Abstracts/ RésumésCarolyn Podruchny & Jesse Thistle (York University)
"A Geography of Blood: Uncovering the Hidden Histories of Metis People in Canada"
Metis people in Canada have often been left out of narratives of Canadian history for three reasons. First, like all Indigenous peoples in Canada, they have been the vanquished in the process of colonization, and ignored by the victors who dominated the construction of public memory. Second, as descendants of both Indigenous peoples and European newcomers, they have been shunned by both of these communities as outsiders. When Indigenous history began to explode in the 1970s, Metis history failed to keep up, mainly because their histories, especially in the 20th century, remained hidden or disowned. Many Metis families tried to hide their heritage and pass for either Euro-Canadians or First Nations. Third, the way Metis people occupied geographic space and created place made it difficult to assert and maintain their culture. In her award-winning memoir, A Geography of Blood, Candace Savage shows how the tragic history of Metis dispossession can be uncovered in prairie landscapes, under striations of earth, artifacts, and fossils, as well as community museums, local stories, and bonds of families. This presentation focuses on one Metis family, the Morrissettes, who suffered in both 19th-century resistances, lost their scrip, lived on road allowances, and fought generations of substance abuse to reclaim their place in Canadian history.
Eric Méchoulan (Université de Montréal)
"Diversité des rythmes mémoriels et politiques de l'événement"
Comment archiver un événement? Quels sont les enjeux de son recyclage dans divers moments historiques? De quelle façon le passé peut-il nous réserver des surprises? Je tâcherai de traiter de ces questions sur un exemple précis afin de réfléchir à diverses sortes de diversité.
Carola David (IRTG Montréal)
"Conflit(s) de mémoire(s), mémoire(s) conflictuelle(s) - Un alligator nommé Rosa de Marie-Célie Agnant"
Inspiré par le personnage authentique d’une « femme macoute » ayant joué un rôle cruel de tortionnaire sous la dictature des Duvalier, l’auteure haïtiano-québécoise Marie-Célie Agnant fait se confronter une victime masculine et son bourreau féminin dans le roman Un alligator nommé Rosa. Agnant illustre ici la « violence au féminin », un versant souvent occulté de la cruauté humaine, retournant ainsi les perspectives courantes, c’est-à-dire que la femme « éternelle victime » devient bourreau impitoyable.
Engagé pour rédiger les mémoires de Rosa, la femme qui a autrefois assassiné ses parents et ainsi détruit la vie de « l’enfant-témoin », le journaliste Antoine oscille entre désespoir, refoulement, vengeance et haine face à cette vieille femme invalide qui n’est plus que l’ombre de la tortionnaire puissante d’autrefois. Réduite à des grognements dans ses vieux jours, par la maladie et la vieillesse, l’ex-bourreau Rosa révèle de façon poignante son animalité et dépeint ainsi l’absence totale d’humanité des régimes politiques dictatoriaux. D’une certaine façon, le silence des victimes face aux indicibles horreurs vécues sous la terreur s’est ainsi emparé de la coupable, qui nie toute responsabilité pour les horreurs commises par elle autrefois. Les faits historiques et le côté meurtrier de son passé sont occultés complètement par Rosa. Dans un acte de résistance contre « l’historiographie des bourreaux », l’ancienne victime refuse de perpétuer les mensonges d’une mémoire tronquée : les cahiers censés recueillir le témoignage fardé de la tortionnaire restent vides. Antoine confronte Rosa avec sa propre mémoire de victime, une « mémoire authentique vécue » à l’opposé du témoignage fictif et embelli livré par son interlocutrice. Il force ainsi sa tortionnaire à affronter les conséquences dévastatrices de l’extrême violence subie par les sujets sous un régime meurtrier.
Heike Härting (Université de Montréal)
"Situated Cosmopolitanisms in Contemporary Indigenous Art Productions in Canada"
In her book An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization (2012), Gayatri Spivak polemically states that "Globalization takes place only in capital and data … the humanities and imaginative social sciences bite the dust ... Hope (or lack of hope) and sentimental nationalism (or sentimental postnational globalism) are where much of our world stands now." (1). The notion of sentimental nationalisms deliberately lacks self-critique and transformation and, instead, relies on the continuous production of "sanctioned ignorance" (Spivak’s term) to resolve or negate differences in the name of false or, at least, unquestioned universalisms. In my talk I will look at the work of a number of contemporary indigenous visual artists, specifically the installations of Kent Monkman, Jackson 2Bears, and Rebecca Belmore, and at Joseph Boyden’s novel The Orenda (2013). While not without differences, all of these artists are concerned with rethinking the cross-cuttings of Canadian/ indigenous history through a non-essentialist and performative approach of representing the violence of forging and forestalling particular identities. They contest the proliferation of "sentimental nationalisms" by imagining central events in Canadian history through a simultaneously indigenous and cosmopolitan perspective. The kind of cosmopolitanism at issue in these artists’ work, however, does not champion a new hidden universalism. Rather, situated cosmopolitanisms draw out the tensions, fissures, and seams of colliding worlds that make up the historical present of indigenous art production.
Luin Goldring (York University)
"Track Work and Boundary Work: Navigating Precarious Pathways of Settlement and Employment in Toronto"
This work addresses newcomer social incorporation through a conceptual and empirical analysis of non-citizen legal status and employment trajectories. Existing models of non-citizen social incorporation take into account contexts of departure, contexts of settlement, individual and group resources, and labour market segmentation. In doing so, they capture aspects of what we have referred to as the matrix of citizenship and work, which plays an important role in shaping entitlements, life chances, and other dimensions of well being. We argue that they do not sufficiently account for non-citizen trajectories or the gap and tension between citizenship status and rights on one hand, and citizenship practices on the other. We build on these approaches using (1) the concepts of tracking, boundary and bridging work, (2) a chutes and ladders model of multi-level, multi- institution and multi-actor immigration tracking, and (3) the concept of conditionality. Together, these provide a conceptual and methodological framework for analyzing newcomer incorporation that takes legal status situations and negotiations into account as increasingly important dimensions of social location and difference. Original data on immigrants and precarious work in the GTA are used to illustrate the approach.
Xymena Wieczorek (IRTG Trier)
"What happens after Migration? (Im)Mobilities among Polish Transmigrants"
My study adopts a sociological perspective, which aligns the understanding and explaining (in the Weberian sense) of multifaceted transnational biographies. I want to investigate transmigration as social practice, which I understand as part of the broader notion of transnationalism. Approaching migration as transmigration is widely spread in migration research, despite it being a contested concept. Transmigrants undertake recurrent border crossing activities (mentally and/or physically), often described as back and forth flows, while simultaneously keeping up ties to kinsmen, thus interconnecting both their country of arrival and of origin, and thereby creating new social spaces. (Basch/Glick Schiller/ Szanton Blanc 1992, Faist 2010, Levitt 2003, Portes/Guranizo/Landolt 1999, Pries 2010, Vertovec 1999)
By using biographical narratives of young adults of Polish heritage in Canada and Germany, I will argue that the transnational way of living is not as coherent as current definitions would suggest. The categorization of interviewees as transmigrants according to the geographical dimension of their mobility experiences is not a clear-cut undertaking. I suggest to understand transmigration as a phenomenon not only constituted through geographical mobility, but also through generational mobility, which is made available by family history and involves different kinds of generations. In this sense, I propose to define transmigration as the process of what happens after migration, including its embeddedness in the temporal, spatial, and social structures of the social world. First empirical findings indicate heterogeneous configurations of transmigration, including three categories of patterns of mobility (immobility, transmobility, cosmobility), which are related to central life themes such as language and education, cultural negotiations and various self-understandings. Subsequent life strategies create specific logics of identification, which account for transmigrational experiences. This complexity of the social phenomenon at stake needs to be interlaced in theory. In conclusion, I will point out possible first steps towards a revised theory of transmigration.
Rebecca Ferrari (IRTG Trier)
"Making Sense of Space(s): The Experiences of Space of Maghrebian Women Living in Paris"
In my presentation I would like to explore the different dimensions of the concept of space as they emerge during my fieldwork with first generation Algerian women in Paris. My fieldwork started in March 2014 and is meant to end in March 2015.
My intention is to understand the relation between spaces and emotions as they are linked to the migratory experience of these women. Questions I ask are: How can space suggest and recreate emotions? How can emotions provoke a wider narration? On a methodological level I propose a phenomenological approach which leads me through the streets of Paris, according to the stories of my informants while walking together in the places that are meaningful for them: from the fear at the Gare d’Austerlitz for Salma to the happiness in the Place de Clichy for Barroudja.
Since the beginning of my fieldwork, particularly via participant observation, different dimensions of what I had mainly conceived as an exterior and urban migratory space emerged, giving to the concept of space a plural and heterogeneous dimension.
Since the first meeting with my informants, the interior space, home, imposed itself: the majority of these women which I barely knew, preferred to open the doors of their house, letting me enter immediately into their intimate space instead of meeting me in a café, as I would have thought.
Other women, which I met in a humanitarian association mainly composed of Maghrebian women, where I regularly participate in different activities, have deepened my reflection on the multiple issues linked to the associative space for migrants and to the different emotions it implies, creates, and recreates.
Questions that I would like to address during the exploration of the Inside/Outside Paris for Algerian women in the coming field phase: How can we connect the different dimensions of spaces in order to give a complex overall view on the life experiences of my informants? How do first generation Algerian women inhabit and make sense of these different ‘spatial layers’ and of what they imply? Which role do emotions play in these processes?
Teresa Cappiali (IRTG Montréal)
"Rethinking the political opportunity structure approach: The role of political mobilization by people of foreign origin"
In the last two decades, the literature concerned with the political participation of people of foreign origin has mainly focused on the role of the receiving society in offering institutional and political opportunities for inclusion by using the “political opportunity structure” (or POS) framework. In my work, I argue that this approach overlooks crucial mechanisms involved in the processes of political participation and that needs to be completed with the literature that focuses on agency. The paper offers an insight on the theoretical approach that can help answer the two following questions: How do people of foreign origin perceive and engage with the 2political opportunity structure? How does their political engagement shape their trajectories of integration? In order to answer my questions, I make a critical use of the POS framework and combine it with the works by authors like Johanna Siméant (1998), Walter Nicholls (2014), Catherine Raissiguier (2010), and Fatima El-Tayeb (2011), who have emphasized migrants’ subjectivity and self-determination and the potential of people of foreign origin discourses and practices for inclusion. Following these authors, I pay particular attention to the agency of people of foreign origin within Italian left-wing organizations and conduct a microanalysis of individual trajectories of political participation and inclusion in both conventional and non-conventional channels.
The paper lays out the main theoretical approach to explain how inclusion and political participation de facto take place at the local level by exploring “citizenship in practice.” The first empirical findings suggest that specific trajectories of inclusion are shaped by the dynamic and non-linear interactions between structure and agency. The study also shows that people of foreign origin are challenging mainstream discourses and practices by their own discourses and practices, and in doing so they are contributing to transform Italian society and the very meaning of “integration” from below, notwithstanding limited institutional channels of political participation offered to them.
Pawel Karolewski (University of Wroclaw)
"Citizenship, Belonging and Diversity in the European Union"
My presentation is an attempt of integrating two scholarly discourses on the European Union: European citizenship and collective identity. Inspired by Erving Goffman’s notion of ‘interaction order’, it disaggregates the concept of citizenship into categories and allows for various internal configurations and interactions of citizenship. This variety of configurations does not only make its application in varying institutional settings and cultural contexts possible but also highlights the diversity dimension of citizenship.
In order to explore these diverse workings of citizenship, my presentation applies Norbert Elias’s concept of We-I-balance of identity. As different constellations of citizenship-induced identity can exist, the We-I-balance might lean towards the I-component or the We-component, thus favoring either individualization or collectivization of identity. Furthermore, a mismatch can arise between the expected identity and the identity politics associated with a specific form of citizenship. If different types of citizenship are linked with specific notions of identity, ill-conceived identity politics would generate an expectations–outcome gap, rather than produce stable collective identity in tune with its citizenship model. Next, my presentation illustrates some practices of citizenship and identity politics in the European Union. Against the background of the conceptual discussion of the citizenship-identity-nexus the cases of liberal, republican and caesarean citizenship in the EU are explored. Since citizenship practices and identity politics can be located in different policy fields, my presentation focuses on three problématiques that illustrate the citizenship-identity-nexus in the European Union.
Dave Poitras (IRTG Trier)
"The (In)Significance of Nationhood and Ethnicity in the Everyday Bi-ethnic Context of Montreal and Brussels"
How is nationhood significant and salient in everyday life? To explore this question, I have conducted an ‘ethnography of the nation’ to investigate the experienced meanings of nationhood as they are lived in the quotidian working environments of the bi-ethnic context milieus of Montreal and Brussels. The main objectives of this inquiry can be summarized in two points: it first aims (1) to identify the ways in which nationhood is understood, reified, used, and (re)produced in everyday life by focusing on two distinctive bi-ethnic contexts; and second, it attempts (2) to understand the dynamics nationhood engenders in the daily working environments of the specific sociopolitical spaces of Montreal and Brussels. From the data gathered, I have conceived a typology to help me understand how nationhood ‘works’ within the everyday frames, settings, and social relations of these environments. I have identified three types of situations wherein nationhood is associated to a dynamic: there are situations (1) operating upon nationhood, (2) with nationhood, and situations (3) operated by nationhood. In this specific talk, I explore the second type of this typology by crossing a fieldwork segment from Montreal with another one from Brussels, wherein the dynamic of the settings and relations of the situations appeared to be operating with nationhood. I illustrate how nationhood emerges through an individual figure and becomes a most valuable cognitive schema to frame the accounts of professionals working in environments wherein they must communicate knowledge and information. In both cases, nationhood is used to give a thickness to the persona at the center of the stories to legitimize its presence, and give a sense to the content of their account. By operating with nationhood, each situation curiously finds itself reproducing the official sociopolitical context wherein it is anchored, and significantly channels the ‘on paper nation’.
Sophie Schram (IRTG Trier)
"'La loi du camembert': Economic Globalisation and Quebec Border Discourse"
In this paper, I ask if, to what extent and how Québec political leaders strategically mobilise the idea of a national Québec border to justify their political position on dairy products in the negotiation of a comprehensive economic and trade agreement between Canada and the European Union (CETA). In order to better understand why Québec so fervently defends its dairy producers and why it has obtained compensation commitments by the Canadian federal government, I argue that we need to understand when the national border as an idea is harnessed, when it is not, and how this idea is used for framing Québec interests according to a certain worldview. In a broader perspective, the research shows how national political leaders engage with the dialectical relation between debordering and rebordering, or globalisation and nationalism.
During the aforementioned trade negotiations, borders are renegotiated both in the legal and the social constructivist sense. Following Lamont and Molnár’s approach (2002), I define borders as contested relational processes of othering manifested in unequal access to and distribution of material and non-material resources. My thematic analysis of parliamentary debates about Québec policy positions in the trade agreement between 2004 and 2013 reveals a very heterogeneous pattern of borders, which confirms that borders are fluid rather than stable, and that they are used strategically to frame interests. In accordance with actor-centred constructivist accounts as suggested among others by Saurugger (2013), I conceive of these debates as a political struggle for the imposition of ideas in the discursive space and related resource distribution.
Stéphanie Gravel (IRTG Montréal)
"Inclusion, diversité et identité québécoise:
Le 'nous et les autres' chez les enseignants d’Éthique et culture religieuse (Québec)"
L’objectif principal de cette présentation est d’analyser le programme québécois Éthique et culture religieuse (Québec 2008) en lien avec la diversité scolaire et l’inclusion sociale. Les résultats de cette présentation proviennent d’une recherche doctorale intitulée « L’impartialité et le programme Éthique et culture religieuse » (Québec, 2008), dont l’objectif général est de se pencher sur une dimension centrale de la posture enseignante en contexte de neutralité, de diversité et d’inclusion; soit l’impartialité telle que définie dans le programme non confessionnel québécois et tel que pratiquée par les enseignants du secondaire. Seront présentées les exigences d’impartialité, de diversité et d’inclusion du programme Éthique et culture religieuse, la méthodologie de recherche et les premiers résultats analysant des observations non participantes en classe et des entrevues semi-directives de 12 enseignants du secondaire « typiques » ou « exemplaires » provenant de milieux socioculturels différents, c’est-à-dire d’écoles privées ou publiques de Montréal et de l'extérieur du grand Montréal.
Nikola Tietze (Hamburg Institute for Social Research)
"La mobilisation des différences minoritaires en France et en Allemagne: des pratiques conflictuelles au-delà de l’ethnicité"
À partir d’une recherche sur des constructions d’appartenance, menée à l’aide d’études de cas en France et en Allemagne, l’intervention abordera la mobilisation des différences minoritaires – musulmanes, kabyles et palestiniennes – dans une perspective de sociologie pragmatiste. Dans un premier temps, elle se concentre sur le mode de la mobilisation des différences minoritaires. Elle tentera de démontrer comment de la résilience est générée par les différences mobilisées. L’attention se dirigera tout particulièrement sur l’activité de croire qui corrobore la mobilisation des différences minoritaires. Grâce à la généralisation et à la contextualisation des différences mobilisées – comme il est mis en évidence dans un deuxième temps –, les individus s’ouvrent des possibilités d’agir et transforment la résilience en pratiques conflictuelles. Ces dernières relèvent notamment du fait que les acteurs affichent – d’une manière concevable pour des tierces personnes – leur capacité à mettre en cause des régimes institutionnels, des hiérarchies sociales et économiques et/ou des orientations normatives dominantes dans un contexte donné. L’intervention conclura sur la distinction entre différentes logiques de conflit (des dynamiques conflictuelles justifiant le régime en question, des dynamiques conflictuelles axées sur la mise en pratique d’un régime et enfin des dynamiques conflictuelles centrées sur les principes et les intérêts rationalisés dans le régime en question). Elle référera la mobilisation des différences en France et en Allemagne à ces différentes logiques de conflit.
Chowra Makaremi (EHESS Paris)
"Régimes d'exclusion sous haute juridiction"
Ce papier se penche sur le phénomène des migrations transnationales et sur le gouvernement des frontières qui y répond, à travers des pratiques d’enfermement et d’expulsion des étrangers en Europe. La construction des camps d’étrangers, dont relève ce terrain, témoigne de nouvelles distributions du pouvoir qui passent par l’accès à la mobilité. Une enquête empirique dans ces espaces nous invite à comprendre les pratiques par lesquelles les gouvernements démocratiques administrent des populations non-citoyennes, et la façon dont ces modalités de prise en charge et de surveillance opèrent une reconfiguration des frontières physiques, morales et politiques. Le confinement des étrangers entrecroise plusieurs dimensions : la construction d’un enfermement humanitaire, et les usages institutionnels et militants de différents régimes de droits qui y sont en jeu; les pratiques de prise en charge de populations identifiées comme vulnérables; les reconfigurations de la frontière à travers de nouvelles formes réticulaires et zonales; et enfin, l’expérience de circulation que dessinent les archipels de surveillance, et les pratiques de gestion différentielle des mobilités dont participent les zones d’attente.
Ces politiques de contrôle migratoire créent un réseau frontalier à l’intérieur du territoire, qui saisit les individus dans des espaces de suspension administrative (celle du « demandeur d’asile-sans papier » mis sous procédure d’asile prioritaire) et des espaces, interdépendants, d’enfermement (le centre de rétention administrative, la zone d’attente, la prison de droit commun). Comment se met en place ce dispositif qui réactive les frontières nationales à l’intérieur de l’espace social ?
Till van Rahden (Université de Montréal)
Sacred Origins: Civic Virtues and the Question of Jewish Equality in Nineteenth-Century Germany
In recent years, many scholars have begun to highlight the fragility of democracy. David Runciman’s “The Confidence Trap,” e.g., emphasizes that the foundations of democracy are eroding before our eyes. Yet how shall we best conceptualize such foundations? In the German context, the most influential thinker to highlight the nexus between a moral order and liberal democracy is Ernst-Wolfgang Böckenförde. The legal theorist famously declared that “The liberal secular state lives on premises that it cannot itself guarantee.” A similar concern about secularism and its discontents is central to Charles Taylor’s concept of the “social imaginary”. According to our fellow Montrealer, democratic polities are in need of a moral consensus that is based not on abstract Rawlsian reasoning but on lived experiences that encourage citizens to embrace democratic principles such as solidarity and equality.
Obviously, no analysis of debates over Jewish emancipation can match the subtlety of Böckenförde’s reasoning or the dazzling brilliance of Taylor’s arguments. And yet, what this paper suggests is that viewed against the background of the controversies surrounding tortuous and thorny path to Jewish emancipation, Böckenförde’s fears may prove exaggerated and Taylor’s emphasis on a shared thick morality more problematic than is usually assumed.
Peter Kraus (Augsburg University)
"Minefield and Pacifier: The Political Trouble with Diversity in Europe"
The paper will assess the perception and political discourse dealing with mobility, inclusion, and identity issues in Europe against the conceptual and theoretical background of complex diversity. The concept of complex diversity aims at capturing a constellation in which diversity has become a fluid and multi-dimensional phenomenon. In this constellation, European societies are not only marked by the incorporation of new layers of diversity; the different layers of diversity which constitute these societies must themselves be considered as becoming increasingly heterogeneous too. Europeanization is a key factor when it comes to understanding the political articulation of complex diversity. On the one hand, European integration has implied the successive taming of nationalism in an arguably precarious, yet still significant interdependent network of collective identities and interests. On the other hand, the making of the European Union (EU) has entailed political spill-over effects for both old and new minority groups, providing these groups with numerous opportunities for substantiating their normative claims. It will be argued that in the context of the ongoing crisis of the EU and the Eurozone there is a growing risk that complexity is politically transformed into arbitrariness. Somewhat paradoxically, the weakness of a common political culture and the lack of a shared civil sphere among Europeans may ultimately be turning the tendencies towards a ‘differentiation of diversity’ into tendencies towards a differentiation of citizenship rights. At any rate, the increase of socio-cultural complexity seems to lead to a substantial increase of contingency in the field of diversity-related politics.