AccueilFamilies, Constructions of Foreigness and Migration in Twentieth Century Western Europe

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Publié le lundi 31 mars 2008 par


How did 'family' figure in political and cultural constructions of foreignness in Western Europe in the last century? And how did these policies and stereotypes shape and were shaped by the family-related strategies, experiences and identities of migrants? What does the focus on the changing meanings of 'family' and foreignness' add to our understanding of the dynamics of gender and migration?


KU Leuven, Belgium, May 15-16 2008

This conference aims at comparing policies, perceptions and experiences with regard to family and migration in twentieth century Western Europe. It will discuss how family figured in political and cultural constructions of foreignness in the past century, as well as how these policies and stereotypes shaped and were shaped by family-related strategies, experiences and identities of migrants or their relatives. A selection of the conference proceedings will be published in History of the Family. An International Quarterly.

Conference language ENGLISH
Langue de la conférence ANGLAIS


You can register for this conference by using the webform at



10.15-10.30 Welcome, Leen Beyers (MoSa, KU Leuven)

10.30-11.30 Session 1: Concepts and challenges
Chair: Idesbald Goddeeris
Commentator: Kristen Stromberg Childers

1. Mary Chamberlain (History, Oxford Brookes University)
'Migration and families. History and memory'

2. Marlou Schrover (History, Leiden Universiteit)
'Vulnerability and constructions of family and gender'

11.30-12.00 Coffee

12.00-13.00 Session 2: Constructions of foreignness and family migration politics
Chair: Idesbald Goddeeris
Commentator: Frank Caestecker

3. Johanna Leinonen (History, University of Minnesotta)
'Marriage, migration, and the nation-state: Twentieth century Finns and Americans in Finland and the U.S'

4. Flavia Cumoli (Histoire contemporaine, Université Libre de Bruxelles; Università di Bologna)
'Migration, housing policies of the welfare state and 'the nuclear family' in Italy and Belgium in the 1950s'

13.00-14.00 Lunch

14.00-15.30 Session 3: Family strategies and experiences of migrants I
Chair: Marlou Schrover
Commentator: Mary Chamberlain

5. Heike Drotbohm (Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Freiburg)
'Frontiering proximities. Inequalities, vulnerabilities and disconnections in transnational Cape Verdean families'

6. Asuncion Fresnoza-Flot (Unité de Recherche Migration et Société, URMIS, Université Paris 7 Denis Diderot)
'Reinforcing motherhood through migration. Family in the perspective of Filipino migrant mothers in France'

7. Leen Beyers (MoSa, KU Leuven) and Chris Timmerman (Centrum voor Migratie en Interculturele Studies, Universiteit Antwerpen)
'Continuity and change in the economic and marriage migration from Emirdag (Turkey) to Belgium'

15.30-16.00 Coffee

16.00-17.30 Session 4: Children and migration
Chair: Louis Vos
Commentator: Heike Drotbohm

8. Hanna Markusson Winkvist (Historiska Institutionen, Göteborg University)
'The Orphan Myth. Adoption on the Swedish agenda'

9. Vera Hajto (MoSa, KU Leuven)
'De hongaartjes. Experiences of Hungarian children living with Belgian foster families in the interwar period'

10. Idesbald Goddeeris (MoSa, KU Leuven)
'Divided families? The children of Polish domestic workers in Belgium'

17.30-22.00 Drinks and dinner

FRIDAY 16 MAY 2008

9.30-11.00 Session 5: Family strategies and experiences of migrants II
Chair: Machteld Venken
Commentator: Marlou Schrover

11. Louise Ryan (Policy Research Centre, Middlesex University)
'Work, family, agency: Irish and Polish women in Britain in the post-war period'

12. Albert Kraler, Veronika Bilger, Elisabeth Strasser (ICMPD, International Centre for Migration Policy Development, Wenen)
'Doing family. Responses to the constructions of 'the migrant family' across Europe'

13. Konstantinos Mantzos (University of Ioannina, Griekenland) and Athina Peglidou (University of Thessaly, Griekenland)
'Families and lines. Family-related migration at the Greek-Albanian Border'

11.00-11.30 Coffee

11.30-13.00 Session 6: Public and private representations of family among migrants and their descendants
Chair: Leen Beyers
Commentator: Louise Ryan

14. Cristina Johnston (School of Languages, Cultures and Religions, University of Stirling)
‘Ta mère, ta race’: filiation and the sacralisation and vilification of the mother in French banlieue cinema'

15. Fabienne Lentz (Laboratoires d'Histoire, Université du Luxembourg)
'Private memory, family and gender versus the myth of the exemplary integration of Italians in Luxemburg'

16. Machteld Venken (MoSa, KU Leuven)
'Families and silences: Ostarbeiterinnen in Belgium'

13.00-14.00 Lunch

14.00-15.30 Session 7: (Post)colonial foreignness and migration politics
Chair: Jan Kok
Commentator: Chris Timmerman

17. Amin Perez (Ecole Normale Supérieure et Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris)
'The 'state thinking', the media and the making of a 'second generation' citizenship in France (1970-1990)'

18. Kristen Stromberg Childers (History, University of Pennsylvania)
'Departmentalization, migration, and the politics of the family in the post-war French Caribbean'

19. Sarah Van Walsum (Rechten, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
'Sex and the regulation of belonging. Dutch family migration policies in the context of changing family norms'

15.30-16.00 Coffee

16.00-17.30 Concluding discussion
Chairs: Leen Beyers, Machteld Venken

Leo Lucassen (History, Leiden Universiteit)
Jan Kok (International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam)

17.30 Drinks


Faculté de Lettres, KU Leuven
Blijde-Inkomststraat 21
B-3000 Leuven

Comité scientifique

Mary Chamberlain, Louise Ryan, Leo Lucassen, Marlou Schrover, Jan Kok,
Leen Beyers, Machteld Venken, Idesbald Goddeeris, Anne Morelli, Frank
Caestecker, Maddy Janssens

Information supplémentaire:


  • Faculté de Lettres, KU Leuven
    Louvain, Belgique


  • jeudi 15 mai 2008
  • vendredi 16 mai 2008


  • famille, migration, Europe


  • dr. Leen Beyers
    courriel : leen [dot] beyers [at] arts [dot] kuleuven [dot] be

Source de l'information

  • Leen BEYERS
    courriel : leen [dot] beyers [at] arts [dot] kuleuven [dot] be

Pour citer cette annonce

« Families, Constructions of Foreigness and Migration in Twentieth Century Western Europe », Colloque, Calenda, Publié le lundi 31 mars 2008,

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