This international and interdisciplinary research project joins together historians and social and political scientists. The aim of the project is to study the movement of people and multiethnic cities from a long period of time. We trace continuities and changes from the late Middle Ages to the very present day. We connect the past with the present in the context of migration.
Currently Europe is facing migration phenomenon larger than ever. The European Commission has estimated that during the year 2016 over three million migrants and refugees arrive to European Union. Recent methods to control the migration may reduce this number. Furthermore, it challenges the principle of free movement of people within the EU. Yet, it is clear that mobility of this scale reshape our communities and environment.
Migration is an old phenomenon. Throughout the centuries migration has shaped Europe and the world beyond. Sometimes this fact is forgotten in the public debate. Sometimes the past is quoted by the phrase “there has always been migration”. But what kind of migration? And what difference does it make in our time? We investigate mobility from various angles and with various methods. We combine comparative analysis, qualitative analysis, case studies, biographical analysis and micro historical method. This project offers a fresh perspective to migration and helps us to understand the present events.
At the centre of the investigation is the urban space. It is city where migrants arrive, try to earn the living and integrate. Furthermore in the city they interact with the indigenous and other migrants. Thus one aim of the book is to examine international communication within urban environment. In addition we examine the reasons for migration and the material culture connected to migration.
Our research project has a wide geographical coverage reaching from Scandinavia to Northern Africa. We also investigate people of different social and economic status. We discuss Roma beggars, hirelings, activists, merchants and high-skilled migrants. The broad framework of time, geography and social status of the subjects, enable us to make complex concepts like migration and multiethnicity more understandable.
The four main key themes of the project are mobility, multiethnicity, urban space and materiality.
The research project is for two years 1.1.2016-31.12.2017. Currently we are planning for continuation for 2018.
Collaboration and Funding
The project co-operates with The Institute of Migration (Turku, Finland), The Finnish Institute in Germany (Berlin) and the International Research Training Group (IRTG) Baltic Borderlands: Shifting Boundaries of Mind and Culture in the Borderlands of the Baltic Sea Region (Ernst Moritz Arndt Universität Greifswald, Germany). The project is partly funded by the Finnish Cultural Foundation.
Greifswald Old Harbour