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The African Studies Center (ASC) sponsors conferences, lectures, exhibits, film series, and cultural performances throughout the year. These events are designed to foster understanding of Africa among members of the U-M community and the public  and to advance the exchange of resources and knowledge between U-M and its partners in Africa.

CREES Noon Lecture. "They Treat Us Like Animals Here": Romani and Egyptian Belonging in Albania

Chelsi West Ohueri, postdoctoral fellow for population health, University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School
Wednesday, March 27, 2019
12:00-1:20 PM
1010 Weiser Hall Map
While many scholars in the Balkan region have analyzed identity and the politics of difference through the lens of ethnicity and ethnic conflict, few have done so through frameworks of racialization and racial belonging. Drawing from anthropological and ethnographic research with Romani and Egyptian communities in Albania, this talk features a critical discussion of social inequality with a particular focus on processes of racialization, dehumanization, and marginalization. In Albania, Roms and Egyptians are often racialized as dorë e zezë or ‘black’ while Albanians are racialized as dorë e bardhë or ‘white’. Additionally, many Roms and Egyptians in Albania frequently invoke the language of dehumanization to articulate their experiences with discrimination and non-belonging in Albania. Through an exploration of ethnographic cases, this talk will examine local constructions of these racial identities in the post-communist period, specifically as they pertain to housing segregation, health, labor, and the environment. This talk will also shed light on the ways that Roms and Egyptians in Albania mobilize around issues of inequality to promote social justice.

Chelsi West Ohueri is a sociocultural anthropologist and postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Population Health at the University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School. Her research interests include race and racialization, belonging, marginalization, health disparities, and global health. She has conducted extensive ethnographic research in Albania, southeastern Europe, and Central Texas. West Ohueri is a native of Jackson, MS and completed her Ph.D. in sociocultural anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin in 2016. Her dissertation analyzed racialization and belonging in Romani, Egyptian, and Albanian communities of Albania.

If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation to attend this event, please reach out to at least 2 weeks in advance of this event. Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the university to arrange.
Building: Weiser Hall
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: Albania, Anthropology, European, immigration, International, Multicultural
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, International Institute, Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies, Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia, African Studies Center, Department of Anthropology