The 2020 Visiting Scholars

Claudia Fonseca Alfaro IUR Visiting Scholar

After assessing 47 applications, we’re happy to announce the 2020 IUR Visiting Scholars:

Valeria Raimondi

Migrant activism

Period: Spring 2020 (May)

Host: Department of Global Political Studies (GPS)

“The main aim of this fellowship is to further develop a study that I started during my doctoral research on migrant activism and the concept of citizenship, moving the focus from Greece asa landing country to Sweden –one of the main countries of final destination for refugees and asylum seekers. Drawing on critical theories about citizenship and the experiences of migrant networks of solidarity in different European cities, I want to explore the possibilities that the presence of migrants offers in terms of the reconceptualisation of citizenship through the analysis of formal and informal connections and transnational networks of solidarity and support between migrants. Malmörepresents an extremely interesting case of multilayered migration, both internal and international. My visiting period at the Institute for Urban Research in Malmö will be devoted to the analysis of the city’s migration and integration policies, both at the national and local level, as well as non-institutional and informal projects aimed at fostering the integration of newcomers. The research will consist of a combination of policy analysis with ethnographic field study.”

Valeria has recently obtained a PhD in Urban Studies at the Gran Sasso Science Institute. Find out more about Valeria.

Didem Ünal Abaday, University of Helsinki

Cultivating Muslim Cosmopolitanism Through Fashion: Muslim Women’s Everyday Sartorial Strategies in the Age of Anti-Muslim Sentiments

Period: Fall 2020 (August/September)

Host: Department of Global Political Studies (GPS)

“This research focuses on the Swedish case to scrutinize pious Turkish women’s ordeal with Islamic dress in a Western context where Muslim population is in minority. Within this frame, the following questions provide a general guideline for this study: How do pious Turkish women’s sartorial choices in the Swedish diaspora contribute to their search for a cosmopolitan identity at the intersection of piety, fashion and gender? How does a multilayered understanding of Islamic dress with a focus on its material, spatial, political, aesthetic, moral and temporal aspects enhance our conceptions about the construction of diasporic Muslim female subjectivity? How do Turkish women perform their defiant and dialogic pious agency through sartorial inventiveness vis-à-vis the rise of anti-Muslim sentiments? In the light of the findings, the research aims to demonstrate that Muslim women’s sartorial inventiveness intertwined with their search for a cosmopolitan identity in the current era operates as a litmus test revealing that their dialogic and defiant pious agency can confront hegemonic discourses of race, gender and religion through complex everyday tactics and maneuvers.”

Didem is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki, find out more about her.

Mark Boyle, University of Liverpool

Governing data for public good: Scoping new models of data­stewardship to increase access by Climate and Ecological Services in Malmö to data

Period: Fall 2020 (August/September)

Host: Institute for Urban Research

“A data revolution is giving rise to a new world­wide conversation on data ethics, integrity and law: a key international challenge will be to increase access to data whilst maintaining public trust. Focussing upon the governance of geospatial data specifically (defined as data tied to a particular location) and using for inspiration recent Swedish innovations and for illustration the goal of building climate resilient cities, this project will scope new models of data­stewardship to increase access by Climate and Ecological Services in Malmö to data. It will profile views within the stakeholder community on the possibilities of ‘opening up’ geospatial data and will examine Swedish experiments in geospatial data repositories, platforms, licences and trusts. Informed by both it will propose a prototype ‘data­trust’ designed to increase data­-sharing, enhance the efficacy of Climate and Ecological Services and, build a climate resilient Malmö. This will be developed in the form of an end of project provocation.”

Mark is the Director of the Heseltine Institute for Public Policy, Practice and Place at the University of Liverpool. Find out more about him.

Philip Allmendinger, University of Cambridge

The impact of digital technology upon cities

Period: Fall 2020 (September/October)

Host: Institute for Urban Research

“I am taking a more critical look at the smart city phenomenon and one that highlights the downsides as well as the upsides. At a time when cities are needed more ever to help address common challenges such as the climate emergency, an ageing population, air pollution and inequality they find themselves subject to the impacts and disruptions of rapidly changing digital technology. The very way on which such issues are framed and options developed is being driven by digital solutions. The smart city narrative promises easy, technical solutions and ways forward and have proved attractive to politicians and others. Yet a more permissive and inclusive definition of the smart city that goes beyond the initiatives from city authorities and includes surveillance capitalism, attention deficit and our ‘one click culture’ highlights other broader and less positive impacts upon local economies, politics and city planning. Even where the upsides of digital technology are making our cities more connected it must be borne in mind that many of our cities and people remain unconnected, are not benefiting from the growth in jobs and economic impacts of the smart revolution and find themselves falling even further behind.”

Philip is the Pro Vice-Chancellor and Head of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Cambridge. Find out more about him.