International Conference

Ambivalent Interdependencies

January 30 – February 1, 2019
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin


Care, migration, and gender are interwoven in obvious and not so obvious ways. Bridget Anderson shows how the ›dirty work‹ within care is delegated to marginalized subject positions. The concept of the care chain, developed by Rhacel Salazar Parreñas, highlights the fact that care workers themselves leave behind reproductive tasks, which in turn have to be carried out by others when they migrate. Queer theorist Martin F. Manalansan questions the implicitly assumed heterosexuality of care migrants. Further research illustrates that care workers are not just victims of social structures but themselves actively make decisions – which opens up debates about agency. Following significant publications by Rajni Palriwala and Helma Lutz, questions have arisen about who has agency and the way care, migration, and gender regimes impact it. Additionally, care migration is an effect of global inequalities while simultaneously allowing for both exploitation and empower­ment. The dominant narrative consists of care workers that migrate from the Global South and post-socialist societies to the Global North. But this is not the whole story: Care migration also takes place within the Global South and among post-socialist societies themselves. Moreover, the relationship between care workers and care receivers is anything but straightforward. The structures (and hierarchies) of dependence and power hinge on the respective social positions as well as the access to rights and recognition. Additionally, while migrants can also be care receivers, some care receivers may need to migrate in order to get access to care.

Our conference »Care – Migration – Gender. Ambivalent Interdependencies« offers a space to collectively investigate these interdependencies in their complexities and aims to initiate a discussion of such ambivalences. In particular we will discuss the following:

– What forms do the interdependencies of care-migration-gender take in different places, in different fields, and with different stakeholders?
– How are the interdependencies of care-migration-gender shaped through different incentives, interests, and representations?
– How are the interdependencies of care-migration-gender regulated politically, legally, and socially?
– How and with which aims and effects have care workers organized?
We invite you to join in the discussion.



Wednesday, January 30, 2019

18:00   Welcome Address
Prof. Dr. iur. Eva Inés Obergfell, Vice President for Academic Affairs

18:15   Keynote

Bridget Anderson (University of Bristol)
Elder Care, Disability, Care, and Justice: Some Theoretical Reflections

Chair: Christine Bauhardt (HU Berlin)

Thursday, January 31, 2019

10:15   Welcome Address and Introduction
Urmila Goel (HU Berlin), Gabriele Jähnert (HU Berlin)

10:45   Keynote

Rhacel Salazar Parreñas (University of Southern California)
Unfree Laborers – A Global Overview of Migrant Domestic Work

Chair: Gökçe Yurdakul (HU Berlin)

11:45   Coffee Break

12:00   Keynote

Martin F. Manalansan IV (University of Minnesota)
Feeling Filipinos: Global Care, Affective Circuits, Queer Trajectories

Chair: Mike Laufenberg (TU Berlin)

13:00   Lunch Break

14:30   Parallel Panels

Panel 1 From Religion to ICTs – Anthropological Approaches to Christian Care Migration

Ester Gallo (University of Trento) and Francesca Scrinzi (University of Glasgow)
Conceptualizing the Nexus between Gender and Religion in Paid Care Work. The Experience of Migrant Workers and Their Employers

Antony Pattathu (Universität Tübingen)
A Religious Perspective on Care – Migration – Gender. Interdependencies Among Nurses from Kerala in Germany

Tanja Ahlin (University of Amsterdam)
Enacting Gendered Elder Care in Transnational Families of Nurses from India

Chair: Urmila Goel (HU Berlin)


Panel 2 Gerechtigkeit und Recht – Betrachtungen osteuropäischer Care-Migration

Nausikaa Schirilla (Katholische Hochschule Freiburg)
Ungerechtigkeit und Gerechtigkeitsvorstellungen in Arbeitsverhältnissen von Care-Workerinnen

Birgit Dahlke (HU Berlin)
Verflechtungen zwischen Pflege, Migration und Geschlecht, verhandelt auf einer Berliner Theaterbühne: Zur Inszenierung von Pflege im Stück »Land der ersten Dinge/Bludicky/Fen Fires« von Nino Haratischwili (DT Berlin 2014/2015)

Vinzent Vogt (Lund University/Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg)
Pflegearbeiterinnen aus Osteuropa in deutschen Privathaushalten. Grenzen der Rechtsdurchsetzung und Regulierungsdilemmata

Moderation: Gabriele Jähnert (HU Berlin)


Panel 3 Agency of Transnational Care Workers

Christiane Bomert (Universität Tübingen)
Impossible Self-Organization ? Ambivalent Spaces of Opportunity for Transnational Care Workers‘ Agency

Raquel Rojas Scheffer (FU Berlin)
Network Building and Ethnic Divides. Paid Domestic Workers and Their Struggle for Labor Rights in Uruguay and Paraguay

Janina Glaeser (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main)
Migrant Childminders in Germany and France: An Opportunity for Female Occupation ?

Chair: Gülay Ça˘glar (FU Berlin)


Panel 4 Care Gaps

Miriam Tariba Richter (HAW Hamburg)
»Who cares ?« Neglection in Current Care Situations of Elderly Migrants in Germany

Fumilayo Showers (Central Connecticut State University)
»When I think of where I was, I weep like a baby«: Pre-Migration Class Status and Post-Migration Class Ambivalence among African Immigrant Care Workers in the USA

Ira Raja (University of Delhi)
The Imagined Self: Migration, Care, and the Attachment to Objects

Chair: Manuela Bojadˇzijev (BIM at HU Berlin)

16:45   Coffee Break

17:00   Panel discussion

Taking Care of Care Workers
Bridget Anderson (University of Bristol), Iweng Karsiwen (Association of Families of Indonesian Migrant Workers, Jakarta), Yolanda Richter (Representative of a Filipina community in Berlin), Kook-Nam Cho-Ruwwe (Korean Women’s Group in Germany)

Chair: Nivedita Prasad (ASH Berlin)

18:45   Reception


Friday, February 1, 2019

10:00   Keynote

Rajni Palriwala (University of Delhi)
Socialities of Care and Labor: Migration, Gender, and Agency

Chair: Urmila Goel (HU Berlin)

11:00   Coffee Break


11:15   Parallel Panels

Panel 5 »Gute Sorge« ohne »Gute Arbeit«?

Fishbowl-Diskussion zur 24-Stunden-Betreuung von Senior_innen in Privathaushalten in Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz

mit Brigitte Aulenbacher (Universität Linz), Karin Schwiter (Universität Zürich), Aranka Vanessa Benazha (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main), Michael Leiblfinger (Universität Linz), Veronika Prieler (Universität Linz) und Jenny Steiner (Universität Zürich)


Panel 6 Structural Frame of Care

Friederike Beier (FU Berlin)
Nobody Cares – Intersectional Perspectives on the Biopolitical Governmentality of Social Reproduction

Nina Sahraoui (European University Institute, Florence)
Thinking the Care-Migration-Gender Nexus from the Perspective of a Feminist Ethics of Care: Implications for Justice, Citizenship, and Democracy

Chair: Mona Motakef (HU Berlin)

Panel 7 Ambivalenzen in den Verflechtungen von Migration, Gender und Care

Eine Präsentation von Studierenden des MA‑Studienprojekts »Migration, Gender und Care«, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Moderation: Urmila Goel (HU Berlin)

12:45   Lunch Break

14:15   Parallel Panels

Panel 8 Transnationalization of Care

Sirijit Sunanta (Mahidol University, Bangkok)
The Role of Private Care Brokers in the Diversification and Transnationalization of Paid Care Work: Experiences from Thailand

Antía Pérez-Caramés (University of A Coruña)
The Reorganization of Care and Migratory Projects in Romanian Transnational Families

Anja Michaelsen (Ruhr-Universität Bochum)
The Queerness of Adoption

Chair: Julia Teschlade (HU Berlin)

Panel 9 Visuelle Verhandlungen von Care

Vina Yun (Wien)
Homestories. Eine Comiclesung

Brigitta Kuster (HU Berlin)
»I care because you do«: Spekulative Notizen zu einem »Sorge tragenden Kino«. Kommentierte Filmausschnitte

Judith von Plato and Johannes von Plato (HU Berlin)
Verflechtungen von Care, Migration und Gender im Dokumentarfilm »Family Business« und im Spielfilm »Die Schwarze aus Dakar«

Moderation: Elahe Haschemi Yekani (HU Berlin)

Panel 10 Vergeschlechtlichung von Care-Arbeit im Kontext von »Flucht«

Caterina Rohde-Abuba (Universität Bielefeld)
Die Arbeitsmarktintegration männlicher Geflüchteter über Care-Berufe

Michael Tunç (Hochschule Darmstadt)
Väterlichkeiten und Care-Verantwortung von Männern mit Fluchtmigrationserfahrungen

Sophia Schmid (HU Berlin)
Antirassistische Care-Arbeit ? Die Vergeschlechtlichung und Positionierung der Geflüchtetenarbeit in Deutschland

Moderation: Almut Peukert (Universität Hamburg)

16:30   Coffee Break

16:50   Keynote

Helma Lutz (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main)
Care Work in the Reticule of Migration, Gender, and Labor Market Regimes

Chair: Nivedita Prasad (ASH Berlin)

18:00   Closing Discussion with Conference Observers
Urmila Goel, Christine Bauhardt, and Mike Laufenberg

19:00   End of the Conference


International Conference

Organized by the Center for Transdisciplinary Gender Studies (ZtG) and the Institute for European Ethnology (IfEE) at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

In cooperation with the Berlin Institute for Empirical Research on Integration and Migration (BIM) at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, the Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences (ASH) Berlinw, and the Center for Interdisciplinary Women’s and Gender Studies (ZIFG) at Technische Universität Berlin

Conceptionalized by Urmila Goel (IfEE at HU), Christine Bauhardt (Albrecht Daniel Thaer-Institute at HU), Gabriele Jähnert (ZtG at HU), Mike Laufenberg (ZIFG at TU), Almut Peukert and Julia Teschlade (Department for Social Sciences at HU), Nivedita Prasad (ASH Berlin), Sophia Schmid (BIM at HU), and Gökçe Yurdakul (Department for Social Sciences/BIM at HU)

Supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG), the Berlin Institute for Empirical Research on Integration and Migration (BIM) at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and the Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences (ASH) Berlin



Center for Transdisciplinary Gender Studies (ZtG)
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Gabriele Jähnert, Urmila Goel
Phone +49 (0)30 2093-46200

Wednesday, January 30, 2019
Thursday, January 31, 2019
Friday, February 1, 2019

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
10117 Berlin, Unter den Linden 6
Senatssaal  |  Room 2070 a / 2249 a / 1066 e

Conference Languages
English, German

How to Get There
S1, S2, S5, S7
U6 (Friedrichstraße)
Bus 100, 200, TXL (Staatsoper)
Tram M1, 12 (Universitätsstraße or Am Kupfergraben)


Conference fee
Grouped according to income and registration:

Early Bird (Registration by January 2, 2019)/Normal (Registration after January 2, 2019)
Students/Unemployed: F 25.00/F 35.00
PhD students with funding (scholarship) and comparable income: F 45.00/F 55.00
Employees with reduced position (university and external); Self-employed according to self-assessment: F 60.00/F 70.00
Assistant Professors; full-time employees (university and external); Self-employed according to self-assessment: F 80.00/F 95.00
Professors: F 100.00/F 115.00

Kerstin Rosenbusch
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Zentrum für transdisziplinäre Geschlechterstudien
Sitz: Georgenstraße 47, 10117 Berlin
Tel.: 030 2093-46200
Fax: 030 2093-46215
Arbeitstage: Mo, Die, Mi