Cataloging Logistics: Migration, Humanitarianism, Borders

Cataloging Logistics: Migration, Humanitarianism, Borders

Kosmos Workshop

25-27 May 2016

Humboldt University Berlin


Beyond technical knowledge on circulation and infrastructures, rich studies of logistics have emerged in recent years in diverse scientific disciplines such as architecture, geography, sociology and anthropology (e.g., Tsing 2012, Neilson 2012, Harney and Moten 2013, Cowen 2014, Easterling 2014). As an object of empirical research, the logistical organization of movements of commodities and people has contributed to further conceptualization of globalization. From our interest in interdisciplinary reflection on migration studies broadly understood, we seek to discuss trends of movement through the lens of critical logistics studies. In other words, we propose to widen our understanding of migration and logistics by bringing the conceptualization of these phenomena into dialogue.

This workshop takes place at a time characterized by disruptive changes both in logistics and in migration and humanitarian aid in Europe. Therefore, one of our aims is to systematize and renew scientific knowledge in order to make use of it, not the least for non-governmental actors.

Most organizational members and participants have been or are part of a longstanding process of discussions around various international summer schools and workshops at Humboldt University: this commenced in 2013 with the summer school Teaching the Crisis and continued 2014 with Expanding the Margins, involving students and teaching staff from Albania, Austria, Argentine, Canada, Finland, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Portugal, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, UK, and USA.

The summer school process will continue in September 2016 with “Investigating Logistics.” This workshop is part of these common discussions. This is one reason why Berlin-based MA and PhD students who will join the summer school in September will also participate in the workshop, in addition to the persons mentioned in the program.