Calls for decolonizing the university have increased in the past years. The 2020 transnational Black Lives Matter movement has also reverberated these calls in the field of European migration studies.
The current attention to decolonization reflects the gradual entry of formerly marginalized voices in public and academic debates. Because outside Europe, and in minority intellectual circles within Europe, debates on the decolonization of knowledge production, have been ongoing for decades. Decolonization is an intellectual endeavor that questions a Western knowledge production that obscures non-Western forms of knowledge, and it questions the European amnesia regarding the role of colonialism and race in understanding current social realities. In (EU) Migration studies, the role of race, racism and colonial histories have indeed been continuously and actively excluded as explanations of how and why the EU and European nation states reproduce hierarchized patterns of exclusion in migration and citizenship policies. However, can we fully understand current migration phenomena such as the so-called ‘European migration crisis of 2015’ and contemporary policy developments without this historical consciousness? In this seminar, our speakers will present their insights into what decolonization of (EU) migration studies might mean, why it is necessary and how researchers can contribute to this endeavor.