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Romani Studies in the Age of COVID-19

22. Juni 2021 

Indi­vidu­elles Textfeld

Work­shop con­vened by Mar­tin Fot­ta (Czech Acad­e­my of Sci­ences) and Palo­ma Gay y Blas­co (St. Andrews)

The Covid-19 pan­dem­ic is hav­ing a dev­as­tat­ing effect on Romani com­mu­ni­ties world­wide. The emer­gency has fed on the fragili­ty of Romani lives, exac­er­bat­ing already exist­ing pat­terns of disenfranchisement–racial scape­goat­ing, nation­al secu­ri­ty spec­ta­cles and a clos­ing-off of Romani neigh­bour­hoods. Schol­ars have engaged with the chal­lenges of this moment, col­lab­o­rat­ing with relief efforts, engag­ing the media, writ­ing dis­patch­es and op-eds. These activ­i­ties have been new to many, blur­ring the bor­ders between activism and schol­ar­ship, between action and reflec­tion. The field and the ques­tions schol­ars ask have shift­ed, exist­ing forms of knowl­edge pro­duc­tion have been ques­tioned, and new forms of sol­i­dar­i­ty have emerged.

We are look­ing for contributions–papers, pre-record­ed inter­views, videos, and the like–from schol­ars in human­i­ties, arts, and social sci­ences, whether based in acad­e­mia or not, to reflect upon ways the pan­dem­ic has impact­ed Romani-relat­ed schol­ar­ship. We are espe­cial­ly inter­est­ed in exam­ples of con­crete prac­tices and activities.

Con­tri­bu­tions could explore some of these questions:
* How has the pan­dem­ic impact­ed ongo­ing or planned research projects? How were they adapt­ed? How have the con­straints (e.g., trav­el bans, lock­downs) made one atten­tive to new dynam­ics and seed­ed nov­el method­olog­i­cal approaches?
* How has the pan­dem­ic changed the­o­ret­i­cal con­cep­tu­al­i­sa­tions? How has it led to direc­tions not imag­ined at the out­set? What new ques­tions have become rel­e­vant and meaningful?
* What forms of engage­ment in ‚the field’ has the con­text of the pan­dem­ic demand­ed from researchers? What new forms of col­lab­o­ra­tion have emerged? How will they shape the future scholarship?
* How is research in the con­text of the pan­dem­ic shaped by demands to decolonise schol­ar­ship (even in Cen­tral and East­ern Europe) and by the need to sup­port the strug­gle of com­mu­ni­ties against anti-Gypsyism?
* How can social sci­ence shape pri­or­i­ties in the post-pan­dem­ic world? How do schol­ars help ensure that voic­es of affect­ed Romani com­mu­ni­ties are rep­re­sent­ed and their needs visible?

Col­lab­o­ra­tive con­tri­bu­tions with Romani inter­locu­tors, con­tri­bu­tions from schol­ars of Romani back­ground, from doc­tor­al stu­dents, and from ear­ly career researchers are espe­cial­ly welcome.

The work­shop will take place online. Each con­tri­bu­tion should not be longer than 10 min­utes. Sig­nif­i­cant space will be ded­i­cat­ed to discussions.

Please send your sub­mis­sions by 7 May 2021 to Mar­tin Fot­ta ( and Palo­ma Gay y Blas­co (

All sub­mis­sions should contain:

1. Name

2. Email and insti­tu­tion­al affil­i­a­tion of the author, if applicable

3. Title of contribution

4. Abstract of 250 words

5. If applic­a­ble, descrip­tion of the envis­aged mul­ti­me­dia content

If you have any ques­tions and/or inquiries regard­ing the work­shop, please con­tact the conveners.

The work­shop is organ­ised by the Insti­tute of Eth­nol­o­gy, Czech Acad­e­my of Sci­ences, and the Prague Forum for Romani His­to­ries at the Insti­tute of Con­tem­po­rary His­to­ry, Czech Acad­e­my of Sci­ences, with­in the research pro­gramme ‚Resilient Soci­ety for the 21st Cen­tu­ry’, with­in the frame­work of the Czech Acad­e­my of Sci­ences ‚Strat­e­gy 21’. For more infor­ma­tion about the research pro­gramme and its activ­i­ties see