Discipline of Sociology & Criminology Seminar Series 2023 | Transnational Belongings: Practices of Placemaking and Participation in Central America and Europe
Discipline of Sociology & Criminology Seminar Series
Transnational Belongings: Practices of Placemaking and Participation in Central America and Europe
Speakers: Noelle Brigden (Marquette University, USA) and Katia Pilati (University of Trento, Italy)
Location: A02, Room 650 and zoom.
For more information email Leah Williams Veazey: email@example.com
Featuring two acclaimed international scholars, Noelle Brigden (Marquette University, USA) and Katia Pilati (University of Trento, Italy), this seminar will explore contemporary practices of mobility and migration through the lens of a community gym in San Salvador and ethnic and pan-immigrant organisations in European cities. Join us for scholarly exchange and friendly discussion, chaired by Leah Williams Veazey (University of Sydney, Australia).
Gym Mobilities: Shaping Bodies and Lifting Community at the Edges of San Salvador (Noelle Brigden)
The concept of mobility has a dual meaning. In the world of social sciences, mobility refers to a myriad of socio-political processes structured by spatial travel, including those implicated in the migration of human bodies. In the world of exercise science and fitness settings, mobility refers to the body’s ability to progress through the physical range expected for its joints. In both worlds over time, mobility routines can extend or limit our capacities for future moves, structuring our material reality and, ultimately, placemaking. The two meanings of mobility coincide in a community gym at the edges of San Salvador. People (including myself) develop meaningful physical routines that shape our sense of belonging, as well as the shape of our bodies. Thus, the gym represents one of many topographical features within a transnational landscape of confinement and resistance, displacement and migration, which is experienced in daily life and imprinted in embodied norms. A local gym in El Salvador provides a mundane location to witness multiple dimensions of mobility in the context of transnational diaspora. A series of vignettes explores the resonance of walls, sanctuaries, and passports, drawing from migration studies to discuss the placemaking processes visible from the vantage point of the exercise floor.
Political belonging and integration of migrants in European cities (Katia Pilati)
Migrants often lead complex lives, balancing their ties to two countries: their country of origin and their country of settlement. The talk explores how the migrants’ and second-generations’ connections and sense of belonging to their country of origin shape their political integration in the country of settlement. Two key research questions are addressed: firstly, whether involvement in ethnic organizations facilitates political integration in the country of settlement, and secondly, whether engagement in political activities related to the country of origin, i.e. political transnationalism, is compatible with political integration in the country of settlement. Empirical evidence from a population survey conducted between 2007-2010 in ten European cities, including Barcelona, Brussels, Budapest, Geneva, Lyon, London, Madrid, Milan, Stockholm, and Zurich, is utilized to answer these research questions. The findings suggest that involvement in ethnic and pan-immigrant organizations can be an effective and a powerful means of promoting integration in the local political sphere of the country of settlement. Moreover, political transnationalism is not necessarily incompatible with political integration in European countries. The presentation finally highlights the importance of understanding the ways in which migrants and second-generations’ ties to their country of origin influence their political engagement in their country of settlement in relation to the promotion of specific policies of integration.
Noelle Brigden is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Marquette University. Her research and teaching interests include gender, human security, international relations, borders, transnationalism, violence, the politics of the body, trauma, fieldwork ethics, and political ethnography. Her book, The Migrant Passage: Clandestine Journeys from Central America (Cornell University Press 2018), won the Yale Ferguson Award.
Katia Pilati is an Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology and Social Research (DSRS) of the University of Trento (Italy). Prior to working at DSRS, she was a Marie Curie fellow at the University of Geneva (Switzerland), and an FRS-FNRS postdoctoral fellow at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium). Her research interests include immigration, social movements, civic and political participation.
This seminar will be held in person (A02 Social Sciences Building, Rm 650) and on zoom. Please join us in person if you can, for this rare opportunity to meet these fabulous scholars while they are in Sydney.