Institut für Migrationsforschung und Interkulturelle Studien

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Research Profile [short English version]



Prof. Dr. Christoph A. Rass, Chair of Modern History and Historical Migration Studies.

The research team at the Chair of Modern History and Historical Migration Studies currently has six postdoc/senior researchers, six part time researchers pursuing phd degrees, several doctoral students and a about a dozen graduate student research assistants.

We organize our research along two major lines:  

[1] In historical migration research we engage in research on the biographical dimension of migration and mobility and on the negotiation of migration conditions between individuals and institutions in migration regimes. Linked to our work in digital history, we have recently focussed on modelling mobility phenomena from large samples of biographical/life-event data, the exploration of experiences, memories and narratives, practices of data collection and processing especially regarding the datification of migration by organizations. Our second line of research in this field looks at the production and the transfer of knowledge on migration which we study as part of the international and interdisciplinary network Translations of Migration which was initiated at UOS as a subdivision of the Universities research profile Migration Societies.

Our Work Group Negotiating Resettlement (headed by senior researchers Dr. Sebastian Huhn and Dr. Sebastian Musch) is investigating the management of displacement and the agency of victims of forced mobility in the context of violence-induced migration linked to the World War II. The group currently pursues two book projects and three phd-projects.

Our project Mass data based long-term models of migration induced diversity in an urban context: A Foreigners Card File Index as cultural asset and source for reflexive migration
, has yielded the first machine readable dataset from a German “Ausländermeldekartei” and connects several research projects exploring the potential of such sources to better understand the nexus between migration and society, data and knowledge throughout the 20th century.

[2] Our research on the history of organised violence centres on social profile analyses of perpetrators and victims as well as on institutional structures, practices and processes and has recently expanded to the material and discursive transformation of places by mass violence.  

Understanding correlations between knowledge production, regime practices and the projection of power in authoritarian societies are at the core of several projects conducted by our Work Group on Digital History and Data Driven History (headed by senior researcher Dr. Sebastian Bondzio) whose major project uses a machine readable dataset of the Osnabrück Gestapo card file index; the work group is also essential for our research on the Osnabrück foreigners register.

As our activities in this field have since 2014 expanded to researching places transformed by mass violence. We have built an interdisciplinary team to analyse conflict landscapes at Osnabrück University which integrates remote sensing, geophysics, archaeology, history, and cultural studies.  The Interdisciplinary Work Group Conflict Landscapes (NGHM section headed by senior researcher Dr. Christin Bobe)) explores interactions between the material and the discursive dimension of landscapes affected by mass violence. Our main projects focus on “battlefields“  from the Second World War, mass graves from the Shoah and the War of Annihilation as well as on sites of Nazi concentration camps.

All research grants and projects of the Chair of Modern History and Historical Migration Studies are listed under "Current Projects", more research can be found on our  team‘s profile page.