21/10/2019 - 13h40

Migrations in historical and contemporary contexts discussed in research event

Session featured two professors from University of Bonn, in Germany


Professor Roberto Pich / Photo: Bruno Todeschini

On Thursday, Oct 17, room 305 of Building 8 was home to the 1st Journey of Research Migrations: Historical-conceptual Perspectives and Analysis of Contemporary Phenomena. The event was offered in support of the Institutional Project of Internationalization (PUCRS-PrInt), in partnership with the Graduate Programs in Philosophy, Psychology and History. It brought together a number of researchers to have an interdisciplinary discussion on the context of migrations all over the world.

The event was opened by School of Humanities professor Dr Roberto Pich. He claimed this is such a cross-sectional issue that has grown in importance. The researcher drew attention to the fact that all human beings have, in fact, a history of immigration at some point in their family history. In addition, Pich talked about the relationship between migration and politics, as he saw the space movement across borders to be a political process.

International Conference

A number of researchers presented their findings on the theme, including professors Christian Rode and Michael Schulz from University of Bonn, in Germany. They made a major contribution to the PUCRS-PrInt’s project Migrations: Historical-conceptual Perspectives and Analysis of Contemporary Phenomena.


Dr Christian Rode, from University of Bonn / Photo: Bruno Todeschini

Rode drew attention to the fact that his country today welcomes immigrants, but has long tradition of sending expatriates. Especially in the 19th century, Germans immigrated to many countries, such as the United States and Russia. He also addressed the changes that have occurred over the years, including the merge between West and East Germany, in which groups for and against immigrants have always been present. Finally, he ended with the question: what is unity in German society today? That is, he wondered what would unite the different peoples Germany is home to.

Researcher Michael Schulz addressed the “welcome culture” in effect since 2015, where the population sought to encourage refugee support. Schulz mentioned some historical episodes in which Germany was recognized for being a country that fought for humanitarian aid and protection against deportation. “Many people in the country today engage in the cause as a form of historical ‘reconciliation’,” he said. However, the professor stressed the increasing opposition to more flexible borders and to the popularity of the “welcome culture”.

Exchange of knowledge


Faculty and graduate students presented their papers / Photo: Bruno Todeschini

The event was attended by in different academic areas. Roberto Pich claims that the event gave the participants the chance to learn more about the diversity of research and areas that permeate the theme. “We can say that we now know much more about the research each one is doing in their area than we did before the journey, be it Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology or History,” Pich adds.

For the next editions, Roberto Pich plans to focus on some of the issues involved in research into migration: the historical-conceptual focus on the need and interest in migration, as well as in the right to migrate (Philosophy); the focus on cases and types of mental illness associated with migratory experience in broad terms (psychology); social relations and phenomena, as well as political actions, involved with migration and with migrant communities, in today’s “transnational” framework (Sociology); historical models for the analysis of past migrations (19 – 20 centuries) and for the analysis of their social, cultural and economic legacies in societies shaped by immigration and immigrants (History).


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