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DiaMiGo Autumn Research Academy at the University of Cologne 

Infrastructuring Migration | Migrating Infrastructures?

Cologne – 16-20 October 2023

Call for participation for students of the University of Cologne

Are you a Bachelor's or Master’s Student at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology or at the Institute of Languages and Cultures of the Islamicate World? Are you interested in the topic of migration in the Mediterranean Region and want to exchange your ideas with students from the American University in Cairo and benefit from the expertise of many distinguished speakers during our Autumn Research Academy at the University of Cologne? Are you willing to participate in other activities and maybe be eligible to travel to Egypt in 2024? Then have a look at this call for participation and know more about our activities. 


The DiaMiGo Autumn Research Academy “Infrastructuring Migration | Migrating Infrastructures?” explores current changes and debates connected to the Mediterranean as a border region and in this context to migration and mobility in the wider Mediterranean region from an interdisciplinary perspective. The overarching conceptual focus is on infrastructuring migration. This entails a praxeological perspective that sees (infra)structures not as fixed entities, but as mutually shaped and shifting in the very process of migration itself. Migrants and refugees not just actively rely on and build their own infrastructures – thus infrastructuring migration – likewise adapt, interfere, and change border regimes according to specific local situations and demands. So, might one even speak of migrating infrastructures of control and migration? This approach implies a focus on localized settings and situated practices of bordering and calls for a broad understanding of migration, that includes not only the movement of people, but also the movement of objects,ideas, as well as more-than-human (MTH) entities (such as viruses, toxins, plants, and animals). Such an understanding of infrastructures of migration emphasizes the entanglement of human beings with material aspects that are involved in migration and its governance. The DiaMiGo Research Academy will explore this approach through three different, yet intertwined areas of interest, that co-structure contemporary practices and debates concerning migration and governance in the Mediterranean: 1) human mobility and autonomy of migration; 2) religion and migration, and 3) more-than-human migration.

The DiaMiGo Research Academy is a collaboration between the University of Cologne and the American University of Cairo. It consists of two parts: the upcoming Autumn Academy in Cologne (16 – 20 October 2023) will focus on an actor/object-centered perspective on migration infrastructures. The second part, to be held in Cairo (2024) will shift its focus to governance perspectives on migration infrastructures, such as recent changes of legal infrastructures and border regimes that implement policies and regulate different kinds of mobilities in the Mediterranean. By consistently focusing on the three areas of interest throughout both events, the DiaMiGo Research Academy aims to provide a comprehensive discussion of current approaches and dynamics of migration.

DiaMiGo Activities and Requirements of Participation

  • DiaMiGo Activities will take place during the Winter Semester 2023/24 and Summer Semester 2024. Your participation will grant you 6 Credit Points for each semester. 
  • Activities during the Winter Semester 2023/24 include: the DiaMiGo Autumn Research Academy (16-20 Ocotber 2023) at the University of Cologne and an online lecture series offered by scholars and researchers of the University of Cologne and the American University in Cairo. In Addition to an accompanying Seminar offered by Karim Zafer and Prof. Sabine Damir-Geilsdorf,  where we will meet together three to five times on Fridays at 4pm at the Ethno-Library (more information soon on Klips, DiaMiGo Part I, Nr. 145067102). The attendance is mandatory.You also need to apply for the Seminar on Klips. 
  • Additionally you will be asked to contribute to DiaMiGo Online Blog (more information during the accompanying seminar). Contributions to the online blog is a team-work between students of the University of Cologne and the American University in Cairo. 
  • Activities during Summer Semester 2024 include: the DiaMiGo Short Course in Cairo (fully funded) and an Accompanying Seminar at the University of Cologne. For the Examination Requirements, you will need to produce a report related to DiaMiGO Activities.
  • Participants at DiaMiGo Activities in Winter Semester 2023/24 with highest engagement and best performance are prioritized to participate in DiaMiGo activities in Summer 2024 and to travel to Cairo, Egypt.  
Who is eligible to participate?

  • Bachelor's and Master’s students at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology and at the Institute of Languages and Cultures of the Islamicate World at the University of Cologne
  • Strong interest and previous knowledge on the topic of migration
  • Very good English knowledge
Needed documents for your application

  • Your C.V.
  • Motivation letter (max. 2 pages) stating why you are interested in this topic of the Autumn Research Academy in 2023 and your expected contributions and benefits should be highlighted and justifies
  • Proof of enrollment from the University
Scientific and organising committee

Cologne Team

Dr. Christoph Lange, Dr. Nina ter Laan, Karim Zafer
Prof. Dr. Michaela Pelican, Prof. Dr. Martin Zillinger, Prof. Dr. Sabine Damir-Geilsdorf

Cairo Team

Prof. Dr. Ibrahim Awad, Prof. Dr. Gerda Heck, Prof. Dr. Maysa Ayoub, Elena Habersky, Prof. Dr. Amira Ahmed

Contact in Cologne

Karim Zafer, Project Coordinator

Contact in Cairo

Elena Habersky, Project Coordinator at the CMRS