Çiçek Tanlı’s report on ‚Gender in „Post-Migrant“ Society. Turkey-origin Women in Germany: Discourses, Institutions and Experiences‘ by Pınar Gümüş, June 18th.
As the fourth presenter of the QDFCT Brown Bag Series this semester, Pınar Gümüş shared with us the very first draft of her postdoc research proposal. As her title summarizes clearly, she delves into the ongoing academic debates about the intersection of gender and the othering of Muslim and/or Turkey-origin migrants in Germany. Influenced by the criticisms of methodological nationalism and the recent conceptualizations of ‘post-migrant,’ she outlines a theoretical framework that stresses the limited imaginations of migration processes imposed by the idea of nation-state embedded in academic research. Overall, she aims to approach the question of “how Turkey-origin migrant women have been created as a social category?” from three angles, that are discourses, institutions and experiences as well as the interplay of these fields. The main focus of the following discussion was the size of the project that Gümüş suggested, that each of these three angles could also be a separate research project. Apart from discussing which of these steps interests Gümüş more, or how the research could be downsized, another focus was on whether her goal was to tackle the historicity of the mentioned debates or to analyse the contemporary situation. The presentation has also led to conversations on methodological potentials in these three fields that she aims to look at. As I am more engaged with personal narratives -a more limited side of these debates, I was very much intrigued by the institutional aspect of Gümüş’ proposal. While the academic field has long been a space to problematize the racialization, culturalization and gendering of certain ‘migrant’ experiences, I think it is still a pressing issue to tackle how the boundaries of what ‘German’ or ‘European’ means is created, so that one as an outsider can only be integrated into it. In this respect, the interactive approach of Gümüş’ proposed research to various layers of how these boundaries are (re)constructed would be an important contribution.