Ann: Studienforum Berlin Seminar on European Refugee Challenges

Tryntje Helfferich's picture

H-HRE Members may be interested in the following announcement sent to the list:


Dear Colleagues, 

I would like to draw your attention to a faculty seminar that Studienforum Berlin will hold in June 2017, focusing on the refugee challenges that have occurred in Europe, in Germany in particular, over the last two years and will remain for years to come.

You may remember the fact that hundreds of thousands of of refugees entered Europe since 2015 via the Mediterranean Sea, Turkey, or Greece heading for countries such as Germany. When Chancellor Merkel publicly proclaimed "Wir schaffen das“(„We can do this“) she provoked not only wide-spread criticism within and outside of Germany, but also initiated a wave of solidarity and empathy to an extent unknown before.

This Faculty Seminar will take up the challenges that emerged this far and are likely to change the political climate in Europe for a long time – from right-wing populism and nationalism to the wide-spread readiness to help, including the institutional readiness to come to terms with these challenges in a humane way.

The purpose of the seminar is to provide a challenging platform for faculty members in the Humanities and Social Sciences designed to acquaint scholars with the latest developments in Germany’s understanding of the refugee crisis. Participants from a variety of disciplines are welcome, including: History, Philosophy, Literature, Music, Theology, Political Science, Economics, and related areas.

The summer program, extending over eleven days, combines a topic driven lecture series with visits to important historical and current sites in Berlin. The lecture segments will cover recent analysis of the causes of current migration as well as their political, economic, social, and cultural implications. The site visits include historical memorials related to German history of the 20th century.

Site visits also include relevant locations where intercultural activities and integrational measures take place: Currently, Berlin with its 3.5 mn inhabitants has to come to terms with almost 100,000 refugees. The seminar participants will visit a refugee camp and share in activities of refugees designed to integrate them as well as experiences of those who are engaged with the refugees, as part of their jobs and/or voluntarily.

Finally, there will be plenary discussions about the prospects of these developments and the consequences this influx of refugees might have, for Germans, Europeans, but also for the rest of the world (including the U.S.).
Interested academics and scholars should visit the Seminar website at to obtain information about Seminar details, including dates and costs, as well as terms and conditions. Those intending to pursue specialized research or are planning teaching development projects are encouraged to convey their plans to the Seminar organizers.

STUDIENFORUM BERLIN, now in its 19th year, is an academic non-profit organization that provides study abroad and internship opportunities for a number of US universities and individual students, as well as services for faculty on research in Berlin, Germany.

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Dr. Hanns-D. Jacobsen
Studienforum Berlin e.V.