Live Update: International conference at Osnabrück University discusses ‘Labeling’ and Agency in the History of ‘Displacement’.

In a hybrid conference scholars of the history of ‘displacement` in the wake of the Holocaust and the Second World War have gathered to discuss new research on ‘displacement’ and ‘displaced persons’ focusing on the creation, appropriation, use, persistente, change, and different readings of labels and migrant’s at well as other actors’ agency in the process or negotiating the meaning of such categories.

The second day of the meeting, October 29th 2021, started with Sheila Fitzpatrick, Ruth Balint and Ebony Nielsson reporting on the options for ‘displaced persons’ from the Soviet Union to enter the Australian resettlement program, the Australian deportation system for ‘displaced persons’ as a mechanism to discipline migrants, and the agency of ‘displaced persons’ with ambiguous pasts – like having served in the ‘Latvian Legion’ to navigate the international resettlement system.

Before lunch, Melinda Banerjee talked about the self-construction of forced migrants in the wake of the partition of India in contrast to their labeling by by the state, international organizations or the law. Kerstin von Lingen continued the theme with regard to lawyers and legal scholars ‘in exile’ as agents forging international law to persecute war crimes while searching for their own places in their host societies. Anne Schult concluded the 2nd session of the day discussing her research on the production of statistical categories to count ‘refugees’ during the interwar years and the path dependencies created by institutionalized ‘refugee’-statistics.

As this report is posted, the conference will proceed to hear talks on policies of displacement, ‘Heimatlose Ausländer’, the IRO as a key actor of the post-war years and global perspectives on violence induced mobilities in the post-war world.

Check out the full conference program here, feel free to tune in via Big Blue Button any time (webconf.uni-osnabrueck.de/b/hen-idf-joc-rmj) and watch out for the conference report to be published on this Blog soon.


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