Seminar Series on Forced Migration

The Seminar Series on Forced Migration is part of Europe-Asia Research Platform on Forced Migration at the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen (IWM) and Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group (CRG); and is hosted at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Vienna.

Europe-Asia Research Platform on Forced Migration advances the cooperation between European and South Asian institutions and academics while working toward creating a joint research platform for innovative knowledge production on forced migration and border regimes. Bringing together scholars, policy makers and practitioners from different disciplines and regions, the Seminar Series aspires to decentering Europe-focused scholarship, debates, and policies on forced migration.

The Seminar Series, as part of Europe-Asia Research Platform on Forced Migration, benefits from the research platform The Challenge of Urban Futures at the University of Vienna and Cities and Human Mobility Collaborative at the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility at the New School for Social Research.

For more information, publications, upcoming events, and much more at Europe-Asia Research Platform on Forced Migration click here.

Upcoming Seminar

January 20, 2021 - 5pm CET

Professor Prem Kumar Rajaram

Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, Central European University

The Coloniality of Migration

Refugees and migrants are often studied as though they have no relation to the racial and class structures and histories of the societies in which they reside. They are taken to be external strangers to be governed by ‘integration’ policy and border management.  I begin from the suggestion that migration, and in particular forced migration, can be usefully understood in relation to practices of material and cultural dispossession and value expropriation so as to ensure a steady supply of cheapened labour power.  These practices were central to the way colonial capitalism of the 19th and 20th centuries was organised, and I will argue that they remain pertinent to contemporary intersections of politics, economics and culture.  The persistent coloniality of contemporary migration is evident in struggles to control and direct the social reproduction of culturally-demeaned others (including migrants and other racialised groups) with the aim of ensuring the regular supply of cheapened labour.

In the talk I will look at these dynamics in relation to three cases: (1) the control of indigenous migrant labour in tea plantations in the early 20th century in northeast India, (2) the control of sex workers in 20th century British Rangoon, and (3) the struggle to control the social reproduction of migrants that is central to notions and policies around contemporary ‘European citizenship’.

Register for the Event

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Previous Seminars


December 16, 2020 - Professor Jennifer Hyndman
November 11, 2020 - Professor Giorgia Doná

Seminar Series on Forced Migration Team

  • Ayse Çağlar, Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna, Permanent Fellow, IWM
  • Ana Ćuković, PhD Student, Coordinator of Europe-Asia Research Platform on Forced Migration and Seminar Series at University of Vienna
  • Clemens Schmid, Technical Support

For any inquiries or questions, please contact Ana Ćuković (