”Manifestations of Antigypsyism”

Dr. Dezso Mate (Fellow Academy in Exile) speaks about Roma in social science. The lecture will take place on December 15th at 7 p.m. in the lecture hall of the Department of History (Grabengasse 3-5, 69117 Heidelberg). This is a joint event of the Antiziganism Research Centre at Heidelberg University and the Antiziganism Prevention Unit at Heidelberg University of Education.

Romani cultural heritage is influential across the world. Romani knowledge production and narratives, however, are still lacking recognition in the academia and public representation. Since the Enlightenment thinker Heinrich Moritz Gottlieb Grellmann published his work “Dissertation on the Gipsies” in 1783 Romani people have been turned into constant objects of international scholarship. More precisely, they are faced with academic Antigypsyism that has contributed to intolerant attitudes and oppression in society. For hundreds of years, the various manifestations of Antigypsyism have subconsciously shaped and damaged Romani identity politics and have obliterated Romani narratives from history.

The lecture presents a piece of critical Romani research on the past periods, on the approaches and dilemmas of the studies on “Gypsies” and Romani scholarship through the lens of academic Antigypsyism. Romani academic recognition requests ground-breaking reflective actions to cultivate Romani identity politics, cultural heritage and collective memory. Essential knowledge production is a fundamental need, whereby Romani people can challenge the status quo of several centuries, the lack of representation and recognition.

Critical narratives are necessary to analyse the social and historical embeddedness of such categories and distinctions as “Roma/Gadjo” and “Gypsy/Peasant”. These positions are currently still at odds with what practitioners of privileged science call “the discourse of suffering”.

You can find further information at www.uni-heidelberg.de and www.ph-heidelberg.de/antiziganismuspraevention.

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