2021 Symposium

Contested Meanings of Migration Facilitation: Emigration Agents, Coyotes, Rescuers, and Human Traffickers

Conveners

Ulf Brunnbauer (IOS Regensburg)
Soeren Urbansky (GHI PRO, Berkeley)

The symposium will explore migration facilitation as situated between securing borders, solidarity networks, and economic interests or needs. It brings together professionals from the academic, cultural, activist, and policy sectors from around the world.

The symposium is organized by the Pacific Regional Office of the German Historical Institute Washington in collaboration with Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus “Europe and America in the Modern World” and the Institute of European Studies at UC Berkeley.

Schedule

Monday, November 15, 2021

Keynote

10 – 11:45 a.m. (PST)
1 – 2:45 p.m. (EST)
18 – 19:45 h (GMT)
19 – 20:45 h (CET)
November 16:
3- 4:45 a.m. (Kyoto)
5 – 6:45 a.m (Melbourne)

Welcome & Introductions

Ulf Brunnbauer & Sören Urbansky

When, Where, and Why do Mobility Brokers Become Migrant Traffickers? States, Markets, Infrastructures.

Lecture: Andreas Fahrmeir
Moderator: Ulf Brunnbauer

Whether migration needs to be facilitated depends on many factors: distance, cost, information, regulation. Aiding migrants in attaining their destination can be a well-regarded and potentially lucrative profession, or a criminalized activity – and sometimes both at once. This survey of varying attitudes and constellations, focused on European and North American examples, will try to illustrate some typical distinctions and their potential dynamics, as well as on the structural factors that shape perceptions: views of labour markets, transportation infrastructure and functions assigned to borders.

Panel 1

12:00 – 1:30 p.m. (PST)
3 – 4:30 p.m. (EST)
20 – 21:30 h (GMT)
21 – 22:30 h (CET)
November 16:
5 – 6:30 a.m. (Kyoto)
7 – 9:30 a.m (Melbourne)

The Changing Faces of Migrant Facilitators

Moderator: Akasemi Newsome (University of California, Berkeley)

Yukari Takai (York University and International Center for Japanese Studies):
Brokering the Mobility: Japanese Immigrant Hotel Owners in the Two Pacific Port Cities, 1880s-1924

Deborah Boehm (University of Nevada, Reno):
Accompaniment Across Borders: Migration Facilitation as Activism

Anastasiia Strakhova (Emory University):
Innocent and Dangerous: Female Jewish Agents and Mass Emigration from Late Imperial Russia

Julia Devlin (Center for Flight and Migration, Eichstätt-Ingolstadt)
A Zionist “Underground Railway”: Berihah and the Polish-Jewish Refugees 

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Round table

10 – 11:45 a.m. (PST)
1 – 2:45 p.m. (EST)
18 – 19:45 h (GMT)
19 – 20:45 h (CET)
November 16:
3- 4:45 a.m. (Kyoto)
5 – 6:45 a.m (Melbourne)

Saving Lives. The Migrant Rescuers’ Perspective

Moderator: Ulf Brunnbauer

The participants of the round table, Michael Buschheuer, founder of the German based sea rescue organization “Sea-Eye“, Gerald Knaus, founding chairman of the European Stability Initiative (ESI), and Cristina Santoyo and Fabienne Cabaret from the Mexican NGO “Fundación Justicia“, will present their experiences to navigate humanitarian action in a political and legal landscape, in which the help for migrants is often framed as “trafficking” and criminalized. How can we transform such dominant frames and reclaim the rescue of migrants as what it is, a basic act of human solidarity?

Panel 2

12:00 – 1:30 p.m. (PST)
3 – 4:30 p.m. (EST)
20 – 21:30 h (GMT)
21 – 22:30 h (CET)
November 17:
5 – 6:30 a.m. (Kyoto)
7 – 9:30 a.m (Melbourne)


Ethical Dilemmas and Moral Economies

Moderator: Sören Urbansky (GHI PRO, Berkeley)

Nicolas Lainez (CESSMA / Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Paris) and Sallie Yea (La Trobe University, Melbourne):
Debt Financed Migration Research: The Economic and Social Mechanics of Upfront Payments and Salary Deductions

Milena Rizzotti (University of Leicester):
Traffickers’ and Victims’ Perceptions of Human Trafficking. An Analysis of their Narratives in Terms of Agency, Gratitude, Exploitation and Responsibility.

Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera (George Mason University):
Ethics and the Facilitation of Human Mobility. A Perilous Journey from Cuba to the United States

Organizers

© IOS/neverflash.com

Ulf Brunnbauer is the academic director of the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies in Regensburg, Germany, and professor of Southeast and East European History at the University of Regensburg. He earned his PhD in history from the University of Graz, Austria, in 1999, and his habilitation in Modern and East/Southeast European History from the Free University of Berlin in 2006. In 2008, he joined the faculty in Regensburg, where he also serves as one of the coordinators of the Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies and board members of the Center for International and Transnational Area Studies. He held fellowships in Berkeley, Paris, Uppsala, Leicester and Sofia, and did extensive research in Bulgaria, former Yugoslavia, and Russia. His most recent books are “Geschichte Südosteuropas”, written together with Klaus Buchenau (2018) and “Globalizing Southeastern Europe. Emigrants, America and the State since the 19th century” (2016), that was recently translated into Croatian. Brunnbauer’s research concentrates on the social history of Southeastern Europe since the 19th century, with a focus on problems of migration, labor, family, and nation-building. His current book project deals with transformation of labor relations since the 1970s, on the case of two shipyards in Poland and Croatia, and he is editing the Routledge Handbook of Southeastern European History together with John Lampe (scheduled for 2020). Personal website

Sören Urbansky is a historian of Russia and China in the modern era, specializing in imperial and racial entanglements, migration, infrastructure, and the history of borders. He is the head of the Pacific Regional Office of the German Historical Institute Washington at UC Berkeley. Sören is the author of three monographs, including Beyond the Steppe Frontier: A History of the Sino-Russian Border (2020).

Presenters & Moderators

Deborah A. Boehm is Professor of Anthropology and Gender, Race, and Identity at the University of Nevada, Reno. She recently received an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship to support research focused on the U.S. immigration detention system and activism aimed at ending it. She is the author of Intimate Migrations: Gender, Family, and Illegality among Transnational Mexicans and Returned: Going and Coming in an Age of Deportation, and co-editor of Illegal Encounters and Everyday Ruptures. Her work has been supported by a Fulbright–García Robles Award, an ACLS Fellowship, and a Mellon/ACLS Scholars and Society Fellowship, as well as residencies at the School for Advanced Research, the University of Arizona, and the Center for the Study of Law and Society at the University of California, Berkeley. Current projects focus on the transnational character of U.S. immigration detention regimes and the experiences of young people who migrate to the United States.

Michael Buschheuer founded the non-profit organization Sea-Eye with a group of family and friends in 2015. Its goal is to save the lives of refugees during their perilous escape to Europe via the Mediterranean Sea. The organization bought two ships, the Sea-Eye and the Seefuchs – two 26 metre-long former fishing cutters – and re-equipped them for the purpose of sea rescue missions. In February 2016, the Sea-Eye started its first voyage to search for people in distress at sea along the deadliest exodus route in the world and fight against the daily loss of life in the Mediterranean Sea.

Fabienne Cabaret is a human rights defender with a Master’s in Foreign Languages in Brittany, France; postgraduate in geopolitics, in Ile-de-France, France. He has collaborated in civil organizations in France, including ACAT-France (Action of Christians for the Abolition of Torture), she was a member of the defense area of ACAT-Mexico, where she worked primarily on cases of torture, arbitrary detention and forced disappearance; participating in the litigation of cases at the national and international level (inter-American system and universal human rights system), and developed activities of documentation of cases, accompaniment to victims, training and advocacy.

Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera is Associate Professor in the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University. Her areas of expertise are Mexico-US relations, organized crime, immigration, border security, social movements and human trafficking. She is author of Los Zetas Inc.: Criminal Corporations, Energy, and Civil War in Mexico (University of Texas Press, 2017; Spanish version: Planeta, 2018). Her two new books (co-authored with Dr. Tony Payan) are entitled Las Cinco Vidas de Genaro García Luna (El Colegio de México, 2021) and La Guerra Improvisada: Los Años de Calderón y sus Consecuencias (Océano, 2021). Professor Correa-Cabrera is Past President of the Association for Borderlands Studies (ABS). She is also Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and Non-resident Scholar at the Baker Institute’s Center for the United States and Mexico (Rice University). She is co-editor of the International Studies Perspectives (ISP) journal.

Julia Devlin is executive director of the interdisciplinary Center for Flight and Migration at Catholic University Eichstätt-Ingolstadt. She is a historian with a focus on voluntary and forced migration with a particular interest in transgenerational transmission of trauma and the relevance of memory in diasporic communities. She studied Eastern European History, Modern History, History of Art and Slavistics at School of Slavonic and East European Studies London, Moskovskij Linguistic University Moscow and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich, where she earned her PhD in 2002.

© Felicitas von Lutzau

Andreas Fahrmeir teaches nineteenth-century history at Goethe University in Frankfurt. His research interests include the history of migration control in Western Europe and the United States, questions of urbanization and urban governance and, more recently, personnel recruitment and personnel decisions.

Gerald Knaus is the founding chairman of the European Stability Initiative (ESI), a think tank with offices in Berlin, Brussels, and Vienna working on South East Europe and the Caucasus, European enlargement and the future of EU foreign policy. He studied in Oxford, Brussels and Bologna, taught economics at the State University of Chernivtsi in Ukraine and spent five years working for NGOs and international organisations in Bulgaria and Bosnia and Herzegovina. He co-authored many ESI reports on EU enlargement, the Balkans, Turkey and the Caucasus that have triggered wide public debates, including most recently “The Merkel Plan” (2015) and “The Rome Plan” (2017) on the refugee crisis and “The European Swamp” (2016) on corruption in the Council of Europe. He is based in Berlin and Istanbul and writes the Rumeli Observer blog.

Nicolas Lainez is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies in France. He holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences and a Masters in Development Studies from Sorbonne University (France). His research is located in the field of economic anthropology and his research areas include peripheral financialization, credit markets, household debt, informal finance, care economies, gender, sexuality, migration and trafficking. His work has been published in American Anthropologist, the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Geoforum, Time & Society, The Sociological Review, Culture, Health and Sexuality, and the Journal of Vietnamese Studies.

Akasemi Newsome is the associate director of the Institute of European Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research on the politics of labor, immigration, and comparative racialization addresses topics at the forefront of international and comparative political economy, including rights and global governance, institutions, capitalist development, and social movements. In addition to two co-edited special issues and published articles in the Journal of European Integration, Comparative Labor Law and Policy Journal, Perspectives on Europe, and PS: Political Science and Politics, her book manuscript The Color of Solidarity examines the conditions for labor union support of immigrant claims-making in Europe. She is also a co-editor (with Marianne Riddervold and Jarle Trondal) The Palgrave Handbook of EU Crises (2021).

Milena Rizzotti  is a post-doctoral fellow at University of Leicester. She is currently applying her doctoral research findings working with practitioners and professionals. Her PhD research looked at Nigerian madams’ motivations to become involved in trafficking. Milena is interested in issues of sex work migration, trafficking and in the ways in which involved actors perceive those phenomena.

Cristina Santoyo studied Politics and Public Administration at El Colegio de México. She has worked as a public servant on the federal and local level. Recently, she has worked as a consultant on gender based violence and human rights projects.

Anastasiiia Strakhova is a PhD candidate in history at Emory University (Atlanta, GA) and a doctoral fellow at the Leibniz Institute of European History (Mainz, Germany). Internationally trained in Jewish Studies and History, she completed her undergraduate degree at International Solomon University in Ukraine, and then earned a master’s degree at Central European University in Hungary. In her dissertation, “Selective Emigration: Border Control and the Jewish Escape in Late Imperial Russia, 1881-1914,” Anastasiia examines how the racialization of Jews in late imperial Russia functioned through migration policies and everyday border-crossing practices. Her new article “Unexpected Allies: Russian Officials’ Support of Jewish Emigration at the Time of Its Legal Ban, 1881-1914” is forthcoming in the special issue of Quest – Issues on Contemporary Jewish History devoted to migration.

Yukari Takai is a Research Associate at the York Centre for Asian Research at York University in Canada and a Visiting Research Scholar at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies in Japan. Specialized in transnational migration, global Japanese Studies and North American history, she is finalizing a Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada-supported book on Japanese transmigration in the Pacific world in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Her new research examines the gendered social world of Japanese women and men in the Pacific and beyond. Takai is the winner of the Canadian Historical Association’s Canadian Committee and Migration, Ethnicity and Transnational Article Prize (CCMET) in 2021. She authored Gendered Passages: French-Canadian Migration to Lowell, Massachusetts, 1900-1920 (2008). She also published numerous articles in journals such as Histoire sociale/Social History, Gender & Migration, and the Journal of American Ethnic History.

Sallie Yea is the 2021 Tracey Banivanua Mar Fellow, based in the Department of Social Inquiry at AW Campus of La Trobe University. She has research interests which span human trafficking, vulnerable migrations, and transnationalism. She has published widely on these subjects in journals that including Geoforum, Gender, Place & Culture, Work, Employment & Society, Environment & Planning D, and Political Geography. Her current research projects examine issues around geographies of transnational justice and return migration for transient migrant workers and victims of trafficking. Her second monograph, Paved with Good Intentions? Human Trafficking and the Anti-Trafficking Movement in Singapore, was published with Palgrave MacMillan in 2019.