Viadrina Center B/ORDERS IN MOTION

Call for Applications: 3rd Summer School of the Viadrina Center B/ORDERS IN MOTION

Borders and Migration in Digital Times


August 16 – 28, 2021
European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany


Call for Application Download


The Viadrina Center B/ORDERS IN MOTION invites master and post-graduate students including Ph.D.-candidates to apply for the two-week international summer school “Borders and Migration in Digital Times” at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany, which will take place from 16 to 28 August, 2021, and which is financially supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). In the summer school, we deal with the rapidly developing digitalization of border and migration management. Students who intend to start exploring this emerging field are invited as well as those who have already consolidated a research interest in this direction.


Thematic focus of the summer school
The summer school “Borders and Migration in Digital Times” offers 20 international students an opportunity to explore how policies and practices of border demarcation and migration management are influenced and changed by the availability and use of digital technologies. This thematic focus corresponds with the dual observation that, on the one hand, the management and control of migration as well as the protection of state borders against irregular migration are increasingly supported by digital infrastructures. These new coordination and control instruments partially replace and relocate traditional forms of state-run border practices linked to geo-political spaces. On the other hand, migrants apply digital devices in order to pass state borders, to build transnational networks, and to stay in contact with family and acquaintances living at a distance. But even after migrants have crossed a state border, the digital dimension of migration management facilitates new boundaries and categorization methods as well as opportunities for migrants and their integration. In this summer school, we want to generate a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the relevance and use of digital technologies in multilevel processes which reshape the notion and location of the border itself and the way in which migration is dealt with and managed.


About the program
The summer school’s program combines various formats which facilitate the acquisition and consolidation of knowledge and skills. Renowned scientists from the fields of border, migration and digital studies will delve into core aspects with their lectures. A continuous tutorial provides space to discuss selected publications with the invited lecturers as well as with the researchers of the Viadrina Center B/ORDERS IN MOTION.
The summer school provides opportunities to acquire basic experience in the practical
application of a digital publication tool (e.g. MAHARA). In collaborative sessions, participants will creatively learn how to design, produce and publish digital contributions – including film material. Participants with an already developed research focus on digital borders and migration management will have the chance to share their own research projects or ideas within speed presentations. In the course of the summer school, excursions to topically relevant sites in Berlin and at the German-Polish border are envisaged.

Confirmed speakers

Sarah Green (University of Helsinki)
Digital Borders and the Nonhuman: on the surveillance of animal movements and zoonotic diseases across the Mediterranean

Annalisa Pelizza (University of Bologna and University of Twente)
Digital migration management as “alterity processing”. Evidence from the European border(s)

Philipp Hacker (European University Viadrina)
Algorithmic Discrimination and Algorithmic Fairness

Bastian Vollmer (Catholic University of Applied Sciences Mainz)
The unsmart application of smart border control technologies

Götz Herrmann (University of Paderborn)
Sociotechnical imaginaries of the border

Vassilis Tsianos (Applied University of Kiel)

Estela Schindel (European University Viadrina)

Kira Kosnick (European University Viadrina)

Jan-Hendrik Passoth (European University Viadrina)

Benefits of the summer school specifically consist of:
• An encounter with cultural and social science perspectives on borders and migration in digital times.
• Imparting and deepening the knowledge about basic theoretical approaches and concepts such as migration and border regimes, migration infrastructure, securitization, externalization of controls, digital bordering, border complexities, digitalization of migration management and control, differential inclusion, algorithm-driven decision-making, autonomy of migration.
• Getting to know an interdisciplinary perspective on border and migration research and (first) experiences of interdisciplinary cooperation.
• Gaining an understanding of what the prerequisites are for a multidimensional application of analytical concepts which explain complex social processes and structural formations.
• Acquisition of practical digital knowledge through the creative, guided development of audio-visual contributions tackling self-selected questions, which are presented at the end of the summer school and published on the summer school website.
• Discussion of the ethical dimensions of the use of digital technology for border control and border crossing.


The European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder) and the Viadrina Center B/ORDERS IN MOTION
The European University Viadrina has the highest degree of internationalization among students in the German higher education landscape. It is located at the very east of Germany, in the German-Polish twin city of Frankfurt (Oder) and Słubice, just about 80 km from Germany’s capital Berlin. The Viadrina Center B/ORDERS IN MOTION, a research institute of the European University Viadrina, is internationally renowned in the field of border research and innovatively links border and migration studies. The thematic topics of the summer school also relate to the newly founded European New School of Digital Studies (ENS) at the European University Viadrina, which promotes an innovative interdisciplinary graduate education in digital studies.
Organizational information and application procedure:
For all participants, there is no enrolment fee. Thanks to the financial support of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), for international students, expenses for travelling can be reimbursed when original receipts are handed in. International participants are offered accommodation in a dormitory (single room) located at the Polish side of the twin city, within walking distance to the summer school venue, as well as a daily lunch at the university canteen free of charge.
Students from German universities are encouraged to apply for participation in the summerschool, too, but they have to cover expenses by own means. The Viadrina
University can support renting affordable accommodation in a student dormitory and may offer students of German universities who face financial constraints a reimbursement of dormitory expenses upon reasoned request.


Who can apply?
The summer school aims at graduate and postgraduate students including Ph.D.-candidates worldwide who are interested in an exploration of the digital dimension of the state-border-migration nexus. Participants are required to have a very good command of English as the teaching language will be English. The number of participants is limited to 20 persons. Please note that the summer school is directed at master and PhD-students (graduate and postgraduate) only and does not address post-doctoral researchers.

How to apply?
Participation at the summer school and the grant of a scholarship (covering travel and accommodation costs as specified above) is bound to an application procedure. Decisions about participation will be made by a selection committee of the Viadrina Center B/ORDERS IN MOTION.
In order to apply, please hand in a motivational letter (max. 1 A4 page), which describes your interest in the summer school and possibly also your research with regard to the border-migration nexus and – if applicable – also your special interest in the digitalization of migration and borders. A CV is required. Besides information about your educational and academic attainments, please indicate courses, internships or practical experiences in the field of border and/or migration studies and/or the digitalization of borders and migration.

The application is to be sent via email until 10th of April, 2021 to:
You will be informed about the decision by April 30th, 2021.

If you have any questions, please contact:
PD Dr. Carolin Leutloff-Grandits, Viadrina Center B/ORDERS IN MOTION


COVID-19 considerations
The summer school is currently planned as an in-class, face-to-face event in Frankfurt (Oder). Should mobility restrictions be extended in 2021, it is intended to switch to a hybrid or online-only format, enabling remote participation. The Viadrina Center B/ORDERS IN MOTION reserves the right to cancel the summer school due to the pandemic situation or an insufficient number of participants.