Call for Papers

Migrant and Minority Activism: Between protest movements and everyday engagement


Centre for East European and International Studies (ZOiS), Berlin, 30 September – 1 October 2021

Co-organised by ZOiS and the EASA Anthropology of Social Movements Network

At a time of Black Lives Matter and the proliferation of migrant, refugee and minority protests across the world (Polish women’s, Belarusian, Palestinian, Roma and Sinti, to name just a few), as well as local and regional initiatives by minorities, migrants and refugees, we would like to bring together scholars who combine a focus on migrants or minorities with that on protest, resistance, activism, social engagement, and other related themes. We are interested both in the most visible struggles and everyday forms of activism, emerging activism, prefigurative politics, and other efforts of migrants and minorities, which often escape public and academic recognition.

This two-day interdisciplinary workshop will take place, situation permitting, at the Centre for East European and International Studies (ZOiS) in Berlin. Through the workshop, we would like to address several open questions.

  • Why do some migrants and members of minorities engage in public protest while others do not?
  • To what extent are migrants and minorities involved in protest and activism for causes beyond those important for ‘their own’ migrant/minority community?
  • Is it a marginal phenomenon or something widespread but not well visible?
  • How do protests of migrants and minorities take place online and offline, especially during the covid pandemic?
  • How do we best research migrant and minority activism?
  • What do we gain, and what are we lose when focusing on large movements and community organisations?
  • What can we learn by instead focusing on less visible forms of activism?
  • What is the interplay between activists from different migrant groups, secondgeneration migrants, ethnic minorities, and the ‘majorities’?
  • Finally, what are the unique roles played by those who experience multilevel discrimination and marginalisation - for instance, migrants and members of ethnic minorities who at the same time pertain to sexual minorities, who are non-citizens, sex workers, unhoused, or incarcerated.

To propose a paper, please send a 200-300 word abstract and a 100-word bio to easasocialmovements(at)protonmail(dot)com by 31 May 2021.

In your submission, please state if you are interested in taking part in the event only offline, only online or if either would work for you. ZOiS will cover the travel and accommodation costs of the selected participants who will come to present in Berlin if an offline or hybrid event is possible.

As part of the workshop, we may be able to host a limited audio-visual programme, so if you have created a film, podcast, or another form of presentable media that speaks to the topic of the workshop, please do not hesitate to propose it, sending a 100-200-word synopsis to the email address above.

Please find this workshop also on Facebook.