CALL FOR PAPERS "Celebratory Migranticization? Questioning the Histories and Practices of Racialization in the Arts"

Jerusalem 18-21 March, 2024

Art and culture are becoming increasingly tied to projects of social cohesion and well-being, often couched in discourses of diversity, social sustainability, resilience, and innovation. This focus on the expediency of culture is connected to the history of cultural policy. Emerging in Europe and the US in the 1950s, cultural policy can be defined as a sustained effort on behalf of the state to turn culture into a resource for producing a unified and inclusive sense of national culture. In the European welfare states, this often focused on the democratization of excellent art through government programs of accessibility, which tried to reach the portion of the population that did not regularly attend the arts. Simultaneous to cultural policy developments that sought to shape nation-states, people on the move and their descendants have been migranticized. By migranticization, we mean the negative racialization of people on the basis of their practiced, projected or ascribed histories of human mobility. The history of the migranticizations of people on the move developed alongside nation-states’ social cohesion efforts. Through the efforts of UNESCO, the World Bank, the European Commission, and other supranational policy centers, cultural policy is today a global phenomenon. However, the focus on accessibility has been supplanted by a discourse on social cohesion, often directly addressing perceived social problems related to migration. As a consequence, agendas and practices of cultural institutions and other stakeholders in the field of arts and culture have progressively shifted towards the call for 'integration', upholding structures that position migranticized and racialized bodies as the ‘other’ or ‘outsider’.

Migration Studies research only just begins to interrogate the nexus between migranticization and artistic and cultural practices. Moreover, artists and their approaches, as well as their reflections on this social phenomenon, are frequently subjected to examination, but they are not consistently integrated as active intellectual contributors to the discourse.

In this workshop, we invite our peers in research and artistic production to explore and reflect upon these topics and their multiple intersections across a broad spectrum of geographies, languages, and disciplines - challenging instrumentalist understandings of, and engagements with, the artistic production, aesthetic perspectives, and cultural participation of migranticized actors. We offer below some potential lines of inquiry we would like to engage with, but they are by no means exhaustive:

  • The aesthetic dimension: how artists have responded to issues of migranticization in their practice and what can we learn from these responses?
  • The perspectives from cultural institutions, intermediaries, audiences/publics/consumers
  • Critical approaches to cultural policies and institutional discourses in arts and culture
  • What can we learn from using migranticization as a frame of analysis that helps interrogate inequalities and racism in arts and culture?

The workshop is organized by a transdisciplinary research collective interested in critical approaches and creative engagements with arts, aesthetics, and race in migration and diaspora studies: Aminata Estelle Diouf (University of Cologne), Berndt Clavier (Malmo University), Carolin Müller (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), and Carolina Triana-Cuellar (University of Sussex). Our activities, including this workshop, have been organised within the framework of the IMISCOE Standing Committee Superdiversity, Migration and Cultural Change DIVCULT and are also supported by the Martin Buber Society of Fellows in the Humanities and Social Sciences at the Hebrew University.

We have the capacity to provide from DIVCULT funding a maximum of 8 bursaries of maximum 300 euros to cover travel expenses, and additionally we are able to substitute accommodation expenses from the Martin Buber Society of Fellows funding a maximum of 8 bursaries of each a maximum of 3 nights in Jerusalem to early career researchers (doctoral students and postdocs up to 6 years post-PhD) and artists who can substantiate their financial constraints and their desire to attend the event in person in Jerusalem. Priority is given to PhD students. Parallel to the workshop, there will be additional activities with DIVCULT and the MBSF.

It is our intention that papers from this workshop will be developed into a Special Issue for an international peer-reviewed journal.

We invite proposals artists and researchers from all career stages for:

  • Full paper: 6,000-8,000 words
  • Short paper (work in progress): up to 2,500 words
  • Art work* plus reflexive essay on the workshop topic(s): 2,000-2,500 words.
  • *Art work in digital format is required and can include video, illustrations, photography, online exhibitions.

Proposal abstracts should be no more than 1400 characters (600 words). Please indicate what type of contribution you would like to make. Applications should also include a 500 character (200 word) bio. All application information will be submitted via this form. For any enquiries please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Key dates:

  • Abstract submission deadline: 15 November 2023
  • Notifications of acceptance and funding (when applicable): 1 December 2023
  • Confirmation of attendance from participants: 10 December 2023
  • Paper submission deadline: 20 February 2024
  • Workshop: 18-21 March 2024

Tentative program:

Monday 18 March 2024

  • Evening - Welcome dinner (provided)

Tuesday 19 March 2024

  • All day - Individual paper discussions
  • Evening - Visit to local cultural center

Wednesday 20 March 2024

  • Morning (a) - Artist talk
  • Morning (b) - Special Issue collective planning
  • Afternoon - Special Issue collective writing

Thursday 21 March 2024

  • Morning - IMISCOE DIVCULT seminar

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