International migration and attendant processes of globalization, both as social phenomena and in efforts at theorization, have become especially critical for the development of social theory and analysis, notably by challenging some of the fundamental questions of the social sciences. If one wishes, as Georg Simmel did, to answer the question "How is society possible?", one cannot take for granted that the relevant object is defined within the parameters of the nationstate, nor by those of ´ethnic groups´ or ´cultures´.
In a recent evaluation report on Norwegian sociology research, it is stated that ´[t]he key question to be explored by sociology today is not, perhaps, how society is possible, but rather how to study social processes and changes at local, national and global levels (Sociological research in Norway: An evaluation, p. 17). Across the social science disciplines, it now seems impossible to imagine place, society and culture without the mobilities of people, goods and information - thus recasting questions exploring e.g. social stratification, scale, space, media and politics.
In its 15 years of existence, IMER Bergen has directed its collaborative efforts towards examining, but also reframing the fundamental questions of the social sciences, as variously defined within particular disciplines. To celebrate this 15th anniversary, we want to put to the forth the contributions that IMER research in Bergen, but also in the wider international scholarly community, has made to the study of society in general, processes of social change and new social formations in particular.
A combination of international and local scholars will in the course of a two day seminar, discuss how IMER researchers deal with issues such as migration, globalization and transnational movements - how they examine 'culture', ´politics´, ´space´, ´gender´, ´media´, ´government´ and ´law´ - through the prism of International Migration and Ethnic Relations.
A commitment to provide a strong and creative scholarly environment for students and research recruits has been one of IMER Bergen´s main vocations. In this spirit, the 15th anniversary comprises a PhD course for candidates within the humanities and social sciences. In addition to the main conference, the course component of the conference will be constituted by workshop sessions with essay presentations. The candidates are expected to send an essay abstract of maximum 1 page, including a few words about the PhD project, previous to the course. Participating PhD students that after submitting a post-conference paper get their work accepted, will be awarded 10 ETCS credits.
The obligatory curriculum of 5-700 pages is a collection of central texts which deal with core questions of the Social Sciences related to the field of migration and globalization, and will emphasize the work of the invited lecturers. The essays are expected to reflect knowledge and comprehension of the course curriculum.
The conference and course participants will also be invited to attend the anniversary performance lecture ´Crossing Borders´ with the performance artist Tanja Ostojic, organized in co-operation with the Art Gallery Stiftelsen 3,14.
The conference and PhD course is organized by IMER Bergen and the Department of Social Anthropology, UiB and in collaboration with Uni Rokkansenteret, the Department of Comparative Politics, the Department of Geography, the Department of Sociology, and SKOK (Center for Women´s and Gender Studies) at the University of Bergen.
Yngve G Lithman (University of Bergen)
Bruce Kapferer (University of Bergen)
David Ley (University of British Columbia):
Masters of Space, or Prisoners of Space? Locating the Neoliberal Migrant
Laura Agustín (Independent scholar)
André Iteanu (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (C.N.R.S.), Paris):
The Free Noble and the Poor Beggar
Nina Glick Schiller (University of Manchester)
Susi Meret (University of Aalborg)
Mette Andersson (University of Bergen):
"Reflexive Transnationalization" among Socially Engaged Minority Youth
Hakan Sicakkan (University of Bergen):
The Politics of Diversity, the European Publics, and the European Public Sphere
Randi Gressgård (University of Bergen):
Equality Equals Hierarchy – the Holistic Foundation of Liberal Ideology and Integration Policy
Elisabeth Eide (Oslo University College and University of Bergen):
Media discourses, migration and post-22.7-debates; a critical inquiry
Christine M Jacobsen (Uni Research and University of Bergen):
The (not so) New Islamic Presence in Western Europe: Secular Governance and Religious Freedom in a Globalized Era