CFP: Digesting Difference: Modes of Social Incorporation in Europe, Princeton, NJ. Deadline 1/10/18

Nadeen Thomas's picture
The Program in Contemporary European Politics and Society at Princeton University invites papers for its upcoming conference:
Digesting Difference: Modes of Social Incorporation in Europe
Saturday, March 3, 2018 @ Princeton University
Organized by:
John Borneman, Director of the Program in Contemporary European Politics and Society 
Kelly McKowen, PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology
Today’s world refugee crisis—UNHRC estimates 65.6 million––poses challenges of social incorporation of the foreign for the new arrivals, both refugees and migrants, as well as for longer-term residents in the receiving countries of Europe. There are many “thin” notions of incorporation: learning a cultural script; acquiring legal, economic, and cultural rights to membership, extending the traditional understanding of citizenship to social categories (e.g., post-national, post-cultural); or the cultivation of common values or virtues such as “mutual respect.” A thicker notion would mean not simply becoming a subject who shares rights or values analogous to those of longer-term residents but also creating a sense of “mutual belonging.” This conference explores the tension between these two notions, of membership rights and values versus mutual belonging, as well as the specific experience of these tensions in different European states. We wish to go beyond the discussion of various ideals or norms of incorporation to explore empirically how everyday encounters between the newcomers and longer-term residents might produce (or fail to produce) a sense of mutual belonging. How are experiences framed by metaphors of incorporation––(for example, ingestion, indigestion, disgust, fusion, combination, alliance, affiliation, appropriation, encompassment)? How, in particular European nations, are experiences assessed from the past half century with figures of “the foreign” and “the stranger” from the perspectives of both the new arrivals and longer-term residents? How do different modes of (re)distribution inflect everyday processes and possibilities of social incorporation? With respect to incorporation, what do extant concepts––such as plurality, multiculturalism, interculture, civic integration, assimilation, integration, or alternately, fragmentation and disintegration––contribute?
We invite proposals––empirically-grounded and theoretically-informed––from scholars of politics, social relations, history, and culture, interested in analyzing modes and metaphors of incorporation in Europe. Participants will have 15 minutes to present work on three panels, with discussants for each. 
Please send your abstract (300 words) and a short CV to the Program committee at by January 10, 2018.  Those selected to give presentations at the conference will be contacted by January 20. Pending funding, subsidies for participants and graduate students from overseas will be available.