The Power of Narratives: Demarcating Belonging with New Approaches
A MWP Multidisciplinary Workshop
Max Weber Fellows Aitana Guia (RSCAS 2015-2016) and Julija Sardelić (SPS 2014-2016)
Conference Room, Villa La Fonte, Via delle Fontanelle, 18 – San Domenico di Fiesole
16-17 MAY 2016
“Stories are wondrous things. They can also be dangerous” said Cherokee-Greek-American writer Thomas King in his renowned Massey Lectures ‘The Truth about Stories: A Native Narrative’.
This workshop explores how narratives are constructed, contested, shaped, and reshaped; how some narratives become hegemonic while others are abandoned and eventually forgotten. Narratives can be especially decisive when they contribute to demarcating who belongs to a certain community and who is excluded from it. This workshop looks at case studies in Europe, North America and the Middle East and focuses on how new narratives of belonging transform and define the boundaries between those included and excluded. It explores to which extent new narratives are being used to reinforce old exclusions and whether new narratives are creating cleavages in societies that hitherto did not experience them.
New discourses appealing to gender equality and the rights of sexual minorities, as well as to the overall discourse on human rights, are increasingly being used, or rather misused, to label and stigmatize certain marginalized minorities and migrants, such as those belonging to Muslim and Roma minorities. Concepts such as nativism and autochthony are increasingly being used to explain transformations in the contours of belonging in Europe and beyond.
The workshop starts with a critical analysis of how new xenophobic discourses addressing particularly Muslims, but also other migrants whether from within or outside the European Union. It continues with a focus on narratives mobilised to make sense of the refugee crisis in the former Yugoslav countries and in the Middle East. It concludes with a focus on the counter-hegemonic narratives of minority actors themselves and how they try to construct different narratives to make sense of the migration phenomenon.
The workshop includes papers on changing narratives of ‘belonging’ and how they re-define outsiders and recreate the community of ‘We’.
16 MAY FIRST SESSION
09.30-11.00 Chair: Julija Sardelić | EUI
Whose Story? – Narratives of Flight, Persecution and Survival
Ruth Wodak | EUI
11.00-11.30 Coffee Break
IS THE REFUGEE CRISIS RESHAPING NATIONAL IDENTITIES?
11.30-13.00 Chair: Anna Triandafyllidou | EUI
New Narratives of the ‘Refugee Crisis’ and the Reconfiguring of ‘Diversity Management’ in the Post-Conflict Former Yugoslav States
Julija Sardelić | EUI
Competing Agendas of National Identity. Values, Narratives and Contradictions to Determine Israel’s Asylum Regime
Shai Tagner | Ben-Gurion University and University of Roma Tre
NEW DISCOURSES OF EXCLUSION
14.00-15.30 Chair: Hans-Jörg Trenz | EUI
Transnational Narratives of Fear and Exclusion in Europe: How Do They Travel and Where Do They Land?
Heather Grabbe | EUI
Why Do Nativist Narratives Prosper in Western Democracies and Under Which Conditions They Wither?
Aitana Guia | EUI
15.30-16.00 Coffee Break
16.00-18.00 Chair: Aitana Guia | EUI
White Innocence: Paradoxes of Colonialism and Race
Gloria Wekker | Utrecht University
17 MAY NARRATIVES OF AUTOCHTONY
09.30-11.00 Chair: Sabrina Marchetti | EUI
Reshaping Autochthony in Europe. Everyday Autochthony. Difference, Discontent, and the Politics of Home in Amsterdam
Paul Mepschen | University of Leiden
Why Do Migrant-Background Individuals Join an Anti-Immigration Party? Ethnicity, Class and Age in the National Front (France)
Francesca Scrinzi | EUI
Narratives of Assimilation and Resistance:Reclaiming Kurdish Identity in Diaspora
Barzoo Eliassi | Linneaus University and Oxford University
11.00-11.30 Coffee Break
11.30-12.30 The Power of Narratives: Promoting Interdisciplinary Conversations