Gatrell Lecture – Refugees in Modern History: A European Perspective

Watch the Gatrell lecture Refugees in Modern History: A European Perspective here:

Video recorded on January, 23, 2017.

Produced and edited: Lisa Beiswenger
Introduction: Theodora Dragostinova
Speaker: Peter Gatrell
PowerPoint: Peter Gatrell
The Global Mobility Team: Vera Brunner-Sung, Jeffrey Cohen, Theodora Dragostinova, Yana Hashamova, and Robin Judd
Produced with the assistance of the Office of International Affairs

Are you able to find proper Feta cheese elsewhere? Transnational marketing and migration

by Natalia Zotova, OSU PhD Candidate


On Tuesday, 25 October, Dr. Ibrahim Sirkeci came to Anthro 5626 “Culture and Economic Life” class. He gave a talk on his research, where he aims to bridge migration and marketing through the framework of transnational marketing. Dr. Sirkeci argues that migration is always a challenging event for individuals who move. When people move they lose their social networks, or they might become less strong as a result of relocation. This alters consumer behaviors. In communities of origin social networks are helpful because they employ the notions of trust in interpersonal communication; and they are easy to reach. Social networks mean that you can ask family, kin or friends for advice and help when you need to fix a problem. As such, social networks facilitate consumer choices and save people time and money. When someone moves, he/she might not employ resources of social networks for advice and support; and dealing with small and big problems becomes much more challenging. Being stripped off networks, movers spend more time looking for solution and probably spend more money on it.

Dr.Sirkeci also spoke about food tastes, and their meaning for people who move. When a person grows up in a specific culture, food tastes become deeply embedded. Upon relocation, movers start looking for familiar food items and know tastes in a new place. A simple question like “Am I able to find a proper Feta cheese or good coffee?” becomes meaningful for experiences of new immigrants. Demand for tastes drive emergence of ethnic businesses like cafes, restaurants or food markets. Ethnic entrepreneurs first build upon resources of their communities to develop awareness, loyalty and trust. Over time new food items move beyond the niche markets in ethnic communities because the product starts appealing to tastes of broader society as well. Busy schedules of people who live in global cities make them likely to ear out a lot. As such, “global villagers” value variety of tastes and food experiences. Overall, this leads to emergence of fusion food and gradual shifts in consumer tastes.

Dr. Sirkeci provided a fascinating example of the history of doner kebab, shawarma, gyros, and tacos. Originally Turkish, doner kebab outlets were introduced to the U.K. by Kurdish refugees who spread all over the country due to resettlement policies. Currently there are over 15,000 small businesses selling doner kebab in the U.K.  Doner kebab is affordable and prevalent everywhere. As such, doner kebab became one of the favorite street meals for Brits elsewhere.

On the Other Side of the Migration Debate: Controlling Emigration in 20th-century Southeastern Europe



On the Other Side of the Migration Debate: Controlling Emigration in 20th-century Southeastern Europe
Monday, November 14, 2016, 1:30PM – 3:00PM
Mershon Center for International Security Studies
1501 Neil Avenue, Room 120
Columbus, Ohio 43201

Sponsors: The Global Mobility Project at Ohio State

Podcast Episode: A Chat with Ulf Brunnbauer


No other topic currently occupies the public and political mind in Europe as much as migration. In East Central Europe, responses have been particularly forceful. The lack of tolerance and empathy towards migrants might seem strange in view of the fact that East Central European societies have a long history of emigration. In my talk, I will argue that the politics of emigration helps to explain why there is such a close relationship between nationalism and the treatment of migrants. I will go back to the time of overseas emigration in order to trace the longue duree of social fears connected with emigration and the emerging political responses to it. The modern state displays a deeply instrumentalist attitudes towards migrants, whether leaving or entering.

Ulf Brunnbauer is the managing director of the Institute for East and South East European Studies Professor of History of Southeast and Eastern Europe, University of Regensburg.

After receiving his doctorate in history at the University of Graz in 1999 with a thesis on household structures and economics in the Rhodope mountains in the 19th and 20th century.  Ulf Brunnbauer moved to the Eastern Institute of FU Berlin in 2003.  In 2006 he conducted a study of the communist social policy in Bulgaria from 1944 to 1989, and in 2008 he became the Chair of History Southeastern and Eastern Europe at the University of Regensburg. At that time he also took over the management of the Southeast Institute. Since January 2012, he has been Executive Director of the Institute of East and Southeast European Studies.

Ulf Brunnbauer’s research revolves around the social history of the Balkans in the 19th and 20th centuries with a special emphasis in the historical genealogy and migration history. Moreover, he deals with issues of nation-building, with Muslim minorities in Southeast Europe and the history of historiography in the region.

Europe’s Crisis: Turkey’s Refugees and Refugees from Turkey

Ibrahim SirkeciEurope’s Crisis: Turkey’s Refugees and Refugees from Turkey

Monday, October 24, 2016, 1:00PM – 2:30PM
Mershon Center for International Security Studies
1501 Neil Avenue, Room 120
Columbus, Ohio 43201
On Monday, October 24, The Global Mobility Project at Ohio State hosted a lecture by Ibrahim Sirkeci on Europe’s refugee crisis.

The European Union has faced one of its biggest existential crises with the rise of population flows through its Eastern and Southern neighbours as well as movements within the Union. In 2016, the Brexit referendum and debates surrounding in the UK were largely focused on restricting EU immigration to the UK whereas eastern and central European members were raising concerns and objecting the refugee quota systems and burden sharing. Turkey emerged as a “gate keeper” in this crisis and have been in the centre of debates because of large Syrian refugee populations in the country and billions of Euros it was promised to keep them there. The Syrian conflict produced over 4.8 million refugees and over 2.7 million are based in Turkey. Turkey with its generous support for Syrian refugees is confirmed as a “country of security”. This shadows the darker side of affairs as the same country also produced millions of asylum seekers since the 1980 and the current circumstances and fresh evidence indicates that there will be more refugees coming through and from Turkey. The failed coup in July 2016 and the drastic measures put in place since then are cause for concern for many.

Ibrahim Sirkeci is Ria Professor of Transnational Studies and Marketing and Director of the Center for Transnational Studies at Regent’s University London.  He received his Ph.D. in Geography in 2003 from the University of Sheffield. He is also a graduate of Bilkent University.  Before joining Regent’s University in 2005, he worked at the University of Bristol.

Sirkeci is known for his extensive work on insecurity and human mobility as well as his conceptual work on culture of migration and conflict model.  He has also coined the term “transnational mobile consumers” as he examined connected consumers and the role of mobility in consumer behavior within a transnational marketing context.  His recent research on remittances has been sponsored by Ria Money Transfer while previously he had secured external research funding from organizations including the World Bank, EU, British Academy, and High Education Academy.

Sirkeci is also the editor of several journals including Migration Letters, Transnational Marketing Journal and Remittances Review.  His recent books include Turkish Migration Policy (2016), Conflict, Security and Mobility (2016), Transnational Marketing and Transnational Consumers (2013), Migration and Remittances during the Global Financial Crisis and Beyond (2012), and Cultures of Migration (2011).  He is a frequent speaker on migration, conflict, and integration and delivered about 200 speeches at international events.

Funding provided by a grant from the Ohio State University’s Office of International Affairs and co-sponsored by the Department of Anthropology, the Institute for Population Research, and the Mershon Center for International Security Studies.