IES organised the kick-off and internal networking meeting of the new VUB’s Brussels Interdisciplinary Research centre BIRMM

On 19 October the Migration, Diversity and Justice cluster organised the kick-off and internal networking meeting of the new VUB’s Brussels Interdisciplinary Research centre on Migration and Minorities, called BIRMM. The group has been created in January 2018 and joined IMISCOE, the largest network of migration research centres in Europe, as an institutional member in July. BIRMM gathers over 60 VUB researchers working on migration and diversity related topics, mostly in social sciences (sociology, political science, communication science, criminology), history, philosophy and law. BIRMM is coordinated by Prof. Ilke Adam and Prof. Florian Trauner (both IES-VUB) and a board of delegates with one representative per research centre or department. 

With more than 30 participants, the kick-off and internal networking event on 19 October was very successful. Besides the networking and the discussion of the future agenda of BIRMM, the group organised an academic ‘speed-dating exercise’ and discussed two research presentations. One presentation was given by Prof. Laura Calabrese from ULB, on an interdisciplinary research project which will start soon at ULB, entitled: ‘Untangling the multiple categorizations of migrants. Intersectional Frameworks and Practices’. Leonie Jegen (IES-VUB and UNU-CRIS) also presented the preliminary results of an ongoing research project on ‘West-African Perspectives on EU Migration Cooperation’. Toward the end of the afternoon, the group was joined by rector Caroline Pauwels, expressing her encouragement and support for interdisciplinary initiatives within VUB. The creation of BIRMM clearly fits the rector’s policy of ‘breaking down the walls’ between disciplines.