Organized as a collaborative event between ComDev,  the Malmö Institute of Migration, Diversity and Welfare (MIM) and the Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions (SPIDER), the Transit Europe international conference explores the current refugee situation in the framework of media, communication and governance, in particular humanitarian technologies and communication.

Keynote speakers of include Nina Glick Schiller (University of Manchester, UK), Thomas Hylland Eriksen (University of Oslo, Norway), Silvio Waisbord (George Washington University, Washington D.C., USA),  Mirca Madianou (Goldsmiths’ College, University of London, UK).
During the conference the Voice & Matter. Communication, Development and the Cultural Return anthology will be also be launched based on the Ørecomm conference in 2014.

Symposium Program

Thursday, 22 September 2016

15.00-15.15 Welcome address
Malmö University’s Vice-Chancellor Kerstin Tham + Ørecomm co-directors Oscar Hemer and Thomas Tufte
15.15-16.00  Postdoc and PhD project presentations on Refugee Migration
MIM director Pieter Bevelander presents Malmö University’s cross-disciplinary research programme addressing the current refugee situationThe newly appointed postdocs at the faculty of Culture and Society present their Projects
16.15-17.00 Boundaries destabilised: Insecurities and uncertainties in contemporary Europé
Thomas Hylland Eriksen, University of Oslo
17.00-17.30   Discussion
(Chair: Oscar Hemer. Discussant: Ronald Stade, Malmö University)
17.30-18.00  Book launch: Voice & Matter. Communication, Development and the Cultural Return
(Oscar Hemer & Thomas Tufte)
18.00  Reception 

Friday, 23 September 2016

9.15-10.15 Beyond Binary Thinking. Migration, Identity and Domains of Commonality
Nina Glick Schiller, University of Manchester
10.15-10.35 Coffee
10.35-11.45 Discussion
(Chair: Maja Povrzanović Frykman. Discussants: Asu Aksoy, Kerry Bystrom and Garbi Schmidt)
11.45-13.00     Lunch
13.00-13.45    Humanitarian Technologies. From ideals of participation to practices of governance in emergencies and disaster recovery
Mirca Madianou, Goldsmiths’ College, London
13.45-14.15  Discussion
(Chair: Tobias Denskus. Discussant: Lisa Ann Richey)
14.15-16.00 Parallel paper sessions
Themes and participants tbc
16.15-17.00  Communication in the society of difference: Between pluralism and (dis)engagement
Silvio Waisbord, George Washington University
17-00-17.20  Discussion
(Chair: Norbert Wildermuth. Discussant: Thomas Tufte)
17.20-18.00     Panel discussion with all speakers
(Moderator: Oscar Hemer)

Örecomm invites papers on any aspect of the overall theme. Selected abstracts will be grouped thematically in three parallel sessions. Abstracts (maximum 300 words) can be submitted to orecomm(AT) 

PeaceAndChangeBannerLogoFrom Social Movement to Ritualized Conference Spaces: The Evolution of Peace Research Professionalism in Germany is the title of ComDev’s Tobias Denskus‘ latest research article just published in the journal Peace & Change:

The article employs anthropological ritual theory and the concepts of symbolism and liminality to provide a theoretical framework for analyzing ethnographic insights into the academic peace research community in Germany. Using secondary sources for a broader historical outline, I analyze the evolution of peace research discourses in Germany from the beginnings as a new social movement to a contemporary professionalized policy space in which knowledge discourses are (re)produced. Academic conferences and the routines around presenting theoretical papers have become institutionalized by the ritual dynamics of a small group of organizers and venues, fostering “indoor rituals” that represent transformations of the activities of the “outdoor” peace movement that was active in postwar Germany for many decades.

In a blog post with further links, including to an un-gated version of his paper, he adds:TobiasDenskusMAH2014

I think it is important to engage with community practices and changing forms of professionalism over time. This allows for important nuances beyond twitter-able claims to add simply more women or enhance diversity at conferences in other ways. These are important steps, but in this day and age of the ‘metricized’ neoliberal university we need to ask tougher questions about how to build and maintain social movements and inspiring communities inside and outside academia.

Preceding the Transit Europe symposium, ComDev will be involved in a joint specialization course within the research areas MUSA (Migration, Urbanisation and Societal Change) and NMOG (New Media, Public Spheres and Forms of Creation).

The profound and lasting consequences of the so-called refugee crisis that shook Europe in 2015 call for academic analysis as well as humanitarian action. In the last year, Europe has seen the largest mobility of people on its soil since the Second World War.

The course puts the current refugee situation in Europe in global perspective, with focus on media and communication and governance, and specifically humanitarian technologies and communication. What is the nature of the crisis, from the perspective of the refugee migrants? How do they communicate with migration authorities, traffickers, and among themselves? How do they document their own journey? What new channels of information or public spheres are emerging? What are the short and long term political and cultural implications of Europe’s on-going transition?

Learning outcomes

After completing the course, the student will have attained a deep understanding of the European so-called refugee crisis in global perspective, with regard to media, governance and civic participation, and specific focus on humanitarian communication and technologies

Learning activities

The course consists of a joint workshop in conjunction with the Transit Europe symposium, and an individual assignment, to be completed two weeks after the symposium. The workshop, 22 September, 9-15, preceding the symposium, is coordinated by ComDev PhD student Erliza López Pedersen (NMOG) and Migration Studies PhD student Ioanna Tsoni (MUSA), and includes the keynote speakers Nina Glick Schiller and Mirca Madianou.
You can contact Erliza for further information and express your interest in participating in the course in Malmö.


The course has 3 credits.In addition to active participation in the workshop, students are required to submit an individual reflexive paper, 3000-4000 words, based on the symposium and the course literature. Deadline for submission: 6 October.

Course literature

Bhimji, F. (2016). “Collaborations and Performative Agency in Refugee Theater in Germany”. Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies, 14/1: 83-103. DOI: 10.1080/15562948.2015.1024813

Derrida, J. (2001). On cosmopolitanism and forgiveness [e.-book], [orig. Cosmopolites de tous les pays: encore un effort, 1997]. London: Routledge

Glick Schiller, N. (2012). ”Situating identities: towards an identities studies without binaries of difference”. Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power,19/4: 520-532. DOI: 10.1080/1070289X.2012.741525

Glick Schiller, N. & A. Irving (eds.) (2015). Whose cosmopolitanism?: critical perspectives, relationalities and discontents. New York, NY: Berghahn Books

Madianou, M. Longboan, L. and Ong, J. (2015). ”Finding a voice through humanitarian technologies? Communication technologies and participation in disaster recovery”. International Journal of Communication, vol. 9 (1-19)

Madianou, M. (2016) ”Ambient co-presence: transnational family practices in polymedia environments”. Global Networks. vol 16 (2): 183-201. DOI: 10.1111/glob.12105

Madianou, M. (2015) ”Digital inequalities and second-order disasters: social media in the Typhoon Haiyan recovery”. Social Media and Society, vol. 1.

Madianou, M. and Miller, D.  (2012) Migration and New Media: transnational families and polymedia, London: Routledge.

Nikunen, K. (2016). ”Hopes of hospitality: Media, refugee crisis and the politics of a place”. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 19/2: 161-176. DOI: 10.1177/1367877914530314

Povrzanović Frykman, M. (2015). ”From Bounded Cultures to Situated Practices: Exhibiting commonalities, not difference”, in Braun, K., Dietrich, C-M, and A. Treiber (eds.) Materialisierung von Kultur : Diskurse, Dinge, Praktiken. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann

Robins, K. And A. Aksoy (2015). Transnationalism, Migration and the Challenge to Europe : The Enlargement of Meaning  London: Routledge

Open Comdev web seminar: Community Radio for Change

by Mikael Rundberg May 20, 2016 Uncategorized

Your browser does not support iframes. Live Tuesday, 24 May, 13:00 Swedish Time (11 AM UTC) and in Live Lecture for Comdev students With Anders Høg Hansen and Birgitte Jallov In what ways can community radio spark social change? This web seminar will cover the aspects of community radio, discuss why information matters and how the voices […]

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Oscar Hemer contributes to new book on anthropology and writing

by Tobias Denskus April 21, 2016 Comdev News

ComDev professor Oscar Hemer contributed a chapter to an new anthology “The Anthropologist as Writer: Genres and Contexts in the Twenty-First Century” which was just published by Berghahn books: “Writing is crucial to anthropology, but which genres are anthropologists expected to master in the 21st century? This book explores how anthropological writing shapes the intellectual […]

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ComDev joins Flinders University’s innovative teaching event on ‘Timor-Leste: Challenges of a new state in the Asian century’

by Tobias Denskus April 14, 2016 ComDev staff

In a continuation of previous collaboration around the ‘Glocal Classroom‘, ComDev’s teaching team, led by Mikael Rundberg in Adelaide as well as Ronald Stade and Oscar Hemer in Malmö will be co-facilitating a 4-day Intensive teaching module using educational ICTs to bring on-campus and distance students together in a ‘blended classroom’. The event is organized […]

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Inaugural issue of Conflict and Society journal

by Tobias Denskus March 17, 2016 Comdev News

Organized violence—war, armed revolt, genocide, lynching, targeted killings, torture, routine discrimination, terrorism, trauma, and suffering—is a daily reality for some, while for others it is a sound bite or a news clip seen in passing and easily forgotten. Rigorous scholarly research of the social and cultural conditions of organized violence, its genesis, dynamic, and impact, […]

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Apply for ComDev’s autumn 2016 courses from 15 March-15 April!

by Tobias Denskus March 15, 2016 Alumni

Dear all, These are exciting times at ComDev! As the spring application window for ComDev programs and courses opens from 15 March – 15 April we have great educational opportunities lined up for you! First, the second round to apply to our flagship two-year part-time MA in Communication for Development is now open! You can […]

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New MEDEA VOX podcast on Extremist Communication

by Tobias Denskus March 3, 2016 Uncategorized

Our media and communication colleagues just launched as new podcast program as part of their Medea platform. The first episode of Medea Vox discusses how political extremists use the internet and social media to promote their cause: Today we’re going to approach the topic of online communication from a different angle, thinking through the propaganda […]

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The Seeds Have Bloomed: The 4th ‘Women 100’ movement newsletter is out!

by Tobias Denskus February 1, 2016 Uncategorized

Since 2013 the movement Women 100 (Hundred Years of Immigrant Women’s Life and Work in Malmö) has tried to make visible and recognize immigrant women’s life and work in Malmö. The fourth newsletter (No 2 2015) is out now! A collection that in hardcopy size resembles a small book (a pdf version is available). The […]

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