Creative Workshop: Making connections – Imagining community and community spaces in Luxembourg

This creative workshop will take place on

Saturday, June 15, from 11:00 h to 15:30h

at the University of Luxembourg, Belval Campus, Maison des Sciences Humaines (MSH), in the Blackbox.

This workshop is addressed to community members and leaders, from community organisations, researchers and students, and it seeks to create dialogue and to make connections between us and our different perspectives and experiences.

Lunch will be provided and costs for public transportation (within Lux) will be reimbursed, on request.

The program of the day will include

(*) a discovery walk on campus,

(*)  lunch and a gallery walk providing opportunity to share, talk and connect,

(*) a creative workshop in small groups (up to 5 people per group) in which you are invited to design your ideal community space.

*We ask all participants to bring:

1 small object that tells something about you as a person and 3 print outs (A4) of photographs (taken by you or from other sources – if you don’t have the opportunity to print, please contact us).

The photographs should show:

  1. a) an item that represents community for you,
  2. b) a space in which you feel comfortable,
  3. c) an activity you would like to see happening in a community space.

If you are running or involved in a community organization please bring promotional material you would like to share.

If you are a researcher/student interested in related topics, please bring a poster explaining some of the issues you are exploring in your research.

Please follow this link to register until June 3, 2019 for this event:

Please note that places for the event are limited. First come, first serve – so please, sign up quickly.


For further information, please contact roberto.gomezfernandez (at)


We look forward to welcoming you in Belval!                      Gabriele Budach & Roberto Gómez Fernández

Seminar: Critical Approaches to Migration: Inquiry into the Social and Historical Construction of Culture

Alison Elizabeth Lee, PhD

Universidad de las Américas Puebla

The notion of culture embraced by anthropologists since the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries derived from Enlightenment thought. Diversity in practices and beliefs stemmed from the acquisition of knowledge and habits by individuals as members of social groups in specific contexts. Anthropologists and others used cultural relativism to combat racism and anti-immigrant sentiment as well as to study and explain cultural difference. However, the lack of historical contextualization of culture in unequal fields of power—a legacy of theoretical approaches that never grappled with the implications of colonialism and imperialism—led to the creation of models of essentialized identities and hardened boundaries of cultural difference. Across seemingly rigid cultural divides, the dehumanization of racial, ethnic, and gendered “Others” justifies structural, institutional and direct forms of violence. In the two readings selected for this seminar, we will confront the “dark side” of the culture concept by examining how the authors discuss Triqui culture and its intersection with migration.


What are the elements of Triqui culture the authors select for their discussions?

How do they historically contextualize Triqui culture?

How is this discussion of Triqui culture important for understanding the Triqui’s national and international migration flows?




May 20, 2019 – 16h-18h

Harlan Koff (harlan.koff (@)

Public Lecture: Dr. Alison Lee, Universidad de las Américas Puebla “¿Por qué sirvió migrar?” (Why did it serve to migrate?): Gender and Return Migration to Central Mexico

Studies of return migration tend to view it as the outcome of decisions made by rational actors or as a vehicle for the transfer of human capital to sending regions. An alternative approach, inspired by historical-structural theories, views return migration as one moment in a tumultuous process of workers alternatively absorbed and expelled from labor markets restructured in the transition from Fordist to flexible regimes of accumulation. Based on ethnographic research in Mexico and the United States, this paper traces the emergence, acceleration and contention of a transnational working class from Central Mexico beginning in the 1980s. Escaping the creative destruction of rural economies produced by neoliberal policies, men and women inserted into the industrial and service economies on the U.S. East Coast as flexible, precarious and “illegal” labor. The global financial crisis of 2007-08 weakened immigrant labor markets while increased border and interior surveillance ramped up deportations to Mexico diminishing the circular flow of undocumented migrants. The emerging gendered subjectivities of return migrants illuminate how they contend with the contradictory inclusion/exclusion of “illegality” in the context of declining opportunities to improve social and economic mobility through transnational migration. The tensions and conflicts that traverse family and community relationships reflect broader divisions and hierarchies within the Mexican migrant working class that have historically served to discipline labor and shore up accumulation.

May 20, 2019, 16h-18h

MSH, ground level, room 0015040 (2.07)

For more information please contact

Harlan Koff (harlan.koff (@)

Study trip to Lisbon

Part of MA course

Oliver Kohns (oliver.kohns (@)

April 23-27, 2019