Skip to content

Online Conference: Postmigrant Aesthetics: How to Narrate a Future Europe?

The increased numbers of refugees entering Europe since 2015 has put an urgency to discussions on European self-understanding and identity. In which way is Europe, anthropologist Regina Römhild asks, ‘characterized by a long-term presence of migration’ which is partly neglected or made invisible in public discourse (Römhild 2018: 69)? How can we methodologically develop an understanding of Europe as a postmigratory space that is fundamentally shaped by earlier and ongoing migration movements? How can the concept of postmigration help us to grasp the overall negotiations and conflicts taking place in society? In two panels we will examine postmigrant narratives as playing a crucial part in challenging collective core narratives and the politics of belonging in plural societies. Our aim is to establish a set of criteria for a new transformative aesthetics that renegotiates and changes political perspectives. We will thus show how literature and film, by questioning binary concepts of hybridity, diversity, integration and belonging, can provide sociopolitical counter-narratives to Eurocentric, ethnically and nationally centred visions of society and cultural identity. The material investigated reaches from cross-Mediterranean mobilities and autoethnographic writings about Italy and the Balkan region to Algerian-French film, from the indigene Black British novel to German- and Danish-language literatures that address topics such as genealogies of self-making, ecocriticism and radical diversity within a European context. We will further critically discuss the theoretical implications of an aesthetics of postmigration as a possible new analytical turn in cultural studies.

Keywords: Postmigration, Narratives of Migration, Ethnic Hybridity, Social Diversity, Cultural Identity, Politics of Belonging, Transformative Aesthetics, Ecocriticism 

June 24, 2020, 8:50am –12:10pm (PST), 11:50am–3:10pm (EST), 18:50-21:10 (CET), on Zoom

Introduction: Welcome and Acknowledgement

8:50am to 9:00am (PST)

Panel I: New Perspectives for a Postmigrant Europe

9:00am to 10:20am (PST)

Azadeh Sharifi (Ludwigs-Maximilian University, Munich, Respondent)

Regina Römhild (Humboldt University, Berlin): Silencing a Migrant Past: Neglected Genealogies of European Self-Making in Cross-Mediterranean Mobilities and Entanglements

Francesca Pegorer (UBC Vancouver): From Friuli, Looking East: Multiple Belongings between Literature and Autoethnography 

Moritz Schramm (University of Southern Denmark): Radical Diversity: A New Narrative for Postmigrant Europe? 

Panel II: Postmigrant Narratives in European Literature and Film

10:25am to 12:10pm (PST)

Katrin Sieg (Georgetown University, Respondent)

Markus Hallensleben (UBC Vancouver): Migrating into European History: From “Dangerous Affinities” to Postmigrant Narratives

Dorothee Leesing (UBC Vancouver): The High-Rise as Transitional Space: Identity Negotiations in K. Taha’s “Beschreibung einer Krabbenwanderung” (2018)

Alvaro Luna (Université de Limoges and Institut d’études politiques de Paris): Towards an Ecocritical Reading of (Post)migrant Narratives: An Analysis of Yamina Benguiguiâ’s Inch’Allah Dimanche

Sten Moslund (University of Southern Denmark): Postmigrant Revisions of Analytical Concepts to Catch up with the Contemporary Development of Multicultural Literature (The Example of Black British Literature)

Full program at

Please register online by June 22, 2020, at Zoom

You will be sent a confirmation link for accessing the event online.

Registration Inquiries:

Organized by Markus HallenslebenNarratives Research Group, UBC Research Excellence Cluster on Migration

Dept. of Central, Eastern and Northern European Studies, UBC Vancouver

This event was originally planned as part of the European Culture Research Network for the CES Conference 2020 on Europe’s Past, Present, and Future: Utopias and Dystopias and is partially supported by the SSHRC Insight Development Grant on Migration as Core Narrative of Plural Societies.

Respectfully acknowledging that UBC is located on the traditional, ancestral, unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) people.

Back To Top