Sunday, April 9, 2017
Here is a Fulbright opportunity for migration and refugee scholars.
Europe has recently experienced one of the most significant influxes of migrants and refugees in its history. Driven out by civil war and terror and attracted by the promise of a better life, huge numbers of people have fled the Middle East and Africa, risking their lives along the way. More than one million refugees poured into Europe in 2016, sparking a crisis of global proportions as countries struggled to cope with the influx and creating divisions in the EU over how best to deal with genuine refugees and asylum seekers as opposed to economic migrants. The crisis is continuing and remains the most serious challenge that the EU has faced in his history. The issues relating to the migration crisis are substantial, touching on social, political, economic, and ethical concerns. Many of the most sacred tenets of the European experiment, like the Schengen Agreement on open borders, have come under question.
To mark the 70th anniversary of the Fulbright program, recognize the tremendous challenges raised by the migration issue, and highlight the contributions made in Belgium, Greece, France, Italy and the UK, the five Fulbright Commissions have joined forces to create a Fulbright award that would address the migration issue from a comparative perspective.
The idea is to attract a leading American scholar who addresses migration from a comparative, multidisciplinary perspective. The scholar should be prepared to take a cultural anthropological approach to the issues, produce a serious scholarly account of the many varied challenges posed by the migration crisis, and further document his/her work through a visual narrative. The incumbent would spend time in at least three of the five participating countries. The distribution of the scholar’s time will be determined by his/her project; though, as a practical matter, the time should be spend relatively equally between the partner countries. The successful candidate would spend a maximum of 8 months collecting data and recording her/his impressions of Europe as it struggles with these critical defining issues. As a practical matter, this exercise could result in a powerful testament to the current situation which may be as significant a crisis as the Second World War, which gave birth to the Fulbright program, and a way to share these issues with people in America.