inquiry focuses on structural shifts in higher education in the service of equity and access through curriculum transformation, change leadership, and faculty recruitment, retention, and development. The second line of inquiry centers on the experiences and conditions faced by people of African descent in Europe generally and Sweden specifically. In support of her work in the emerging field of AfroSwedish Studies, Osei-Kofi was awarded an American-Scandinavian Foundation Fellowship and was a Visiting Scholar at the University of Gothenburg (Gender Studies Program) in 2016-17.  Osei-Kofi is a past Vice-President of the National Women’s Studies Association and currently serves on the editorial board of Feminist Formations. 

Elizabeth Buettner (Professor of Modern History, University of Amsterdam)

Elizabeth Buettner has been Professor of Modern History at the University of Amsterdam since 2014.  Her publications encompass earlier work on Britain and late imperial India and memories of the ‘Raj’ in postcolonial Britain, particularly Empire Families: Britons and Late Imperial India (Oxford University Press, 2004); her more recent research focuses on postcolonial migration, multiculturalism, and memories of empire in Britain and other Western European countries.  Since her book Europe after Empire: Decolonization, Society, and Culture was published by Cambridge University Press in 2016, her research has extended further into the overlapping histories of postcolonial Europe and European integration.  This counts among the topics covered within the European Commission-funded Horizon 2020 consortium project she is now part of that explores ‘European Colonial Heritage Modalities in Entangled Cities’ (ECHOES). 



Claske Vos is an assistant professor at the Department of European Studies at the University of Amsterdam. In her research she focuses on the forms of governance EU investments in culture produce. What are the consequences of these new forms of governance and to what forms of negotiation, exchange and friction do they lead? She looks at these questions particularly in non-EU settings. In her current HERA project she examines grass-roots cultural work and practices of self-governance amongst cultural workers in Southeast Europe.