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Minority Seminar 2021: Minority Experiences and European

Narratives: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives

The minority research profile at Åbo Akademi University, together with the Centre of Excellence in Law, Identity and the European Narratives (EuroStorie) at the University of Helsinki, invite you to a joint annual seminar that will take place online from April 14th to 16th, 2021. No registration needed.

Zoom link (with embedded password):



Seminar Program

All times in the program are local Finnish time (GMT+3)

14.4.2021 Day 1

10:00 Opening words

10:15 – 11:30 Keynote 1
Huub van Baar: The European Roma and their Search for Representational Space: Claiming History and Challenging the Borders of Europe
Chair: Mats Wickström

11:30 – 12:30 Lunch

12:30- 14:00 Session 1: Rethinking the Narratives of Europe
Chair: Reetta Toivanen

Laura Sumari: Attaching meanings to Europe in discussion with sub-Saharan African migrants and refugees

Laurence Prempain: They are “part of our world and yet distinct from the rest of us” The Roma people: forgotten Resistance fighters of the Second World War

Margriet van der Waal: The magical creation of citizens? Magic lantern slides, European settler colonialism and the creation of minority citizens

14:00-15:00 Break

15:00- 16:30 Session 2: Minority experiences and narratives of sameness and difference
Chair: Pamela Slotte

Kaius Tuori: Minority narratives and human rights in the alt-right visions of “white genocide”

Sanna Mustasaari: Affective constructions of justice: ISIS-families and the law in the Finnish public debate

Ruth Illman: Minority Experiences among Finnish Jewry: An Ethnographic Account

15.4.2021 Day 2

10:00-12:00 Session 3: East and West, setting and challenging binaries
Chair: Ali Ali

Abdullah Sencer Gozubenli: The Autonomy of Gagauzia: From the Struggle for Identity into a Proxy for Euroscepticism?

Costanza Curro and Olga Zeveleva: Becoming a European prisoner: Penal reforms and European belonging in Georgia and Estonia

Roman Urbanowicz: European Narratives, Disenfranchised Orientalism, and Quests for Dignified Modernity in the North-West of Belarus

Daria Krivonos: “The West available” and hierarchies of globality in migration

12:00- 13:00 Lunch

13:00 – 14:15 Keynote 2
Manuela Boatca: Minority Report: Coloniality of Memory and Forgotten Europes in the Longue Durée
Chair: Daria Krivonos

14:15 -15:00 Break

15:00 – 17:00 Session 4: Governance of minorities: security and violence
Chair: Magdalena Kmak

Mehrnoosh Farzamfar: Securing Europe by Eroding the Right to Seek Asylum: A Slippery Slope Fallacy

Jakub Crcha: The hierarchy of (in)visibility of European violence; how does the project of Modern Europe construct its narratives of violence and administration

Shachi Mokashi: ‘Containment’ in Modern European Imagination and Governance

Olivia Maury: Politics of presence against legal temporariness

16.4.2021 Day 3

10:00 – 12:00 Session 5: Solidarity, community and performativity
Chair: Kaius Tuori

Ali Ali: Tackling the Borders of what Matters: Solidarity, community and political engagement in the mundanity of queerhood in exile

Craig Willis: Identifying contemporary aims of minority communities at the European Union level through the lens of the Minority SafePack Initiative

Ioana Tistea: ‘Ain’t I also a migrant?’ Whiteness, coloniality, and migrant ‘integration’. An autoethnographic drama

Mercédesz Czimbalmos: Sexual and Gender Minorities among the Foreign Origin Population in Finland

12:00 – 13:00 Lunch

13:00 – 14:15 Keynote 3
Marie-Claire Foblets: Minority protection in European countries – four reasons to call into question perspectives inherited from the past
Chair: Reetta Toivanen

14:15 – 14:30 Closing words


Abstracts of the talks: Minority experiences seminar all abstracts


Past Minority Profile Annual 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.

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

Updated 14.4.2021