Call for Papers: Interdisciplinary Workshop „Ukranian Refugees in Germany and the United States after the War: Implications for Global Refugee Policy“

June 28-29, 2024
American Studies, University of Passau

Organizers: Dr. Grit Grigoleit-Richter (American Studies, University of Passau, Germany) & Prof. Dr. Claudia Sadowski-Smith (American Studies, Arizona State University, USA)

The worldwide rise in the number of refugees in response to military, economic, and ecological devastation has emerged as one of the top global policy issues. It has become even more pressing since Russia’s 2022 full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which has produced the historically largest numbers of refugees in recent times—more than 6.3 million refugees globally according to the UNHCR. Over 271,000 refugees were admitted to the United States and an estimated 1,118,205 are recorded in Germany.

While the United States is viewed as a country of immigration whose social institutions promote integration, US laws and policies have historically privileged certain groups of migrants and refugees based on a variety of factors which are often racialized, including economic status or national, ethnic, and religious background. Ukrainian war refugees received temporary preferential admission at the US-Mexico border and had access to the newly-created refugee program Uniting for Ukraine. In Germany, which has long ignored its status as a country of immigration, Ukrainian war refugees similarly encountered privileged admission under the aegis of a new legal (EU-wide) framework and generous integration policies.

Funded by the Stiftung Deutsch-Amerikanische Wissenschaftsbeziehungen (SDAW/Foundation on German-American Academic Relations), this interdisciplinary workshop is designed to generate comparative critical insights and expertise on Ukrainian migration and integration in Germany and the United States as case studies for the examination of refugee policies on a global scale. We invite papers that provide critical perspectives on legal and social policies guiding Ukrainian refugee admission and (temporary or longer-term) integration into Germany and the United States, the relationship of Ukrainians to other refugee and migrant populations, as well as their representation, perceptions, and treatment in both countries.

Possible paper topics include, but are not limited to the following themes and topics:

  • Refugee admission
  • Modes of incorporation
  • Local settlement policies
  • Refugee and welfare policies in the US and Germany
  • Public, media, and political discourses relating to Ukrainian migration/resettlement
  • Racialization processes of post-Soviet and Ukrainian migrants
  • Making un/equality – un/equal laws or dis-equaling practices?
  • Solidarity

Please send a 300-word paper abstract and a 150-word biographical statement as one PDF-file by February 15, 2024 to Grigoleit-Richter.Grit@uni-passau.de and Claudia.Sadowski-Smith@asu.edu

A limited number of travel allowances (200 EUR) is available to PhD candidates/part-time or contingent Faculty. Please indicate if you need a travel allowance when submitting your abstract.

Notifications of acceptance will be sent out by the end of February to allow you ample time for planning your visit to Passau. Booking accommodation in advance is highly recommended!

Select papers from the workshop are published in a special journal issue. Please plan to submit your complete article for the reviewing/publishing process in summer 2024.