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Shifting Frames: Migrant Children, Politics and History

On May 2-4, 2019 Bard College Berlin and the University of Potsdam invite you to the joint symposium “Shifting Frames: Migrant Children, Politics and History.”

This symposium will critically explore policies and cultural representations of child migrants--specifically but not only those labeled as "child refugees"--in the UK and its former colonies the USA, Canada, Australia and South Africa, with comparison to our location of Germany. It aims to think towards frames beyond humanitarianism for understanding and discussing child migration and seeks ways of connecting scholarly research with activism.

On May 2 at 18:00, Professor Jacqueline Bhabha from Harvard University will deliver the keynote lecture "The Human Rights of Child Migrants: An Unfinished Agenda." This public event will take place at the University of Potsdam, Campus Am Neuen Palais, House 8, Rm 0.64, and will be followed by reception.

May 3-4 will see presentations from scholars in addition to short film screenings and photography viewings, as well as a walking tour. 

This event is organized by Prof. Dr. Kerry Bystrom, Bard College Berlin; Dr. Sunčica Klaas, University of Potsdam, and Dr. Carly McLaughlin, University of Potsdam.

This major funders of this event are the Thyssen Foundation, the Universitätsgesellschaft Potsdam e.V. and the University of Potsdam, with additional support from Bard College Berlin and AlNatura.

Images on poster: Mario Badagliacca

Date & time: May 2-4, 2019
Venue: University of Potsdam, Campus Am Neuen Palais

Location: University of Potsdam, Campus Am Neuen Palais


Dr. Sunčica Klaas

Dr. Carly McLaughlin

Photo: RTG: Minor Cosmopolitanism

Around the turn of the millennium, academics and politicians predicted that the world would grow together as one and that people would become less bound by national affiliations. Almost twenty years later, there is little left of this vision. This is not such a surprise when we consider that the cosmopolitan ideal (as articulated during the European Enlightenment) wholeheartedly embraced the promises of a globalising economy, yet has remained oblivious to, and even complicit with, capitalist exploitation, slavery, and colonialism. Yet should we abandon the cosmopolitan idea because of this corrupt history? Or should it rather be reviewed and rethought in the face of rising nationalism? What are alternative traditions and practices of the cosmopolitan from across the globe?  

In lectures, films, and performances, Arjun Appadurai, Manthia Diawara, Julian Henriques, Vivian Price, Michelle Wright, and other participants will explore these questions and experiment with ideas and practices of doing, undoing and redoing the cosmopolitan.

Lecture, Debate, Film, Exhibition, Music
December 6th – 8th 2018

At Haus der Kulturen der Welt


RTG Minor Cosmopolitanisms

More Info:

Event Website

Lecture Series: Children Crossing Borders: Figurations, Politics, History

This lecture series investigates children as migrants, political subjects, transnational actors in contemporary and historical contexts of migration, across the Global North and Global South. It also explores attitudes and policies towards child (im)migrants, and the construct of childhood itself as it gets politicized and circulated in the realms of law, politics, media, art, literature, etc. The talks, by scholars from different disciplines as well as speakers from outside academia, aim to forge a space in which a child-centred perspective on children’s border crossings - whether as adoptees, refugees, asylum seekers, or economic migrants - not only becomes visible, but integral to a more nuanced understanding of the geopolitical contexts of migration and the relationship between transnational migration and (post)colonialism.


  • 19 November, 2018: Prof. Greta Olson (Gießen University), “The Visual Politics of Images of Migrants”
  • 26 November, 2018: Dr. Serhat Karakayali (Humboldt University, Berlin) "Victimhood as Agency: Children as Migrant Subjects"
  • 17 December, 2018: Prof. Kerry Bystrom (Bard College, Berlin) and Dr. Ramona Mosse (Free University, Berlin), "Virtual Reality and Humanitarian Campaigning: Childhood, Empathy and Immersion in Clouds Over Sidra
  • 21 January, 2019: Dr. Annika Lems (Max Planck Institute for Anthropology, Halle), "On Doing 'Being Ordinary': Unaccompanied Refugee Youth's Stories of Teenage Normality amidst Shifting Social Terrains“

The lectures will be taking place from 10-12, room 1.09. 1.15 



Dr. Sunčica Klaas

Dr. Carly McLaughlin