Cross-border movements provide momentum for social and cultural change: via physical movement of people, for example, but also by symbolically transcending the boundaries of what is (thus far) permitted and conventional. Regardless of whether this relates to people, discourses, texts, linguistic structures or works of art, processes of displacement can be viewed as drivers of continuing transformation to existing forms of knowledge and practice. Created in 2014, the ‘Key Area MIS – Migration and Intercultural Studies’ examines these processes under the keywords of ‘migration’ and interculturality’.
Luxembourg’s specific linguistic and cultural characteristics mean that it in particular shows a wide variety of intercultural dynamics and sociocultural transformations which can be described using the term ‘displacement’. By tackling developments in migration and interculturality observed both here and elsewhere, the Key Area challenges and breaks apart the limitations of the key principles of societal self-description (e.g. nation and culture, identity and otherness, centre and periphery). The primary focus is a process-oriented performative perspective on migration and interculturality.
Building on current developments in cultural studies and the social sciences, the Key Area is examining the productive and creative (re)combination of cultural repertoires in different dimensions:
- Poiesis & aesthetics
- Displacement & mobility
- Politics & power
- Space & materiality
- Subject & everyday practices
- Time & development
This examination of migration and interculturality focusing on social and cultural practices is helping to determine societies’ logics of development and to provide orientation expertise in multilingual and intercultural contexts. The Key Area’s work is designed to be reflected in Luxembourg society and completed in conjunction with key social players. The Key Area is also involved in general discussion relating to migration and interculturality research, and makes its expertise available on an international scale.
The Key Area is based at the University of Luxembourg’s Faculty of Humanities (FLSHASE). Its researchers are organised as a multidisciplinary network and have the following objectives in their activities:
- Closer networking of FLSHASE academics and collaboration with other faculties
- Stronger rooting of the topics of migration and interculturality in research and teaching activities
- Greater visibility for migration and interculturality research in Luxembourg
The researchers involved in the Key Area work according to the principle of receptive multilingualism within the scope of the University of Luxembourg’s working languages.