The Balkans: security, society and migration

The Balkans: security, society and migration2019-10-03T16:04:01-05:00

Project Description

The Balkans

The Balkans: security, society and migration


32864195785_9977763cc5_oThe Balkans IFP examines the dynamic between security and society with particular attention to issues of identity and migration along the Balkan route. It traces the physical, political, legal, social, and economic terrain that structures and defines the interactions between various actors along one of the main historic migration paths. As we shift our gaze from the Turkish Aegean coast, from one island “hot spot” to another, across Greece, Bulgaria, and Serbia, we engage with histories of empires and their collapse, ancient and more recent migration flows, and the cultural sediment they have left behind. Student research agendas, internships, and media projects are arranged along several thematic axes connected to broader topics of security and society; identity relationships, the conversations and the conflicts they spark, and the actors that claim them; migration, refugee issues and policies; EU and regional politics; the built environment, camps, spaces of confinement, and the paths and actors of mobility; as well as the institutional and legal structures  and the dominant discourses that frame these topics.

Possible Project Work

Migration studio: Topography of the refugee ‘crisis’ focuses on the phenomenon of migration along the Balkan route. It traces the physical, political, legal, social and human terrain of the refugee ‘crisis’ unfolding along one of the main historic migration paths. We take the current refugee situation in this corridor as our departure point. As we shift our gaze from the Turkish Aegean coast, from one island “hot spot” to another, across Greece, Bulgaria, and Serbia, we engage with histories of empires and their collapse, ancient and more recent migration flows, and the cultural sediment they have left behind. Student research agendas, internships, and media projects are arranged along several thematic axes connected to broader topics of migration, refugee issues and policies; EU and regional politics; identity relationships, the conversations and the conflicts they spark and the actors that claim them; the built environment, camps, and spaces of confinement and the paths and actors of mobility; the institutional and legal frameworks and the discourses and representations of the ‘crisis’ that have come to define it. You can view examples of work from the 2016 program in the From Bodrum to Belgrade blog

(E.S.) Chios, refugee camp near castle wall May 25, 2017.jpg

Studio Format:
Migration studio is a group-based project in close partnership with a faculty supervisor (Everita Silina) and, as necessary, engagement with local actors to allow students to learn and explore the topic of migration by focusing on concrete aspects of the current refugee situation in the Balkans. The studio will aid each student in identifying their own research agenda and by developing it into a final project for degree completion.

Students are required to enroll in a spring semester studio, a winter or summer field experience (IFP), and the follow-up fall semester studio. Students have a choice of winter (January; in Lesvos and Leros) or summer (June; in all sites) field experience. A substitute arrangement can be designed for those wishing to remain in the US/NYC.

The studio is meant to give students a more holistic engagement with the topic of migration and to help students structure their degree progress along with a more sustained and focused agenda. It is best suited for those students who are interested in the topic of migration for their final capstone project and who are considering a future career in this field or fields relevant to it.

Program Info and Requirements

Faculty Country CoordinatorEverita Silina