Migrant Knowledge

Seventh Bucerius Young Scholars Forum—Indigenous Migration

Editorial note: the Pacific Office of the German Historical Institute Washington is organizing for the seventh time the Bucerius Young Scholars Forum to take place on September 18 and 19, 2023. This Forum, funded by the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius, is an annual program designed to bring together a transatlantic group of approximately ten scholars to explore new research in the history of migration. The theme of this year’s event is Indigenous migration, with a focus on history of knowledge perspectives. As the topic of the event may resonate among the blog’s readers and this year’s edition will include an excursion, we would like to share the call for papers on the blog. The deadline is April 1, 2023.

During the past few decades, growing numbers of Indigenous people have left their ancestral lands. Persistent violation of their land rights and the disproportional impact of environmental and climate changes have forced them to move into unfamiliar urban or rural environments. The impacts of this mobility on communities and individuals have been manifold. Migrants have faced abuse and discrimination, grappled with the loss of material and spiritual connections to land, and struggled with the changing meanings of indigeneity in relation to other identities. Non-Indigenous communities, in turn, have begun to debate their response to these newcomers and their responsibility in causing the social, environmental, and climatic changes coercing new migratory flows.

The 2023 Bucerius Young Scholars Forum, organized by Holly Miowak Guise (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque), Sören Urbansky (GHI Pacific Office), and Nino Vallen (GHI Pacific Office), seeks to tie in these current developments to both the past and the present. We call for empirically rich contributions to the history of migration at the intersection of Indigenous studies and the history of knowledge. For centuries colonizers have displaced and disrupted the lives of Indigenous communities, taking their land, enslaving peoples, and introducing new diseases and harmful habits. How can we narrate the stories of these experiences from the perspective of the history of knowledge? What knowledge did Indigenous migrants produce, contest, and deploy as they dealt with their own mobility? How did they engage with the colonizers’ epistemologies? How did they carry other types of knowledge (professional, academic, religious, cultural) into these negotiations? What knowledge was lost due to their movements, and how did this loss impact communities and environments? What epistemological and ontological strategies did Indigenous migrants use to defy their marginalization and produce visions of alternative worlds?

The Campanile, University of California at Berkeley, and, across the bay, Mt. Tamalpais; seen from Memorial Stadium at sunset, 4 November 2006. Photo by Tristan Harward. Licensed by Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-NC-SA.

The Forum

The Bucerius Young Scholars Forum will be held at the University of California, Berkeley, on September 18–19, 2023. Papers will be pre-circulated to allow maximum time for peers and invited senior scholars to engage in discussions on the state of the field. The workshop language will be English.

Alaska Natives in ceremonial dress for potlatch emerging from canoes adorned with American flags, Sitka, 1904. Photo by Elbridge Warren Merrill. University of Washington Special Collections. Acc'n No. 7397. Public domain.

Field Trip to Sitka, Alaska

The Forum will be connected to a field trip to Sitka, Alaska, from September 20–24, 2023. The field trip will allow participants to explore the insights of Alaska Native traditions and Indigenous encounters with Russian and American colonizers.

The organizers will cover basic expenses for travel and accommodation to Berkeley and Sitka.

Who Can Apply?

With the Forum’s focus on the intersection of migration and knowledge, we encourage applications by post-doctoral scholars, recent PhDs, as well as those in the final stages of their dissertations with a background in history, Indigenous studies, the social sciences, political sciences, anthropology, geography, as well as area studies and other related fields. Contributions in other media forms such as films will be considered as well.

California Archive Research Award

Selected participants will have the opportunity to extend their stay in Berkeley (by up to two weeks) through the California Archive Research Award (CARA). CARA funds can be used to explore the internationally renowned research resources in the San Francisco Bay Area. These include, for example, the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley, the Hoover Archives at Stanford University, and the National Archives in San Bruno. Please indicate in the online application form if you would like to be considered for CARA. We will award the additional funding for up to two applicants.

How to Apply?

Please upload a brief CV and a proposal of no more than 750 words by April 1, 2023, to our online portal. Please contact Heike Friedman(friedman@ghi-dc.org) if you have problems with submitting your information online.

Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their submissions in April.