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Lunch lecture by Eva Schmidt 23 September 2019

In this lunchtime lecture, Dr. Schmidt presented a case study of various categories and attributes ascribed to a German football player in six different newspapers over the course of ten years. These attributes are embedded in discussions of belonging, descent and integration and thus reflect public and political discourses. The case study is part of a larger research project on discursive constructions of terms like migration and integration in the light of Germany’s development as a country of immigration. The research project is located in the Faculty of Arts at Macquarie University in Sydney under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Martina Möllering.

Through this case study, they aim to show relationships between changes in politics and attitudes towards immigrants and linguistic representations of such changes. This is timely as on the one hand, racist representations have become prevalent in Germany and Europe more generally, and on the other hand, discussions on integration as a bilateral effort are emerging more frequently. Thus, integration becomes a discursively constructed phenomenon, however, in the German context, these discourses are volatile. The case study presented in the lunchtime lecture thus serves as an example and as a first step within the research project to show how representations of political and societal practices can be analysed to display how discourses produce, reproduce and transform these practices. Discussions on theoretical and methodological decisions as well as insights into individual research experiences are very welcome.

Dr. Schmidt's reflection on the lecture

The RUNOMI lunch lecture was a great opportunity to present research ideas, theoretical framework and methodologies to a group of experts in the field of migrant inclusion studies. Organised over lunch time, the lecture attracted researchers from a network affiliated to various schools and faculties of Radboud University. The feedback on my presentation was widespread in terms of interdisciplinary perspectives, and at the same time focused on timely and up to date scholarly findings. The RUNOMI lunch lecture certainly impacted my future research agenda in a very valuable way!

Dr. Eva Schmidt
Macquarie-University, Sydney