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Summer School - Roma and Travellers: Mobility, Persecution and Memory

Venue: Helsinki, Finland
Period: August 6-21, 2014
Application deadline: May 31 or July 31, 2014



Recent migrations from Eastern Europe have brought renewed attention to the situation of Roma and other groups commonly stigmatised as "Gypsies". The problems faced by these groups today are sustained by a culture of silence about present and past persecutions, often also within Roma and Traveller communities themselves. The course introduces interdisciplinary perspectives to this European-wide topic, connecting it with minority, migration and memory politics, and the field of Holocaust and Genocide Studies. This Summer School course provides a timely opportunity for advanced students and junior researchers to explore complex issues with prominent experts in the field.

Learning objectives
After taking the course, the students will have a thorough understanding of European-wide Roma and Traveller issues and the connection between present-day problems and long-term discrimination. They will be familiar with the key concepts, theories and research approaches in the field as well as with the professional dilemmas and needs of practitioners and policy makers.

Course format and teaching methods

This intensive course takes place daily on Aug 6-21, with a range of teaching methods and approaches, such as lectures, video conferences, student presentations work-in-progress sessions, and field trips in Finland and the Baltic area.

Course Readings
The course includes obligatory core reading (5 research articles) and a wide thematic syllabus of suggested reading. Obligatory reading: van Baart, Huub, "The Way Out of Amnesia? Europeanisation and the Recognition of the Romas Past and Present" Third Text, Vol. 22:3, 2008, 373-385; Brubaker, Rogers, Ethnicity, Race and Nationalism, Annual Review of Sociology 2009, 35:21-42; Nando Sigona and Nidhi Trehan, Introduction: Romani Politics in Neoliberal Europe, Sigona & Trehan (eds.), Romani Politics in Contemporary Europe, Palgrave Macmillan 2010; Zimmermann, Michael, The Berlin Memorial for the Murdered Sinti and Roma: Problems and points for discussion, Romani Studies 5, Vol. 17, No.1 (2007), 1-30; Willems, Wim, Ethnicity as a Death-Trap: the History of Gypsy Studies, LucassenL., Willems W. and Cottaar, A. (eds), Gypsies and Other Itinerant Groups. A Socio-Historical Approach, Basingstoke: Macmillan, pp.17-34.

Teachers and lecturers
The course is co-ordinated by Dr Malte Gasche, Dr Miika Tervonen and MA Anca Enache, University of Helsinki. Dr Gasche is a specialist in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, while Dr Tervonen and Enache are prominent junior scholars of Romani and Migration Studies.

Means and criteria of assessment
The course calls for active student participation. The students should engage in an active learning process, contributing to the discussions and workshops, and completing the required assignments. To receive six ECTS credits, the students must write a 10-12 page essay. For 10 ECTS credits, they must submit a 20-25 page essay. The essays must be submitted no later than one month after the conclusion of the course.


Advanced students and junior researchers in history, anthropology, sociology, social policy and other relevant fields are invited to participate. Students and junior researchers with Roma or other minority background are especially encouraged to attend.


The course will begin with broad introductions, with special focus on the history of Antiziganism, migration issues and the case of the Finnish Roma. Lectures are held by Jan Selling, Sarita Friman-Korpela and the course organisers. There will also be a video conference with Professor Leo Lucassen, University of Leiden.
The first week will further include an evening reception (Aug 5) and an excursion to Roma Mission in Helsinki. During the first part of the second week, the course will tackle issues of persecution and memory, with lectures by Martin Holler, Nadine Blumer and Ilsen About. There will be a full-day excursion to Estonia (Aug 13). This is followed by a special theme day /workshop on education (Aug 14), and a lecture by Ilsen About (Aug 15). At the beginning of the third week, Eija Stark and Ada Engebrigster lecture on methodological and anthropological perspectives in studying Roma and other transnational minority groups.
This will be followed by work-in progress sessions in which students will present their own research fields.  The sessions will be chaired by Wichert ten Have. Concluding the course, there will be a second evening reception (Wed 20) and a final seminar hosted by the organisers.

The course is organised in co-operation with the following partners:
Mémorial de la Shoah in Paris; Senter for studier av Holocaust og livssynsminoriteter in Oslo; and the Institute of History at Tallinn University.

Application Procedure

Those interested in applying should fill in an online application form (available here). The application deadline is the day before the course begins. However, the earlier you apply the better, as students are accepted on a first come, first served basis. Usually, the courses become full before they begin. If you would like Helsinki Summer School to arrange your accommodation, you should apply no later than the beginning of June.
Please be precise when filling and submitting the online application. Please pay special attention to the "Letter of Motivation". If you have problems submitting the online application, contact us at

Pre-deadline: 31 May 2014 23:59 (GMT)
This is the recommended deadline if you need a visa or wish to book accommodation via Helsinki Summer School. Early applications are encouraged.

Primary deadline: 31 Jul 2014 23:59 (GMT)
Applications can be submitted as long as there are still places left on the course. The earlier you submit your application, the likelier it is you will get a place.


International and Finnish degree and PhD students

Registration fee: 150 EUR, after 31 May 200 EUR
Course fee: 490 EUR
Accommodation: from 435 to 860 EUR

Degree and exchange students studying at the Helsinki Summer School Universities in 2014

Registration fee 50 EUR
No course fee
Exchange students are required to present a certificate of attendance issued by the hosting institution.


Registration fee 150 EUR, after 31 May 200 EUR
Course fee: 790 EUR
Accommodation: from 435 to 860 EUR

International Alumni Students of Helsinki Summer School

Registration fee 150 EUR, after 31 May 200 EUR
Course fee: 440 EUR/740 EUR
Accommodation: from 435 to 860 EUR

Registration fee
The registration fee is not a part of the course fee. The registration fee has to be paid within seven days after you have received the email confirmation of your acceptance to the Helsinki Summer School.
If we do not receive a credit card payment within one week of the notification of your acceptance, your course reservation WILL BE CANCELLED. If you wish to renew your registration contact us!

Course fee
The course fee must be paid latest by July 20, 2014.


The accommodation fee must be paid latest by June 3, 2014. In order to secure your accommodation we recommend you to pay it as soon as possible. Your reservation will be confirmed only after the accommodation fee has been fully paid.
More information about the accommodation available here.


Information & contacts

Mr. MalteGasche
Helsinki University


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