Identities-Borders-Orders: Migration and Belonging

Viktoriya Sereda, Professor, Ukrainian Catholic University, Senior Fellow, Forum Transregionale Studien, Berlin

Oksana Mikheieva, Professor, Ukrainian Catholic University and European University Viadrina

The title of the course derives from the conceptual model of the anthropologist Steven Vertovec who demonstrates through the analysis of the cultural politics of nation and migration that one of the key devices for constructing the national imaginary is the conceptual triad identities-borders-orders (IBO model). In this course will use the case of Ukraine to study how the annexation of the country’s territories or the outbreak of the war generated multiple physical, symbolic, and legal/bureaucratic borders within the society (“borders and orders”) and led to redefinition of identities. These everyday experiences revolving around contested citizenships and borders devolve into matters of state power and control, on the one hand, and identities as well as social rights and benefits, on the other. The course also addresses the issue of citizenship in contemporary Ukraine focusing on bordering practices of authorities and lived experiences of forcibly displaced people from war-torn territories in Ukraine since 2014. With a large-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russia in 2022, the issue of state borders, actual borders, and new territorial claims becomes especially relevant. The course will use a comparative perspective to show how massive migration and displacement triggers key questions of intensive ongoing intellectual and political disputes around several fundamental issues, such as integration, belonging, cohesion, and memory in modern societies.