Elissa Helms: Migration as a gendered threat – Old formulations in new packaging along the “Balkan Route” to the EU

2 June 2017
Rectorate of the University of Novi Sad

The lecture is organized by the Regional Science Center of the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory and the Center for Gender Studies of the University of Novi Sad.

5 June 2017
Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory

This presentation analyzes responses to the recent “refugee crisis” and migration to the EU through the lens of gendered assumptions about war, nation, and European belonging. Through a framework drawing on earlier work on gender and nationalism in post-Yugoslav states, it is argued that discourses and practices towards migration in and about countries along the “Balkan Route” are resurrecting classic gendered moral narratives of European and nationally specific identities in “nested” orientalizing ways, the boundaries of which are constantly being redrawn, re-hierarchized, and redefined.

Elissa Helms, sociocultural anthropologist, is Associate Professor and Head of Department in the Department of Gender Studies at the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. Her publications have covered various aspects of women’s activism, gendered nationalism, and post-socialist transformations in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the former Yugoslavia. She is the author of Innocence and Victimhood: Gender, Nation, and Women’s Activism in Postwar Bosnia-Herzegovina (U of Wisconsin Press, 2013) and co-editor with Xavier Bougarel and Ger Duijzings of The New Bosnian Mosaic: Identities, Memories, and Moral Claims in a Postwar Society (Ashgate, 2007).