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Internationale Tagung
In Search of the Migrant Child: Entangled Histories of Childhood Across Borders

19.09.2022 bis 21.09.2022
University of California Berkeley, 223 Moses Hall

Beschreibung der Veranstaltung

Organized by Sheer Ganor, Bettina Hitzer, Friederike Kind-Kovács and Swen Steinberg

Migration history is primarily a history of adults. Children are usually appendages to these adults, they are objects like luggage or figures in statistics. Thus, little is known about the experiences of migrant children and adolescents, be it that they crossed borders on their own, within peer groups or as part of their families. The conference “In Search of the Migrant Child: Entangled Histories of Childhood and Migration Across Borders” is meant to uncover and discuss various of these–to date often hidden–histories of children and young people in the 19th and 20th centuries. It asks how age shaped experiences of transnational migration in different contexts, and inquires how child migrants’ bodies were perceived, marked and managed. It explores how states addressed children specifically in their efforts to regulate, curtail, and also enable migration, and it scrutinizes how this specific form of migration catalyzed knowledge about childhood and migration. And, finally, the conference addresses how to grasp children’s voices historically.

This in-person conference concludes a series of digital workshops that were organized by the international standing working group “In Search of the Migrant Child” since Spring 2021. This series of events is the result of a collaboration between the German Historical Institute Washington with its Pacific Office at UC Berkeley and the Hannah Arendt Institute for Totalitarianism Studies in Dresden. The conference and the book launch are furthermore supported by the Institute of European Studies and the Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies at UC Berkeley, and the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Further information

This project is co-financed by tax funds using the budget approved by the Landtag of the Free State of Saxony.

Immigrant children. Ellis Island, New York 1908

Brown Brothers, Records of the Public Health Service. (90-G-125-29) / US GOV National Archives