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ÅAU Annual Minority Seminars

The minority profile of Åbo Akademi University organises yearly seminars on topical issues, with a focus on complexities involved in the production and construction of minority positions and identities.

Past Minority Profile Annual Seminars

11 April 2024 Many Gazes of Law: Plurality and Ordering will be organized in collaboration with Åbo Akademi University Law School. The seminar will celebrate the launch of ÅAU Law School by critically engaging with law manifesting itself in various forms and funcitions, and at various levels of social reality. The seminar will approach sources, subjects and practice of law from five perspectives: LAw as rights; Law as legal profession; Law as jurisprudence; Law as education; and Law as justice. Speakers will include: Assoc. Prof Visa A.J. Kurki (University of Helsinki), Assoc. Dean for Learning and Teaching Moshen al Attar (Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University), Prof. Swethaa Ballakrinshnen (Univerity of California Irvin), Prof. Christopher Mbazira (Makerere University) and Postdoc. researcher Maria-Refore Legge (Uppsala University).

The seminar is followed by a PhD workshop. More information about the workshop can be found here. 

11 May 2023 Contesting the Collective Past: Exploring Testimony and Cultural Memory in Minority Research was organised in collaboration with the departments of history and philosophy at ÅAU. The seminar explored the role of testimony and cultural memory for knowledge and understanding of minority positions in the humanities and social sciences. It had a dual focus: (i) general theoretical and methodological questions for minority research and (ii) the contestation of collective pasts in relation to specific minority positions in the Nordic countries.

Keynote speakers were: Berber Bevernage (Ghent University), Wulf Kansteiner (Aarhus University), Siobhan Kattago (University of Tartu), Malin Thor Tureby (Malmö University).

6-7 April 2022 Living with the Sea was co-organised in collaboration with the ÅAU strategic profiling area The Sea. The seminar focused on coastal regions and climate change and will hereby explored water as a space: as a space of movement and life/living, as a shared and disputed space, and as a space for politics, governance and justice. It explored existing plurilegal regimes & governance, including critically in light of alternative visions and models, e.g. indigenous perspectives on human-water relations or the decentering of anthropocentric perspectives through object oriented ontologies, as well as climate justice.

Keynote speakers were: Rikke Becker Jakobbsen (Aalborg University), Kristin Ilves (University of Helsinki), Timo Koivurova (University of Lapland), Hélène Mayrand (University of Sherbrooke), Christopher Raymond (University of Helsinki), Liselotte Viaene (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid).

14-16 May 2021 Minority Experiences and European Narratives: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives. The seminar was organised together with the Centre of Excellence in Law, Identity and the European Narratives (EuroStorie) at the University of Helsinki. The seminar explored the multifaceted links between minority experiences and European narratives, both in the past and in the present. It also discussed how the idea of Europe has developed with reference to minority experiences in the official narratives of the policy papers produced under the auspices of the Council of Europe and the European Union.

Keynote speakers were: Huub van Baar (University of Giessen), Manuela Boatca (University of Freiburg), and Marie-Claire Foblets (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle).

Abstracts of the talks: Minority experiences seminar all abstracts

6-8 May 2020 Curriculums for Social Justice canceled due to Covid-19 pandemic

25 April 2019 Writing In, Writing Out – Historicizing Agency, Mobility and Positionality

The annual seminar of the Åbo Akademi University minority research profile explored histories and historiographies of minority positions. It traced practices of exclusion and inclusion, agency and mobility through archives and the materialities of class, race, body, gender and religion. How, what and whose stories are being told and untold – and by whom? How can they be told otherwise? Keynote speakers were: Milinda Banerjee (LMU Munich), Mona Oraby (Amherst College), Åsa Bharathi Larsson (Uppsala University),  Daniel Blackie (University of Oulu), Miika Tervonen (Migration Institute of Finland), Gunlög Fur (Linnaeus University) Speaker Abstracts and Bios Minority Seminar 2019. The seminar was followed by a PhD workshop on April 26th.

8-9 March 2018 Interfacing Minorities: Creative Hybridity and Unexpected Environments

The Faculty of Arts, Psychology and Theology in conjunction with the Minority Research Profile hosted the interdisciplinary conference in collaboration with the Coimbra Group’s working group in Social Sciences and Humanities.

The emphasis was on positive outcomes, innovations, and solutions arising from the creative friction experienced by minority groups coming into contact with similarly positioned and larger communities. Themes included: ‘Minorities and New Narratives of Belonging’ and ‘Minorities and Commons’.

17 May 2017 What is minority? – Annual seminar in minority studies at Åbo Akademi

The aim of the seminar was to reflect on theoretical and methodological aspects of the concept of minority. It asked the following questions: what is minority? who defines minority? how are minorities constructed? should we define minority? how are minorities positioned?

20 May 2016 Seminar on Åbo Akademi University’s Minority Research

The seminar served to launch the ÅAU strategic profiling area in minority research, bringing together academics and civil society stakeholders.

Updated 16.4.2024