Spring Webinar Series:
Dying Abroad: The Political Afterlives of Migration in Europe
Date: 9 February 2024 (Friday)
Time: 2 PM CET (9 PM HKT)
Title: Dying Abroad: The Political Afterlives of Migration in Europe
Speaker: Osman Balkan (Associate Director, University of Pennsylvania)
On any given day the remains of countless deceased migrants are shipped around the world to be buried in ancestral soils. Others are laid to rest in countries of settlement, sometimes in cemeteries established for religious and ethnic minorities, where available. For immigrants and their descendants, perennial questions about the meaning of home and homeland take on a particular gravitas in death. When the boundaries of a nation and its members are contested, burial decisions are political acts. Building on multi-sited fieldwork in Berlin and Istanbul—where Balkan worked as an undertaker—Dying Abroad offers a moving and powerful account of migrants’ end-of-life dilemmas, vividly illustrating how they are connected to ongoing political struggles over the stakes of citizenship, belonging, and collective identity in Europe.
About the speaker:
Osman Balkan is Associate Director of the Huntsman Program in International Studies & Business at the University of Pennsylvania. His first book, Dying Abroad: The Political Afterlives of Migration in Europe, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2023 as part of the LSE International Studies Series. Balkan's research focuses on borders and migration, citizenship and identity, race and ethnicity, and the politics of collective memory with a transregional focus on Western Europe and the Middle East. He is currently working on a second book manuscript which examines how nations commemorate and come to terms with acts of political violence and terrorism.