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How should we theorize race in the study of migrants’ illegalization and deportation in liberal western states? Why does it matter to set racism at the center of forced migration studies? In this fourth lecture, dr. Barak Kalir (UvA) will address these questions based on his recent academic work. More specifically, he will unpack how the administration of illegalized migration works as a crucial frontier for managing racism in society. The audience is warmly invited to join the discussion in a short Q&A session after the lecture.

Event details of Bridging Race and Migration Studies: Barak Kalir
Date 28 April 2021
Time 16:00 -17:00


Barak Kalir is an Associate Professor at the Department of Anthropology, University of Amsterdam. He is the co-director of the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies. His work focuses on the study of deportation and the illegalization of migrants. He recently completed an ERC project called “The Social Life of State Deportation Regimes” and currently works on H2020 ADMIGOV project “Advancing Alternative Migration Governance”. Barak is particularly interested in understanding the role of state bureaucrats and civil society actors in oppressive mobility and border regimes. Among his recent publications are: To Deport or to “Adopt” (2020, Ethnography), Departheid: The Draconian Governance of Illegalized Migrants in Western State (2019, Conflict and Society). In this lecture, Barak discusses how structural and everyday racism play a role in managing undesired mobility in Europe and beyond.

Moderated by Eline Westra 

About the Series

In 2021, ACES launches a new online lecture series titled “Race and Migration - scholarship in between, on and beyond the borders”. Starting January 27th and reaching until June 10th, the series invites speakers and the audience to reflect on the historical divides and bridges between race and migration scholarship in Europe. During five monthly sessions, scholars from various fields are invited to discuss how they tackle the intersections between race- and migration in both their scholarly work and in institutional settings. The series is convened by Sonja Evaldsson Mellström and Eline Westra, UvA Department of Political Science.

What are the points of contestation between race- and migration studies in 21st century Europe? Why have these two fields developed parallel to, but not always in conversation with, each other?

The study of race- and ethnicity in Europe has historically been concerned with imperial pasts, postcolonial presents and constructions of race across the continent. Migration studies, on the other hand, has predominantly tackled issues of migrant settlement, integration and global mobilities focusing on questions of labour markets and economics, national identity and social cohesion, and state sovereignty. While there are notable exceptions, serious engagement with issues of race- and ethnicity has traditionally been lacking in European migration studies. Over the past decades, a shift has occurred in Europe where scholars within critical race-, migration-, post/colonial - and mobility studies increasingly have treated race and ethnicity as constitutive of migration processes. This IMES/ACES lecture series invites six scholars to reflect on how the intersections between ethnicity-, race,- post/colonial- and migration scholarship inform both their own work and the larger field of migration studies. The series offers a platform for students, scholars and practitioners to critically engage with the historical divides and bridges between race and migration scholarship. Through the discussions the series aim to create avenues for tackling the issue of race in studies of transnational mobility and to provide a space to reflect on how academia institutionally can bridge the historical divides.