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Research The Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture (ICOG) Research Research centres Research Centre for the Study of Democratic Cultures and Politics Events & Colloquium

DemCP colloquium - PETER SCHNECK (Osnabrück): "Owners and Others: Migration, Identity and Property"

When:We 05-02-2020 16:00 - 18:00
Where:Room 1312.0013, Harmonie building

16:00-16:30 Pablo Valdivia and Alberto Godioli (University of Groningen) report on cooperation possibilities between DemCP and OSL

16:30 Rescheduled from November 2019: Peter Schneck (Universität Osnabrück)
Owners and Others: Migration, Identity and Property

One of the major elements of dominant narratives of migration, told and affirmed from the perspective of the nation state, is the stubborn 'otherness' of the migrant. The migrant is a figure crucially defined by alienness, an alienness that has to be overcome, either by processes of adaptation (on the side of the migrant) or acceptance (on the side of the 'host culture').

The central thesis of my talk will be that this cultural conceptualization of the otherness of the migrant is fundamentally indebted to another - less acknowledged, but certainly rather central - narrative logic which links the migrant's lack of 'sameness' and therefore of identity, with an essential lack of possessions and therefore a strong desire for the appropriation and acquisition of the properties of others. Looking at debates about migration, settlement and removal from the perspective of property might help to reveal the strong connection between concepts of identity and concepts of property in Western culture and the influence they maintain on the debates about migration.