2021 Forum

Histories of Migration: Transatlantic and Global Perspectives

Fifth Annual Bucerius Young Scholars Forum | October 18 – 20, 2021

Conveners: Franziska Exeler (Department of History, Free University Berlin; Centre for History and Economics, University of Cambridge) and Sören Urbansky (Pacific Regional Office of the German Historical Institute Washington, Berkeley)


2021 Forum Schedule

Monday, October 18, 2021


8 – 9:30 a.m. (Pacific Coast)
11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (East Coast)
16 – 17:30 h (UK)
17 – 18:30 h. (Europe – MESZ)
18 – 19:30 h. (Ukraine)

Knowing Refugees, Historically Speaking

Welcome and Introduction: Simone Lässig
Speaker: Peter Gatrell
Comment: Stacy Fahrenthold


9:40 – 10 a.m. (Pacific Coast)
12:40 – 1 p.m. (East Coast)
17:40 – 18h (UK)
18:40 – 19 h (Europe – MESZ)
19:40 – 20 h (Ukraine)

Welcome & Introductions

Franziska Exeler and Sören Urbansky

Panel 1

10 – 11:30 a.m. (Pacific Coast)
1 – 2:30 p.m. (East Coast)
18 – 19:30 h (UK)
19 – 20:30 h (Europe – MESZ)
20 – 21:30 h (Ukraine)

Racism, Othering, and Politics

Chair: Glenn Penny
Comments: Roii Ball and Larissa Kopytoff

Annika Bärwald
The Port City as Borderland: Hamburg, Its Non-European Migrants, and the Production of Difference, 1750-1840
Eriks Bredovskis
Germany’s Color Line: The United States, the German Foreign Office, and the “Yellow Peril.”
Get together

11:40 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (Pacific Coast)
2:40 – 3:30 p.m. (East Coast)
19:40 – 20:30 h (UK)
20:40 – 21:30 h (Europe – MESZ)
21:40 – 22:30 h (Ukraine)

Virtual Cocktail Hour

Check your email on October 18 for the login information

Tuesday, October 19, 2021


8 – 9:30 a.m. (Pacific Coast)
11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (East Coast)
16 – 17:30 h (UK)
17 – 18:30 h (Europe – MESZ)
18 – 19:30 h (Ukraine)

Migration, Labor, and the Family

Chair: Ulf Brunnbauer 
Comments: Ulrike Bialas and Eriks Bredovskis

Roii Ball
Transnational Farming Families and Agrarian Settlement in Imperial Peripheries: A Preliminary Exploration between Württemberg and Prussian Poland, and Ottoman Palestine, 1860-1914
Kateryna Burkush
Seasonal Migration: Problem or Solution? Soviet Initiatives of Stimulating and Managing Seasonal Labor Migration in the 1950s–1980s
Panel 3

9:45 – 10:30 a.m. (Pacific Coast)
12:45 – 1:30 p.m. (East Coast)
17:45 – 18:30 h (UK)
18:45 – 19:30 h (Europe – MESZ)
19:45 – 20:30 h (Ukraine)

Trafficking, Gender, and Mobility

Chair: Peter Gatrell
Comments: Fabio Santos

Abraham Trejo-Terreros
Migrants in Transit and Human Smuggling in the 1920s U. S.-Mexico Borderlands
Panel 4

10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. (Pacific Coast)
1:45- 3:15 p.m. (East Coast)
18:45 – 20:15 h (UK)
19:45 – 21:15 h (Europe – MESZ)
20:45 – 22:15 h (Ukraine)

State Control, Rights, and Anxieties 

Chair: Sören Urbansky
Comments: Fabrice Langrognet and Phi Nguyen

Larissa Kopytoff
Borderlands at the Center: Mobility, Space, and Citizenship in French Colonial Senegal
Andrey Shlyakhter
Back to the USSR: Explaining the Growth of the Soviet Border Guard, 1917-1939

Wednesday, October 20, 2021


8 – 9:30 a.m. (Pacific Coast)
11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (East Coast)
16 – 17:30 h (UK)
17 – 18:30 h (Europe – MESZ)
18 – 19:30 h (Ukraine)

Cities and Microhistories of Everyday Life

Chair: Franziska Exeler 
Comments: Kateryna Burkush and Abraham Trejo-Terreros

Fabrice Langrognet
Boundary-making far from the Border: Migrant Citizenship in a Paris Suburb in the Early 20th Century
Phi Nguyen
Devout Landscape – Migrant Placemaking through the Afterlife in Huế, Vietnam
Panel 6

9:45 – 11:15 a.m. (Pacific Coast)
12:45 – 2:15 p.m. (East Coast)
17:45 – 19:15 h (UK)
18:45 – 20:15 h (Europe – MESZ)
19:45 – 21:15 h (Ukraine)

Migration, Law, and the Creation of (Il)legality

Chair: Carolin Liebisch-Gümüş
Comments: Annika Bärwald and Andrey Shlyakhter

Ulrike Bialas
Forever 17: Young Asylum Seekers and the Struggle for Minority
Fabio Santos
“Europe” in “Latin America”: Illegalized Mobilities, Deportable Bodies, and Contested Sovereignties in the French-Brazilian Borderland

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (Pacific Coast)
2:30 – 3:30 p.m. (East Coast)
19:30 – 20:30 h (UK)
20:30 – 21:30 h (Europe – MESZ)
21:30 – 22:30 h (Ukraine)

Concluding Round / Virtual Reception

2021 Forum Participants

Roii Ball is a historian of nineteenth and twentieth century Germany and Central Europe. He earned his PhD Dissertation from the UCLA (2021) with a dissertation on the interplay between the administrative practices and the social dynamics of imperial settlement and “Germanization” in the Polish provinces of Prussia between 1886 and 1914. Roii is interested in histories of childhood, kinship, and agrarian colonization, at the intersection of empire-making and nation-making. He is currently working on a history of German expansion through kinship practices of transnational Swabian farmer families, who moved between Poznania, Ottoman Palestine, and Southern Africa. He has been a recipient of the UCLA dissertation year award and held fellowships at the University of Cologne, the German Historical Institute in Warsaw, and the Institute for European History in Mainz. He is currently a fellow at the Minerva Institute of German History at Tel Aviv University.

Annika Bärwald studied German, English, and history at the universities of Duisburg-Essen, Amsterdam, and Bremen. She has worked as a foreign language teaching assistant at Dartmouth College and taught at Bremen public schools before beginning her PhD in history at the University of Bremen. Her dissertation project focuses on Hamburg’s entanglements with slavery-based economies as well as on the presence and labor of Asian, African, Native American and African-descended people in and around Hamburg.

Ulrike Bialas holds a BA and MA in Social Sciences from Humboldt University Berlin and a PhD in Sociology from Princeton University. Her ethnographic dissertation examined the role of age in the lives of young asylum seekers in Germany. Minors are entitled to protections and resources denied to adults, yet many young asylum seekers do not know their exact age or lack documentation of it. Ulrike’s forthcoming book, Forever 17, explores age as a culturally contingent, politically charged proxy for vulnerability and shows the complexity of age in young migrants’ lives. Besides migration, Ulrike’s research interests include Urban Sociology and Science and Technology Studies. In October 2021, Ulrike began postdoctoral fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity.

Eriks Bredovskis is a PhD candidate in the department of history at the University of Toronto and affiliate with the Collaborative Program at the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies. His dissertation investigates Germans moving across British, American, Russian, and Japanese imperial boundaries in the Northern Pacific Ocean between 1880 and 1920. He is also interested in questions of family history, memory, and home. Eriks has published in the German Studies Review and most recently in an edited volume that examines the connected histories of Germany’s and the United States’ colonial empires.

Kateryna Burkush received her PhD in history and civilization from the European University Institute, Florence. She was a Pontica Magna Research Fellow at the New Europe College, Bucharest, and published in “Labor History”.

Larissa Kopytoff teaches history at the University of South Florida. She earned her PhD in African History from New York University in 2018. Her current work explores the political and legal history of French citizenship in colonial Senegal. More broadly, her research interests include citizenship and nationality in colonial and postcolonial Africa; colonial law and administration; and migration and mobility within and across imperial boundaries, with an emphasis on the French empire. In 2019, Larissa was a Fellow at the University of Wisconsin’s J. Willard Hurst Summer Institute in Legal History.

Fabrice Langrognet is an associate researcher at a joint University of Paris 1/CNRS lab and a fellow at the Global Public Policy Institute, a Berlin-based think tank. He completed his PhD in migration history at the University of Cambridge in 2019. His current research in the history of airport asylum is supported by fellowships from Princeton University (2020-2021) and the University of Oxford (2021-2024). Fabrice is also a career government official in France. After graduating from the École normale supérieure, Sciences-Po and ÉNA, he served for almost five years as a judge in the administrative branch of the French judiciary. He specialized in immigration and asylum cases.

Phi Nguyen is a PhD candidate in the joint program between the Lab of Urbanism, EDAR, EPFL, and the Department of Interior Architecture, HEAD-Genève. She holds a Master in Architecture from Harvard University, Graduate School of Design (2016). Phi is a fellow in Huế team within the research project Site and Space in Southeast Asia, organized by the University of Sydney and supported by the Getty Foundation as part of its Connecting Art Histories Initiative (2018-2022). She received the Graham Foundation grant to coordinate an exhibition at Huế City’s Museum of Fine Arts on the city’s local architectural heritage (2018-2019). Phi has experiences working in both art/design practice and research from renown firms and institutions around the world. She co-founded the research/design studio atelier NgNg based in Saigon, Vietnam.

Fabio Santos currently substitutes a Global Studies professorship at the University of Aarhus. His sociological, ethnographic and historical research focuses on contested memories, spaces, borders, and belongings – in short: inequalities – from postcolonial and intersectional perspectives. After earning his doctorate in sociology from FU Berlin in 2019 (German-Mexican Graduate School “Between Spaces”), he worked as guest professor in International Development at the University of Vienna and as postdoc at the Institute for Latin American Studies (FU Berlin). His monograph Bridging Fluid Borders. Entanglements in the French-Brazilian Borderland is forthcoming.

Andrey Shlyakhter is an international historian of the Soviet Union and its neighbors. His research explores the interaction of economics, security, and ideology at state frontiers. Dr. Shlyakhter received his PhD from the University of Chicago in December 2020 with the dissertation “Smuggler States: Poland, Latvia, Estonia, and Contraband Trade Across the Soviet Frontier, 1919-1924,” which was honored with a 2021 Ab Imperio Annual Award. The dissertation informs his postdoctoral book project, Smuggling Across the Soviet Borders: Contraband Trades, Soviet Solutions, and the Shadow Economic Origins of the Iron Curtain, 1917-1932. Since taking his degree, Dr. Shlyakhter has been a Jacyk Visiting Scholar at the University of Toronto, a Title VIII Research Scholar at the Kennan Institute of the Wilson Center, and the 2021 Fisher Fellow at the Virtual Summer Research Laboratory at UIUC. In October 2021 he will join the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research as a Dina Abramowicz Emerging Scholar Fellow in Eastern European Jewish Studies. 

Abraham Trejo-Terrerosstudied history at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and El Colegio de México; he held research fellowships at Yale University and Jagiellonian University (Poland). His doctoral research received honorable mentions by the Association of European Latin Americanist Historians (2021) and the Mexico Section of the Latin American Studies Association(2021). He was awarded the LASA’s Charles Hale Fellowship for excellence in historical research on Mexico (2019).