Russian, East European, & Eurasian Studies Politics of Diversity and Perspectives from REEES: “Imaginaries of Sovereignty. Visualizing the Loss of Control”

Event time: 
Tuesday, April 20, 2021 - 12:00pm
Zoom Session See map
Event description: 

The Russian, East European, & Eurasian Studies Politics of Diversity and Perspectives from REEES series presents

Alexandra Schwell, Professor of Empirical Cultural Analysis, University of Klagenfurt, Austria: 

“Imaginaries of Sovereignty. Visualizing the Loss of Control.”

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“The night that Germany lost control.” This headline on the cover of the German weekly DIE ZEIT was published in fall 2016 on the 2015 border opening anniver- sary when German chancellor Angela Merkel had decided to allow Syrian and other refugees into the country. DIE ZEIT situates its visual and linguistic narrative wit- hin a discursive framework that echoes far-right and right-wing populist discourses in the way it instrumentalizes images, metaphors, and visual imaginaries of Others and relates them to imaginations of control and sovereignty.

The paper seeks to elaborate on the broader relation of images, imaginaries, and emotional practices of border transgression and the invocation of the border in media and political discourse on refugees in Germany. It explores how the cover epitomizes, alludes to, and at the same time fosters a growing unease of large parts of the German liberal middle-class concerning the “refugee crisis”.

Dr. Alexandra Schwell is a professor of empirical cultural analysis at the University of Klagenfurt, Austria. Research interests include the anthropology of the political, popular culture, border studies, ethnographic methods, and Europeanization processes. She is co-convenor of the EASA Anthropology of Security Network and co-editor-in-chief of Ethnologia Europaea.

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Open to: 
General Public