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240516 SE Transnational Migration (P4) (2021W)

Continuous assessment of course work

Participation at first session is obligatory!

The lecturer can invite students to a grade-relevant discussion about partial achievements. Partial achievements that are obtained by fraud or plagiarized result in the non-evaluation of the course (entry 'X' in certificate). The plagiarism software 'Turnitin' will be used for courses with continuous assessment.


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 20 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Update 12.01.2022: Due to the current situation the course will be held digital until the end of the semester.
Update 22.11.2021: The course will be held digital during lockdown.
If possible, the course is to be conducted in presence. Due to the respective applicable distance regulations and other measures, adjustments may be made.

Update 11.10.2021: Additional class on Monday January 24th from 9:45-1 pm.

Friday 08.10. 13:15 - 16:30 Hörsaal C, NIG 4. Stock
Friday 29.10. 09:45 - 13:00 Übungsraum (A414) NIG 4. Stock
Friday 12.11. 09:45 - 13:00 Übungsraum (A414) NIG 4. Stock
Friday 26.11. 09:45 - 13:00 Digital
Friday 03.12. 09:45 - 13:00 Digital
Tuesday 11.01. 09:45 - 13:00 Digital
Monday 24.01. 09:45 - 13:00 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

The aim of this course is to reflect on the relationship between the transnational migration paradigm and fundamental structural and cultural changes that are reconfiguring the conditions of migration, including its directionalities, multiscalar actors, systems of governance, social movements, and academic frameworks of study. The course will focus on the different kinds of institutions involved in this process and their change in time; concentrate on the key concepts of transnational migration perspectives, like ethnicity, community, locality, sovereignty, and multiple membership. One of the main objectives of this course is to analyse the interface between migrant formations and the state, the location of migration industries and the agencies of migration management in this process: and the challenges transnational migration poses to religious and political formations, citizenship schemes, agencies of development, urban politics as well as border regimes. There is a particular emphasis on the migration industries, agencies and actors involved in the management and governance of migrants and refugees and their mobilities. It will also address the differential ordering of migrants, refugees, displaced people, forced migrants, and undocumented in scholarship and policies.

Seminars will begin with a short lecture by the instructor and will be followed by a presentation/introduction of that week’s topic, in which student(s) responsible for that week will present the readings structured by critical comments and questions (depending on the number of students registered to the course). This introduction will be followed by a discussion. For each session there will be two or three key (required) texts. Those preparing the introduction of the topic could also include the optional (suggested) readings into their presentation, in addition to the key texts. It is inevitable to prepare in advance for the seminars, as there is a strong emphasis on active class participation.

Learning Outcomes:
At the end of the course, the students are expected to:
- Have an understanding of the emergence of transnational migration perspective and its varieties, as well as their different trajectories of development;
- Have a critical understanding of the key concepts of transnational migration, namely of “ethnicity”, “community”, “sovereignty”, “citizenship” and “ethnic economy”;
- Understand the importance of processes of capital restructuring and urban transformation in studying transnational migration;
- Have a critical understanding of using the categories of “migrants” refugees” “internally displaced” and tehir shortcomings
- Have an understanding of the blind spots and limits of transnational migration perspectives

Assessment and permitted materials

Course requirements and grading: Each student will be assessed through a combination of seminar contribution, oral presentation, and written work (again this scheme depends on the number of students registered to this course).

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Oral presentation (30%): Students are expected to introduce one of the seminars. The written introduction (max. 4 pages – double space) is due two days before the class. This assignment should ideally include a short summary of the main thesis of the text as well as critical comments and questions about the readings.
Term paper (60%): Approximately 4000 words paper is due by the end of the term. Students can write their term paper on the seminar topic they introduced, but can also choose another one (after consultation with the lecturer).
Class participation (10%)

Examination topics

Reading list

1.1 Portes, Alejandro (2001) Introduction: The Debates and Significance of Immigrant Transnationalism. Global Networks 1(3): 181-194.
1.2 Pries, Ludiger (2001) The Disruption of Social and Geographic Space. Mexican-US Migration and the Emergence of transnational Social Spaces. International Sociology 16(1): 55-74.
1.3. LEVITT, P. and GLICK SCHILLER, N. 2004 ‘Transnational Perspectives on Migration: Conceptualizing Simultaneity,’ International Migration Review, vol.38, no.3, pp. 1002-1039
2.1. Sassen, Sasskia (2001) Cracked Casings. Notes Towards an Analytics for Studying transnational process. In: L. Pries ed. New Transnational Spaces: International Migration and Transnational Companies in the Early Twenty-First Century. London: Routledge, 187-208
2.2. WIMMER, A. AND GLICK SCHILLER N. 2002 ‘Methodological nationalism and beyond: nation-state building, migration and the social sciences,’ Global Networks, vol. 2, pp. 301–334
2.4. McEWAN, J. POLLARD and HENRY N. 2005 ‘The “global” in the city economy: multicultural economic development in Birmingham’ International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, vol. 29, no. 4, pp. 916-933.
2.4. Glick Schiller, Nina and Caglar, Ayse 2009 Towards a Comparative Theory of Locality in Migration Studies: Migrant Incorporation and City Scale, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
3.1. Soysal, Yasemin (1998). Toward a Post-national Model of Membership. In Gershon Shafir Ed. The Citizenship Debates. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Pp.: 189- 220.
3.2 Caglar, Ayse (2016) Displacement of European Citizen Roma in Berlin: Acts of Citizenship and Sites of Contentious Politics
. Citizenship Studies 
vol. xx, no. x, 1-18.
3.3 Glick Schiller, Nina and Ayse Caglar 2008 “And Ye Shall Possess It, and Dwell Therein”: Social Citizenship, Global Christianity, and Non-Ethnic Immigrant Incorporation. In C. Bretell ed. Immigrants and Citizenship.
4.1. Malkki Lisa (1995) Refugees and Exile: From Refugee Studies to the National Order of Things. Annual Review of Anthropology 24.
4.2 Samaddar, Ranabir (2020) The Post-Colonial Age of Migration. Routledge. Introduction.
4.3 Bloch, Alice and Giorgio Dona ed. (2019) Forced migration : current issues and debates. Introduction and Chapter 1 (Zetter).
5.1 Sørensen, N.N., and T. Gammeltoft-Hansen. 2013. Introduction. In T. Gammeltoft-Hansen, and N.N. Sørensen (eds), The Migration Industry and the Commercialization of International Migration. London, Routledge.
5.2. Pécoud, A., 2013. Introduction: Disciplining the Transnational Mobility of People. In M. Geiger & A. Pécoud (Eds.). Disciplining the Transnational Mobility of People. Basingstoke, Macmillan.
6.1 G. Feldman (2011) If ethnography is more than participant-observation, then relations are more than connections: The case for nonlocal ethnography in a world of apparatuses. In: Anthropological Theory 11(4): 375-395.
6.2 C. Shore and S. Wright (2011) Conceptualising Policy. Technologies of Governance and the Politics of Visibility. In C. Shore et al. eds. Policy Worlds.
6.3 A. Caglar (2016). Still ‘migrants’ after all those years: foundational mobilities, temporal frames and emplacement of migrants. In Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.
6.4 Caglar, A. and N. Glick Schiller (2018) Introduction: Multiscalar City-Making and Emplacement: Processes, Concepts, and Methods. In Caglar and A. N. Glick Schiller Migrants and City-Making Dispossession, Displacement, and Urban Regeneration. Duke University Press. Introduction and Conclusion.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: We 12.01.2022 09:09