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Prestigious Calliope Award 2023 for Concept Development of City Walks on local Migration History

Four researchers from Chemnitz University of Technology receive the award for practice-oriented migration research from the German Emigration Center and its foundation endowed with 20,000 Euro.

This year, the “Deutsches Auswandererhaus” (German Emigration Center) and the Foundation of the German Emigration Center in Bremerhaven award the prize for practice-oriented migration research, endowed with 20,000 euros, to four human geographers from Chemnitz University of Technology (TUC). Prof. Dr. Birgit Glorius, head of the Professorship for Human Geography with a focus on European Migration Studies at TUC, as well as Dr. Friederike Enßle-Reinhardt, Hanne Schneider, and Stephan Schurig will use the prize money to develop a concept for city tours on migration history. The project is realized in cooperation with the German Emigration Center and will be finalized by 2025. Besides the draft of a cooperation project, applicants also had to hand in an essay on the question: "Giving guidance, remain critical - why and how should we argue with migration history?". Various institutions from Germany, as well as Austria, Switzerland, and the Netherlands applied for the award.  

The award-winning research approach of the TUC team examines localities as social spaces significantly shaped by migration. The inclusion of local citizens in research through city walks enables a new self-perception of a locality in relation to migration, but also to further developments, such as population aging and structural changes. Thus, as stated in the awarded submission, global migration history is "woven into the collective memory of a local community". The idea of the city walks is to actively engage citizens in research and make them creators of knowledge ("Citizen Science"). The research group has piloted a such a city walk in the city of Dessau-Roßlau in Saxony-Anhalt. The aim of the cooperation project is to develop a concept for such city walks that enables local stakeholders to independently develop their own city tours on migration history.

The Jury, which consists of three external members of academic and cultural institutions as well as two members of the German Emigration Center Foundation, positively emphasized about the project that "migration as a significantly structuring social and political phenomenon" is understood both on the micro and macro level of a city's history. Furthermore, the jury praised the city walk as being "the exemplary integration of an examination of racism through this form of narration" as well as its participatory approach.

Glorius' team takes the Calliope Prize as motivation: "We are extremely pleased to receive this award and see it as recognition of our long-standing efforts for practice-oriented migration research, which works on an equal footing with local stakeholders. It is one of our major concerns to broaden the often limited perspectives on migration and integration and to develop solutions for the challenges of a migration society. Therefore, we see this award not only as recognition but also as an incentive to continue to be active in this sense."

Keyword: Calliope Prize for Practical Migration Research

With the "Calliope Prize for Practical Migration Research", one of the highest-endowed humanities awards in Germany, the German Emigration Center and the German Emigration Center Foundation recognize a research project and a practical project whose results help cultural and educational institutions to convey migration sustainably, globally, and in an easily understandable way. At the same time, the cooperation between universities and museums is to be promoted in order to make current results of migration research accessible to a broad public. The prize is donated by the Ditzen-Blanke publishing family. The award ceremony will take place on December 9, 2023, during a ceremonial act at the German Emigration Center. The prize, awarded for the fourth time since 2015, is named after the mythical figure Calliope (Greek: "the fair-voiced"), who is considered the muse of science and philosophy. Further information: www.dah-bremerhaven.de/kalliope-preis

Keyword: German Emigration Center

The German Emigration Center in Bremerhaven was opened in 2005 and conveys more than 300 years of emigration and immigration. Since 2012, immigration to Germany has also been addressed in addition to the history of emigration from Europe. In 2021, the museum was rebuilt and expanded with a special focus on questions and debates in the historical development of migration societies such as the Federal Republic of Germany and the USA. The house works both comparatively and biographically and is particularly engaged in research in the field of biographical and mentality history. The educational work in the museum's permanent and special exhibitions as well as the educational offerings for youths and adults is deliberately inclusive and intended to promote empathy as well as social and political articulation skills.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Birgit Glorius, tel. +49 (0)371 531-33435, e-mail birgit.glorius@phil.tu-chemnitz.de.

(Author: Mario Steinebach, Translation: Dr. Friederike Enßle-Reinhardt, Brent Benofsky)

Mario Steinebach

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