2017 Conference - Organized Panels

Open Panels

Roma/Ciganos/Gypsies/ Gitanos and education (formal and non-formal): past and present

Panel coordination:

Manuela Mendes

Professor Assistant at Faculty of Architecture, University of Lisbon, Portugal; Researcher at Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL), CIES-IUL, Lisboa, Portugal. Email: mamendesster@gmail.com

Olga Magano

Professor Assistant at Portuguese Open University (UAb). Researcher at Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL), CIES-IUL, Lisboa, Portugal.

Email: olga.magano@uab.pt

Stefania Toma

Researcher, Romanian Institute for Research on National Minorities

Email: tomastefania76@yahoo.com

According to the European Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA, 2012), the World Bank (2014) and other international agencies, Roma people and families are severely affected by social and economic vulnerability, stemming from a complex set of factors that are interrelated. As a result, there is still a great deal of persistent inequality in the various European countries in terms of access to schooling and success in education by Roma individuals and families. Education is important for the social and cultural rights of individuals and one of the main keys to entering the formal employment market and guaranteeing the basic conditions of survival. Despite the effects of some social and educational policies, the majority of Roma continue to have low levels of education and high rates of school failure, dropout and illiteracy, and low rates of higher education graduates compared to non-Roma. Although there has been an increase in the educational attainment of European citizens, there are still persistent inequalities between Roma and non-Roma, more than that gender inequalities as well, which greatly affect Roma women. It should be noted that several recent researches have shown that continuity of school trajectories depends to a large extent on public policies and programs, but also with other explanatory factors inherent to the individual, the type of support of his family group, the presence of reference figures, the importance of peers and institutional factors inherent to the functioning of the public school. In this context of discussion, it is important to understand the factors of success and school continuity, but also the reasons that still justify the high rates of school dropout and failure

In sum, this panel, entitled Roma/ Ciganos /Gypsies/ Gitanos and Education aims to discuss this social reality from a multidisciplinary, and transversal point of view, sharing knowledge and practices, in different countries. In this sense, we appeal to the participation of researchers who share a set of analyses with paradigms of analysis and diverse methodologies (using different techniques and methods, such us ethnographies, interviews, observation, surveys, etc.), but which certainly contribute to broaden our knowledge about the articulations of families, individuals, school and public policies in our societies. Recent studies, as well as others with a historical component will be welcome.

The deadline for receiving abstracts for the panel is 31 March 2017. Papers intended for the open panel will be reviewed by the program committee and the panel organizers.

Engaging with Romani health across disciplinary boundaries

Panel coordinators: Andrej Belak, P J Safarik University in Kosice ( andrej.belak@upjs.sk),

Edit Szenassy (Charles University in Prague) and Eirik Saethre (University of Hawaii at Manoa)

While Romani groups around the globe have persistently experienced poorer health outcomes than majority populations, there is still a dearth of research exploring the dynamics of this disparity. Even as medical and public health researchers have a growing interest in Romani health and a newfound willingness to address the social determinants of wellness, such as discriminatory practices in health care, these approaches often disregard pervasive historical, social, and economic factors. This is in part because biomedical and social scientists work in isolation from one another with contrastive goals and methodologies. Survey-based studies provide descriptive, statistically representative assessments of illness but are uninformed by existing social science research on particular Romani communities. In contrast, ethnographic studies often focus solely on critical and theoretical perspectives which lack concrete strategies for realistically improving the health status of Roma. Striving to facilitate dialogue between diverse disciplines, this panel examines the boundaries and intersections of Romani health research. We invite sociologists, anthropologists, public health researchers, psychologists, and medical professionals to reflect upon their research goals, methodologies, outcomes, and ethical considerations. Through interdisciplinary engagement, this panel addresses longstanding debates regarding the division between, and value of, applied and theoretical research.

The deadline for receiving abstracts for the panel is 31 March 2017. Papers intended for the open panel will be reviewed by the program committee and the panel organizers.

Pre-arranged Panel

Roma and Travellers in the Baltic Sea Region and WWII: Registration and Racial Cleansing Policy-Making

In 2013, the largest Swedish newspaper “Dagens Nyheter”, presented its front-page story “The police register thousands of Roma” revealed the existence of a computerized database on Roma. This news, understandably, led to horrified reactions by civil society. But how foreign is such registration to Scandinavia?

Since the mid-1930s, the Nazi regime concerned itself with the systematic registration and

identification of Roma. What about other countries in the Nazi-dominated Europe? Since 1940, two Danish physicians conducted the statistical and race biological investigations of Danish Roma at the Institute of Human Genetic. On 25 September 1942, the government of Sweden ordered the registration of Roma and Travellers in order was to solve “a problem” by mapping these groups and making race-biological investigations. Latvia provides an important extreme case. The country was under direct occupation by Nazi Germany. Genocidal anti-Gypsy policies originated in the occupation administration, resulting, in 1942-3, in police murders of 50% of Latvia’s Roma.

The panel is presented the first results of the study supported by the Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies as a part of the project “Police, Experts and Race: Handling the ‘Gypsy Plague’ in Denmark, Sweden and Latvia, 1930-45”. We are doing a comparative study of the knowledge-production on the expert and police sub-levels in these three countries, as well as the translational networks of racial biologists and criminologists. Delineating Baltic-area discourses will contextualize the interaction between expert and police definitions of and solutions to the so called "Gypsy problem" that carried out outside Nazi Germany.

Panel Participants:

Madeleine Hurd, Associate Professor at Södertörn University, History, panel chair

Andrej Kotljarchuk, Senior Researcher at Södertörn University

Matthew Kott, Researcher at Södertörn University

Steffen Werther, Assistant Professor at Södertörn University


Andrej Kotljarchuk, PhD

Associate professor

School of Historical and Contemporary Studies

Sodertorn University, Sweden

Phone: +46 8 608 40 66

Mobile: +46 733 991 990

Email: andrej.kotljarchuk@sh.se