Manuela Bojadžijev

Manuela Bojadzijev: “Is (neo-)racism a form of violence of the past?” Conjunctures of racism theory

In my talk I will address the question of violence conceptually by focussing on racism as a form of violence. I will ask how we can understand racism. The question of time in relation to racism as a form of violence is relevant. While some may argue that racism is an outdated form of violence which, albeit its recurrent return, receives no substantial renewal and is therefore to be understood as “the surviving old in the new”; others have argued that racism has proliferated to a degree that is has by now become almost ubiquitous. In order to anchor the debate I will offer a genealogy of critical racism theory in Germany, focussing on its conceptual values and guiding problematics for the field of analysis, its resonance within a wider international debate, and the questions that it raises that are open for debate today. I therefore propose for the discussion less a particular regional focus of the theme but rather the questions in how far this panorama of historical and conceptual contributions can help to conceptualise the violence of racism for today.

Manuela Bojadzijev is professor at the Institute for Sociology and Cultural Organisation, Leuphana University Lüneburg, and is a Member of the Berlin Institute for Integration and Migration Research (BIM) at Humboldt University, Berlin. She specializes on migration and racism in Europe, and on cultural theory. Her research focuses currently on issues of the changing conjunctures of racism in Europe as well as on mobile labor and logistics in a digitized economy. Manuela Bojadzijev has paid particular attention to how the processes of racialization transform in globalizing context, including for instance citizenship, post-colonialism and -socialism, media technology, the state, (trans-)nationalism, and popular culture. She is recently engaged in a project on the Chinese new silk road in Duisburg, together with Brett Neilson and Ned Rossiter of Western Sydney University. She is also part of a research and art project on the “Archive of Escape” at the House of World Cultures in Berlin, together with Carolin Emcke, Jopseph Vogel, Stephanie Schüler-Spingorum, and Ethel Matal de Mazza, and others.

From 2013 to 2016 Manuela Bojadzijev has been organizing a series of international summer schools at Humboldt-University, Berlin (2013: ’Teaching the Crisis’; 2014: ‘Expanding the Margins’; 2015-16 ‘Investigating Logistics’). A conference on the 30th anniversary of the publication of Race, Class, Nation with Etienne Balibar and Immanuel Wallerstein is under way for 2018.
Her major publications include a monograph on the history of migration in relation to migrants’ practices of resistance and racism theory (Die windige Internationale, Westfälisches Dampfboot 2008) and co-edited volumes (amongst others) on the transformation of the European migration regime in South East Europe (Turbulente Ränder. Neue Perspektiven auf Migration an den Grenzen Europas, 2008); on critical accounts of Europeanization (Europa dezentrieren. Beiträge zu einer reflexiven Anthropologie globaler Verflechtungen, Forthcoming); on labour, migration and logistics (Logistische Grenzlandschaften, 2017); and a handbook of racism theory in Germany (forthcoming). Her most recent articles and book chapters deal with the development of racism theories in Germany; the discourse of the ‘refugees crisis’ after 2015; logistics as a perspective for migration studies (co-authored with Sandro Mezzadra); virtual migration, labour and racism (co-authored with Moritz Altenried).