Here is a list of the various workshops and seminars organized by the WAIT group.

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Final conference: Waiting for uncertain futures: Time and migration

As the WAIT project at the Centre for Women's and Gender Research (SKOK) was in its final year, we marked the end of the project with a digital closing conference in October 2020.


"The politics and aesthetic of waiting in Palestinian refugee camps"

Ruba Salih from Department of Anthropology and Sociology, SOAS University of London, gave a talk about temporality in Palestinian refugee camps.

In the social sciences, the time and space of refugeehood is conventionally conceived as one of temporariness and waithood. Refugee camps are often analysed through the prism of exception or suspension of sovereignty, and forced migrants or refugees are mainly seen as affective communities of trauma and suffering. In addition, the (European) national-statist time space/horizon continues to be the bedrock against which experiences and subjectivities of those on the move are read and interpreted.

The refugee camp, in this political imaginary, is an abnormality, a barren place-time in which refugees are suspended, or trapped, merely waiting for their re-insertion into a national order of things. Refugee life acquires the ontological quality of Non-Life, of waiting for sovereign life. In this paper, I investigate what happens when waiting is a permanent horizon of life across generations, like in the case of encamped Palestinian refugees who have been displaced since 1948.

In my work on and with Palestinian refugees, particularly in the occupied West Bank, I explore waithood as a politically productive condition, and the refugee camp as the most potent embodiment of this condition. An ethnography of the politics and aesthetic of the camp reveals ways in which temporariness is a powerful antidote to normalisation under the longue durée of the occupation.

Comments by Kjersti G. Berg, Post doctor at CMI. She is working on the FRIPRO project "SuperCamp: Geneaologies of humanitarian containment in the Middle East". In this project she is focusing on Palestinian refugees, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), and the Shu'fat refugee camp in Jerusalem.

"Native/Immigrant/Refugee: Crossings and Divides"

Collaboration between University of Berkley and SKOK financed by the Peder Sæter grants. The two-day seminar consisted of doscussions evloving around toe constructions of refugees, immigrants, and indigenous peoples and how they are studied in relation to white “natives,” but seldom in relation to one another, and plans for future collaboration. 

"Time and Temporalities"  workshop

This workshop was co-organized with the Department of Sociology, UiB. The topic of the workshop invited a broad approach and participants were invited to engage in discussions with reference to the writings of one of the pioneers of contemporary social theorising on time, Professor emerita Barbara Adam, as well as to other authors and their own research.

"The Design Politics of the Passport" - open seminar

In this seminar, Mahmoud Keshavarz presented his recently published book, The Design Politics of the Passport: Materiality, Immobility and Dissent. It is an interdisciplinary study of the passport and its associated social, political and material practices as a means of uncovering the workings of what he calls ‘design politics’. It traces the histories, technologies, power relations and contestations around this small but powerful artefact to establish a framework for understanding how design is always enmeshed in the political, and how politics can be understood in terms of material objects.

Combining design studies with critical border studies, alongside ethnographic work among undocumented migrants, border transgressors and passport forgers, this book shows how a world made and designed as open and hospitable to some is strictly enclosed, confined and demarcated for many others - and how those affected by such injustices dissent from the immobilities imposed on them through the same capacity of design and artifice.

About Keshavarz: Mahmoud Keshavarz is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Engaging Vulnerability Research Program, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology, Uppsala University. He is the author of The Design Politics of the Passport: Materiality, Immobility and Dissent (Bloomsbury), co-founder of Decolonizing Design group and co-editor-in-chief of Design and Culture Journal.

"The concept of waiting and its analytical potential in studying irregularized migration" - seminar

With visits from Ghassan Hage, Svati Shah and guest researcher Knut Graw, the WAIT group invited to a closed reading seminar to discuss the analytical potential in "waiting" as a concept. 

"Migration, history and the question of voice" - Open Seminar with Knut Graw

Centre for Women's and Gender Research and researchers from Project WAIT invited all interested to an open seminar with guest researcher Knut Graw. Graw is a researcher in social anthropology at the University of Leuven. His theoretical interests reach from ritual analysis and migration theory to globalization studies. 

Anonymity is one of the most salient features of migration today and in the past. Concentrating on an individual account of migration from before the highly mediatized boat arrivals of West African migrants in Europe, this talk attempts to understand some of the dynamics and motivations underlying the recent history of migration between West Africa and Europe.

By focusing on an individual narrative, the seminar aims at developing a perspective that may allow us to grasp the individual dimension of migration as well as the historical nature of the border regimes governing individual migration trajectories, addressing questions of both, history and voice. Connecting fields of bodily experience, subjectivity and politics alike, the question of voice emerges as an important site to think about the complex interplay of historical, subjective and gendered dimensions of migration and its underlying social realities.

"WAIT: Unpacking the temporalities of irregular migration" - Conference 
Core researcher, network partners and affiliated researchers met at foot of Acropolis, at the Norwegian Institute in Athens (NIA), to discuss and reflect on the topics of the WAIT project.

"Waitinghood: Unpacking the temporalities of waiting and irregular migration" - Seminar
Seminar with Sarah Sharma and presentations from researchers from the WAIT and In Sync projects, organised at CAS, Centre for Advanced Studies i Oslo.


"Life on Hold" - Public seminar and outreach (NO)

"Life on Hold" was a public seminar hosted at Litteraturhuset in Bergen. 

"Trapped in space, stuck in time? Exploring irregular migration, time and im/mobility" - workshop

Researchers in the WAIT projects organized a workshop as a part of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) conference in Stockholm.

"Il/legal time: Exploring the temporalities of irregular migration" - workshop
In the Nordic Migration Research conference, parts of the WAIT team organized a workshop for panel discussions.

Väntans proportioner: Ett seminarium om konst, forskning och migration

The seminar, in the seminar series Critical Border Studies at the University of Uppsala, was lead by social anthropologist and member of the WAIT-team, Sharam Khosravi, in collaboration with Paula Urbano og Annika Lindberg. Read more about the Critical Border Studies initiative here.


"Precarious Lives: Waiting and Hope in Iran" - new book from WAIT researcher

Shahram Khosravi from Stockholm University recently published his newest ethnographic book, Precarious Lives: Waiting and Hope in Iran, an "intricate and moving portrait of contemporary Iranian life," where he elegantly weaves together insights from his studies of Iranian youth culture and migration studies. In this seminar, the discussion revolved around the topics of his book.

"Arazel Owbash" - Polluted and Polluting Masculine Bodies as Anti-Citizens in Iran

Shahram Khosravi visited SKOK in May to give a talk about Iranian practices of governing through the criminalization of young men.

The policy of ‘governing through crime’ has been operating during the past three decades in Iran. It creates criminals to be able to punish them. Redefining a social issue as crime, and categorizing an affected group as criminals, is a political strategy to legitimate further intervention into matters not previously regarded as criminal. ‘Govern through crime’ makes crime and punishment the institutional context whereby a criminal population is constructed and excluded. One of the most recent category of ‘criminals’ is arazel owbash (thugs and ruffians), who are generally  young men from a low-income background. Many of them are immigrants or children of immigrants who has moved from rural areas to big cities.

The technologies of citizenship constitute a moralizing and ‘responsibilizing’ project, which aims to turn citizens into responsible and ethical subjects as opposed to irresponsible and unethical ones. In contrast to the ideal citizen, there is the anti-citizen, an individual who is believed to exist outside the ordinary regulatory system, one who violates established norms and who constitutes a risk to the wellbeing, virtue, values and norms of society. In this paper Khosravi will explain how representation of arazel owbash as anti-citizens is part of the technologies of citizenship. 

"Imagining Emmanuel" - Screening of documentaries about irregular migration

SKOK and WAIT organized a public screening of "Imagining Emanuel" and "Out of Norway", followed by a conversation with the WAIT-researchers. 

KVIK206: "Gender and sexuality in a global context" - Undergraduate Course in Gender, Migration and Time

The curriculum for the new course about gender, migration and time» is directly linked with the WAIT research on migration in Europe, an angle that the students highly appreciate.

Times of Migration: Un/documented lives in Europe

Project leader Christine M. Jacobsen presented the WAIT project at IMER - Bergen International Migration and Ethnic Relations Research Unit's lunch seminar.

In this seminar Jacobsen presented the WAIT project as well as preliminary findings from ethnographic fieldwork in Marseille. Based on this, she offered some initial theoretical reflections on waiting, hope and uncertainty. 

IMER Bergen (International Migration and Ethnic Relations Research Unit Bergen), is a multidisciplinary research unit associated with the University of Bergen, Chr Michelsen Institute and NORCE Research AS.The aim of IMER Bergen is to contribute to research-based knowledge about international migration, including the consequences of immigration and emigration for societies

Times of Migration: Un/documented Lives in Marseille

Project leader Christine M. Jacobsen gave an open lecture at AMIS at University of Copenhagen about the WAIT-project's ethnographic field study in Marseille.

While migration has most often been studied as a spatial process, recent research points to ‘time’ as crucial to the production and experience of migration and migrant ‘illegality’. In this presentation Jacobsen takes ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Marseille as a point of departure for discussing some approaches to the temporalities of irregular migration. Particular attention will be paid to socially produced conditions of prolonged waiting, as well as the practices through which such conditions are encountered, incorporated and resisted by migrants. The presentation will draw on perspectives from the WAIT-project.

The Centre for Advanced Migration Studies (AMIS) is an interdisciplinary forum for migration research. Combining a variety of approaches, including the social sciences, philosophy, history, ethnology, linguistics and the arts, the Centre promotes cutting-edge research on a broad range of issues in the theory and practice of migration.

WAIT - Das Warten auf eine unsichere Zukunf

Kari Anne K. Drangsland presented the WAIT project and her PhD work for the organization Das Begegnungshaus - Arbeitskreis Asyl in Walldorf, Baden-Württemberg in Germany - March 2017.

Title: "Das Warten auf eine unsichere Zukunf: Die Zeit der Migration". Closed event.

Multiple Temporalities: epidemic, mobilizations, institutions and bodies

Sandrine Musso from Aix-Marseille University was one of the international network partners connected to the WAIT project, and gave the following presentation at this open semianr: “Multiple temporalities: epidemic, mobilizations, institutions and bodies. Lessons of a research on postcolonial minorities and aids in France”.

Sandrine Musso is Director of Department of Anthropology at University of Aix-Marseille and Senior Researcher at the Centre Norbert Elias, EHESS. Her research focuses on the political anthropology of health and AIDS, the phenomena of discrimination, social categorizations in the treatment of the disease, mediation in public health, the sociology of immigration, and commitment and reflexivity in the conduct of research. Her field practice mainly concerns members of stigmatized and presumed "hard-to-reach" groups.

Dignity on Hold  - Migration, Time, and Human Rights

Professor Odin Lysaker, Professor of Ethics ad the University of Agder and one of the researchers on the WAIT project, gave the presentation "Dignity On Hold - Migration, Time and Human Rights".

Today’s refugee crisis may put irregular migrants’ human dignity on hold due to their waiting. We should, therefore, reflect upon the relationship between time and temporality, on the one hand, and moral status in the case of transnational migration flows, on the other. The question is, then, how temporality preconditions dignity?

In this talk, and based on Hannah Arendt’s existential notion of ‘the right to have rights’, I present an alternative picture of human dignity. Here, this moral status is grounded in the human condition of ‘natality’, that is, temporality regarding such phenomena as birth, love, and freedom. Hence, I argue that dignity is put on hold as long as humans’ temporal precondition is misrecognized. By doing so, I shed light on so-called ‘migrational temporalities’, namely socially produced prolonged waiting, and how it is encountered, incorporated, and resisted by irregular migrants.

WAIT's Kick-off seminar

Researchers and network partners met for the first time in Paris to present, discuss and share thoughts about the research and to kickoff the WAIT project.