Thursday 8 March 2018

École française d’Athènes

Speaker 1: Dina Vaiou
Speaker 2: Camille Schmoll

A gender approach on international migrations and the importance of space

Dina Vaiou
Space and place in women’s migration. The importance of feminist thought

In my contribution I will focus on the importance of feminist thought for understandings and interpretations of migration. Taking issue with the work of Camille Schmoll on the inconspicuous sites and scales in which migrant women’s subjectivities and practices are constituted, I will argue first that feminist thought has contributed to unveil gender inequalities in the geographies of mobility, integration, exclusion and displacement; in this sense it has enriched, and sometimes subverted, conceptions about key issues in migration literature, like borders and boundaries, spatial scales, subjectivities, local/global relations. Second, I will focus on the importance of space and place and on the different ways in which migrant women “inhabit” and move in/through space, with all its embedded practices and relations, which may involve variety and openness, but also strong geometries of power.

Camille Schmoll
Migrant women autonomy in times of crisis.  A cross-scalar approach

Located where migration studies and feminist studies meet, my presentation will explore the making of migrants’ micro-geographies of power in the Euro-Mediterranean region. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork undertaken with women migrants in Southern Europe, I will claim for the need to feminize contemporary research on migration at the borders of Europe. By feminizing research, I do not mean to acknowledge the increasing importance of women within international migration dynamics but rather to take stock of a vast literature in gender and feminist studies, in order to amend our approach to contemporary migrations and mobilities. In particular I will draw on the inputs of feminist geography in order to show how migrant women intersectional subjectivities and spatial practices are constituted through inconspicuous sites and scales, such as the body, the digital space and the domestic space. The intersections between migrant women’s spatialities, as well as the transnational connections they build produce counter-spatialities of power through which women are able to negotiate with (and sometimes challenge) hierarchies and borders.

Dina Vaiou is professor of urban analysis and gender studies in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) and coordinator of the post-graduate programme on Urban and Regional Planning. She has coordinated several national and European projects (or the Greek part of such projects) and has published extensively in different languages. Her research interests, publications in Greece and abroad and papers presented in Conferences include: the feminist critique of urban analysis, the changing features of local labour markets, with special emphasis on women’s work and informalisation processes, the impact of mass migration on Southern European cities and women’s migration in particular, the gendered effects of the crisis and local solidarity responses.

Camille Schmoll completed a doctoral thesis at the University of Paris Nanterre (2004) and a Marie Curie post-doctorate at the European University Institute, Florence (2005-2007). Currently as a junior fellow of Institut Universitaire de France she is an associate professor in geography at University of Paris Diderot and member of the CNRS team “Géographie-cités”. She is the author of articles, book chapters and special issues focusing on gender, generations and international migration, irregular migration, new migratory forms (circular migration, transnationalism). She co-edited several books: Gender, Generations and the Family within International Migration (with Eleonore Kofman, Albert Kraler, and Martin Kohli, 2011, Amsterdam University Press); Stranieri in Italia. La generazione dopo (with Marzio Barbagli, 2011, Il Mulino, Bologna); Expériences du genre. Intimités, marginalités, travail et migration (with the Femmagh group, 2014, Karthala, Paris) ; Migrations en Méditerranée (with Catherine Wihtol de Wenden and Hélène Thiollet, 2015, Editions du CNRS, Paris).

© 2018 / Mobilities in/of Crises / Athens, Greece