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Second Workshop ‘Migration transdisciplinary’: Art historical migration research and beyond

The workshop „Migration transdisciplinary” focusses on the critical reflection and
enhancement of art theoretical and art historical perspectives through the discussion
of recent approaches of migration research, especially in the field of Refugee and
Forced Migration Studies and Cultural Anthropology (Gupta/Ferguson 1992; Malkki
1992; Fiddian-Qasmiyeh et al. 2016; Sigona 2015). We intend to adapt questions
about the forms and techniques of (trans)national governance of migration, to the
discussion on “migration narratives from below”, up to alternative mappings of
migration research for art studies.

Building on art historical approaches to documentation, description of materials and
the analysis of concepts related to identity politics (see Gender Studies Held/Pohl
1984; Albrecht/Below/Kahre 2001) on the one hand, and an empirical cultural studies
approach on the other hand, the aim is to develop an interdisciplinary method of
analytically approaching the migration of artists and their art production on a micro and macro scale.

In order to not only examine the phenomenon of migration in terms of artistic production, a shift of perspectives for a relational analysis is appropriate. This is to
consider respective conditions and experiences of migration so that the multi-layered
translocal and transcultural conditions, reasons and consequences of migratory
movements for both, the artists and their practices, can be differentiated.
With our guests Darshan Vigneswaran (Political Studies and Migration and Ethnic
Studies, Amsterdam) and Kathrin Wildner (Urban Studies and Anthropology,
Hamburg), the planned workshop builds on this research desideratum and asks for the meaning, applicability and possible transdisciplinary transfer of these theoretical and methodological implications for the art theoretical and praxeological analysis of global migration.

How can we describe and analyse visual sources in this light? How are geographically
and subjectively heterogenous experiences of migration framed? Which role do
institutionalization and spatialization strategies play in regard of artistic migration and
the reflection of mobility and space through artistic interventions? And in which form can analytical and empirical approaches from the social and cultural studies be applied in art studies in order to examine the relationship of art and migration without
succumbing to neither a reification of cultural particularity nor to a universalizing
rhetoric on globality and artistic practice? In order to explore these questions, the
workshop will hold a methodological debate on the possible links between different
data forms for the purpose of new ways of archiving, collaborating and publishing
(“cultural mapping” Roberts 2012; “walk-along” Kusenbach 2003; “sensory anthropology” Pink 2010). It will also reflect current efforts to include artists and their
research-bases practices in empirical research (Leavy 2009; Barone und Eisner 2011;
Schneider und Wright 2013; Brosius 2017).

See the workshop program here



November 8. – 9. 2019


Heidelberg Centre for Transcultural Studies
Vossstr. 2
69115 Heidelberg