Invited scholars discuss cutting-edge research and new ideas with the institute’s scientists

Superdiversity and the dynamics of diversification

An event marking the launch of Steven Vertovec’s new book
19 April 2023 | 16:00-17:30 CET
Chair: Ulrike Bialas (MPI-MMG) | Participants: Junjia Ye (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore) • Darshan Vigneswaran (University of Amsterdam) • Peter Scholten (Erasmus University Rotterdam) • Steven Vertovec (MPI-MMG)

To find out more: click here

Superdiversity is a concept referring to societal diversification and the complex, emergent social patterns that, in many places, now supersede prior forms of diversity. The concept of superdiversity has been adopted by scholars across the social sciences in order to address a variety of processes, modes and outcomes of diversification. “This takes many forms, manners, and courses,” writes Vertovec in his new book, “indeed, we might best talk of many overlapping, entangled and mutually determining diversifications”. Such processes directly entail features of migration and mobility, are deeply entangled with social inequalities, and are especially manifest in cities of both the Global North and South. Diversification – leading to conditions of superdiversity – is thus one of the foremost social transformations of our age, impacting politics, everyday social interactions, and individual identities.

Stimulated by Vertovec’s Superdiversity: Migration and Social Complexity, this ‘In Dialogue’ event considers the concept of superdiversity alongside a look at diversification processes and their effects across contexts worldwide.

Navigating a Political Minefield? Researching Muslim-Jewish Encounters

13 October 2022 | 17:00-18:30
DiscussantsNonna Mayer (Sciences Po/CNRS) • Riem Spielhaus (University of Göttingen) • Sami Everett (MPI-MMG) • Dekel Peretz (MPI-MMG) | Moderator: Vanessa Rau (MPI-MMG)

To find out more: click here

Researching everyday Muslim and Jewish lives is politically sensitive. In Germany, public comments on Jewish issues and Muslim-Jewish relations are made under the watchful eyes of an audience determined to attack any sign of antisemitism. By contrast, research on Muslim issues and Jewish-Muslim relations in France is politically risky as researchers have been accused of Islamist sympathies. How do such realities impact on research? How can researchers navigate such a political minefield, and does such sensitivity to the political nature of the subject come into conflict with doing rigorous academic research? At this In Dialogue event, Dekel Peretz and Sami Everett, both involved in a current project of this institute on “Muslim-Jewish encounter, diversity & distance in urban Europe“ discuss their experiences alongside Nonna Mayer, Professor of Sociology at Sciences Po Paris and renown expert of extreme right and racist movements, and Riem Spielhaus, Professor of Islamic Studies in Göttingen and much-cited expert on Muslim life in Germany.

Can advocacy organisations be intersectional?

13 July 2022 | 14:30-16:00
Panelists: Encarnación Gutiérrez Rodríguez (Goethe University Frankfurt) • Anja Weiss (University of Duisburg-Essen) • Sanja Bökle (MPI-MMG) • Vanessa Rau (MPI-MMG) | Moderator: Farhan Samanani (MPI-MMG)

To find out more: click here

The panel discussed the results of the ZOMiDi research project, which investigated how and why civil society organizations change in response to migration and societal diversity. Do organizations that focus on differences respond in similar ways to the challenges linked with migration? What ‘best practices’ for organizational change can they offer? The results of the ZOMiDi project are summarized in the new book “Organisationaler Wandel durch Migration? Zur Diversität in der Zivilgesellschaft [Organizational Change through Migration? On Diversity in Civil Society]“, edited by Hella von Unger, Helen Baykara-Krumme, Serhat Karakayali and Karen Schönwälder.

Sanitizing Imperial Pasts

10 March 2022 | 14:30-16:00
Çiçek İlengiz (MPI-MMG)
Matthew Rampley (Masaryk University)
Wendy Shaw (Free University of Berlin)
Jeremy F. Walton (MPI-MMG)
Jelena Radovanović (MPI-MMG)

To find out more: click here

How do the empires of the past continue to exist today? And what is forgotten when bygone empires are so adamantly remembered? For the past five-and-a-half years, the Max Planck Research Group, “Empires of Memory: The Cultural Politics of Historicity in Former Habsburg and Ottoman Cities,” has investigated these questions by examining the cities of central Europe, the Balkans, Anatolia, and beyond. The “In Dialogue” event “Sanitizing Imperial Pasts” will present selected results from this research in order to explore how bygone empires continue to shape our world today. Sanitizing the past occurs when we approach complex historical legacies from the presuppositions of present values. As the collective work of the research group has illustrated, imperial pasts are especially prone to sanitization in the current era. In this discussion, we will highlight the sanitization of Habsburg and Ottoman pasts, but our aspirations are broader. We aim to grasp the common features of sanitized imperial pasts, from the Roman and Aztec to British and Soviet. Several themes and questions will organize our conversation: What are the prominent genres and media through which imperial pasts are sanitized as collective memories? What are the political consequences of sanitizing imperial pasts? And what alternative forms of counter-memory challenge this sanitization?

Migration Studies without the Nation State?

24 November 2021 | 14:30-16:00
Adrian Favell (University of Leeds)
Steve Vertovec (MPI-MMG)
Christine Lang (Universität Osnabrück)
Karen Schönwälder (MPI-MMG)

To find out more: click here

The on-going corona pandemic appears to have ultimately ushered in a caesura in the understanding of governance and politics, fundamentally questioning free movement. In the same line of thought, Adrian Favell, one of the leading social and political theorists on migration, integration and citizenship at University of Leeds and fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, critically reviews what he calls “optimistic post-national forms of governance”. In this panel discussion, Steven Vertovec, Director of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, and Christine Lang, former MPI MMG researcher and currently at the Institute of Geography and the Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies (IMIS) at Osnabrück University, discuss the past and presence of nation states and their migration/integration policies, and whether migration research should indeed be reoriented by detaching itself from the nation-state. The discussion is moderated by Karen Schönwälder, research group leader at MPI-MMG.

Go to Editor View