Migration in the margins of Europe - Winter School in Athens

The Institute of Migration and Ethnic Studies of the University of Amsterdam, the department of Social and Cultural Anthropology of the Free University of Amsterdam and the Netherlands Institute in Athens, organize this intensive winter course in collaboration with Greek universities and NGOs.

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Przydatne informacje
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About the course

The collapse of the eastern Block at the beginning of the 1990s and the larger socioeconomic transformations in Africa and Asia resulted in massive migration flows to Greece and Europe in general. Undoubtedly the East Mediterranean became one of the entry “gates” of Europe as its geographical position is at the margins, at the crossroads of Asia and Africa in the south of the Mediterranean sea, and includes the large Aegean basin with thousands of islets and islands that serve as mobility networks.

Within a few decades the social life in the wider region transformed with a large proportion of the population being immigrants who are living in the countryside or in various neighbourhoods of the capital city of Athens. In these contexts migrants are trying tactically to make their lives despite the high unemployment rate, the stigmatization and the marginalization they encounter. Therefore a major part of our seminar will focus on how immigrants experience such new conditions and how they adapt or adopt in the new cultural contexts.

More recently the flows of refugees have been intensified as a result of the wider political changes in the middle East, Asia and Africa while Europe is facing one of the most challenging periods of its contemporary history. As the idea of fortress Europe is becoming reinforced, “the entry points” in Greece have to share disproportionally with all other Europeans the management and social policy of the new flows.

The course will be supplemented with a small field research in the centre of Athens and students will be able to contribute to our migration project by recording and illustrating life experiences of refugees and other immigrants. Structure of the course From January 18 until January 31, 2017 the seminars will run daily, at the NIA in Athens. The courses will combine field research in specific neighbourhoods of Athens and in selected NGO’s. The seminar will focus on a general theoretical context in relation to migration, anthropological theory, contemporary approaches to field research in an urban setting and an overview of the current situation in Greece. Most days there are going to be one to two intensive sessions of three hours each. In the sessions the lecturers give an overview of the theory of social anthropology in relation to migration with particular reference to key debates and a clear focus on migration in Greece and Europe/Mediterranean. In the late afternoon/evenings students will be able to conduct their small field research. In preparation to the seminar, all students are expected to have read the literature before arrival to Greece.


The aim of the seminar is to give students an overview of current debates and research topics in relation to refugees and migration, illustrate the current issues in Greece in a comparative manner and give some directions in relation to fieldwork in Greece or other European and Mediterranean areas. By participating in a small field research the students gain some practical experience in the new context, use their skills, make new contacts and learn how to place their findings within wider local and global processes.


During the seminar the students are expected to participate actively in all the courses and conduct a small field research. The “migration project” focuses on the areas of central Athens. In collaboration with local NGO’s and research groups, students will be able to come in contact with various immigrants/refugees to discuss, interview and research specific topics. Students will record and collect life experiences of migrants and will have to describe their material in a presentation at the end of our course. Each student will also be writing a paper based on the field research experiences and the
theoretical information acquired during the courses.

Course requirements, language and credit

The course is available to MA and first year PhD students with a relevant background (e.g. in anthropology, sociology, migration studies, political science). All lectures will be given in English. The course will be concluded with a paper (3000 words) for 5 ECTS points handed in by the 1st of March, which is going to be graded and evaluated by three of the lecturers, Dr. Barak Kalir (UvA), Dr. Flip Lindo (UvA) Dr. Tryfon Bampilis (NIA). Students at UvA may choose this course in the MA programs of the Graduate School of Social Sciences at the Faculty of Social Sciences. For eligibility please contact
your MA coordinator.


At the end of the seminar (31st of January), students give a presentation, including a paper in relation to their observation with a short analysis of their findings (3000 words). The paper will have to be handed in by the 1st of March. These presentations will be commented by the lecturers on style and logic as well as on the conceptual content. Finally, the seminar will be evaluated by students, lecturers and staff of the NIA in a general discussion.

Participation – application

Only Master and early M.Phil/PhD students from the Social Sciences can participate in the seminar. Students can apply by sending an application form (which can be downloaded from the NIA website) and a motivation letter on “experiencing migration” to Dr Tryfon Bampilis at nia@nia.gr until the 25th of November 2015. The successful applicants will be notified by the 30th of November. The number of participating students is limited (max. 25 students), so we encourage early registration. Selecting criteria will apply.

Costs and subsidies

Seminar fee:
-300€ for European Union Students
-200€ for Greek or other EU students who will not need accommodation
-400€ for Overseas students

Fee waiver: the Institute for Migration & Ethnic Studies offers students a fee waiver up to 200€. Applicants should contact Prof. Barak Kalir (B.Kalir@uva.nl) for approval of
their fee waiver. Those who are receiving a fee waiver will only have to pay the remaining amount of 100€.

The total cost of the course is 300 euros and includes accommodation in Athens during the period of the seminar. Students are expected to cover their airplane tickets from the Netherlands or country of origin to Athens and back to the Netherlands or country of origin. Lunch and dinner costs are not included.


During the course the Institute will offer free accommodation to the participants/students in guest rooms or in hotels in close proximity to the institutes. Students will be sharing their rooms. The institute will publish contact details as soon as students are accepted. For more information regarding accommodation please contact the NIA secretary Mrs Emmy Makri at emakri@nia.gr and nia@nia.gr

For more information regarding the course, please contact:
Dr Tryfon Bampilis Tel: + 30 210 9210760; Mobile: + 30 6976465830, nia@nia.gr
More information concerning accommodation at NIA and how to reach the institute is
available on the website (www.nia.gr).

Call for participants - pdf