Keynote speakers

Mulki Al Sharmani

Mulki Al-Sharmani is Associate Professor of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies. She holds a doctorate in cultural anthropology from Johns Hopkins University, USA. She was the lecturer of Islamic theology, Faculty of Theology, University Of Helsinki. From 2013 to 2018, she was an Academy research fellow in two projects. She was also a research fellow at Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. Before moving to Finland, she was assistant professor at the American University in Cairo. Mulki works on: modern diasporas with focus on transnational Muslim families; contemporary Muslim women's engagements with the Qur'an and Islamic interpretive tradition in Finland and Egypt; Muslim family laws and gender in Islamic legal tradition; Qur’anic ethics and Islamic feminist exegesis.

She is the co-editor of Wellbeing of Transnational Muslim Families: Marriage, Law, and Gender, 2019 (with Marja Tiilikainen and Sanna Mustasaari); Men in Charge? Authority in Muslim Legal Tradition , 2015 (with Ziba Mir-Hosseini and Jana Rumminger). She is also the author of Gender Justice and Legal Reform in Egypt: Negotiating Muslim Family Law, 2017.

Keynote I, Thursday, 2.12.201 at 10.15:

Transnational Migrant Families and Kin Work in Times of Crises

This presentation examines the practices of kin work undertaken by members of selected transnational families of Somali background. It focuses on kin work associated with illnesses and death. In the process, the presenter revisits and reflects on the following: what constitutes crisis; the material and immaterial work entailed in reproducing, sustaining, or shifting kinship relationships at such times; and the interconnectedness of the political and the personal in such processes. Al-Sharmani draws on past and present research on individuals and their relatives whose family lives are located in North America, Finland, United Kingdom, the Middle East, Somalia, and Somaliland.

Nick Baron

Nick Baron is Associate Professor in History at the University of Nottingham, UK. He has published two monographs, Soviet Karelia. Politics, Planning and Terror in Stalin's Russia, 1920-1939 (2007; Russian ed., 2011) and The King of Karelia: Colonel P.J. Woods and the British Intervention in North Russia 1918–1919 (2008; Russian ed., 2013; Finnish ed., 2022), as well as five edited volumes and numerous articles on the history and historical geography of Russia and Eastern Europe. He has also acted as consultant to four major public exhibitions, at the Moscow Biennale (2013) and the British Library (2010, 2016 and 2017), and has co-curated a multisite exhibition on Displaced Persons in Post-War Europe (2012-15).

Keynote II, Thursday, 2.12.201 at 15.30:

Rebuilding State and Society after War: The Repatriation of Soviet Displaced Persons, 1944–1949

At the end of the Second World War in Europe between 5 and 6 million Soviet citizens were liberated from Nazi captivity. Most were repatriated to the USSR, undergoing a process of interrogation, investigation and identity-verification known as ‘filtration’. This paper reflects on the process as both a state practice and a social experience. In the aftermath of war, how did the Stalinist state use ‘filtration’ to re-establish knowledge of and control over its population, to reintegrate displaced persons into society, and to re-assert its authority and normative values? How did ordinary Soviet citizens, having endured years of violence, exile, hardship and loss, respond to this process of coercive re-placement? As well as offering specific insights into Stalinist post-war population management, the presentation raises general questions about how states, in the aftermath of catastrophe, undertake to reconstruct society and reconstitute – or reinforce - their own power.

Lucy Mayblin

Dr. Lucy Mayblin (@LucyMayblin) is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Sheffield. Her research focuses on asylum, human rights, policy-making, and the legacies of colonialism. She is author of three books: Asylum After Empire (2017), Impoverishment and Asylum (2019) and Migration Studies and Colonialism (2021). She was recently awarded the UK Philip Leverhulme Prize for her research achievements in the area of asylum and migration.

Keynote III, Friday, 3.12.201 at 10.15:

Migration Studies and Colonialism

The history of migration is deeply entangled with colonialism. To this day, colonial logics continue to shape the dynamics of migration as well as the responses of states to those arriving at their borders. And yet migration studies has been surprisingly slow to engage with colonial histories in making sense of migratory phenomena today. Discussing the themes developed in the book ‘Migration Studies and Colonialism’ (Polity Press, 2021), this lecture starts from the premise that colonial histories should be central to migration studies and explores what it would mean to really take that seriously. To engage with this task, it argues that scholars need not forge new theories but must learn from and be inspired by the wealth of literature that already exists across the world for doing just this. Providing a range of inspiring and challenging perspectives on migration, the aim of the book is to demonstrate what paying attention to colonialism, through using the tools offered by postcolonial, decolonial and related scholarship, can offer those studying international migration today.