Kent is part of a five-university consortium to have been awarded almost four million euros from the European Commission for a project that aims to provide an historical, cultural and social understanding of the roots of migration.
The €3.9 million grant was awarded under the Horizon 2020 (H2020) Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions European Joint Doctorates scheme.
Kent’s contribution is led by Bernhard Klein, Professor of English Literature in the School of English and Academic Director European Development, and Dr Amanda Klekowski von Koppenfels, Senior Lecturer in Migration and Politics, and Academic Director of Brussels School of International Studies.
Starting on 1 March 2019, the four-year project, entitled ‘Migration and Modernity: Historical and Cultural Challenges’, will undertake a comparative study to provide an urgently needed historical analysis that can address the so-called migration crisis of the present through an understanding of the population movements of the past. It will also seek to place contemporary migration in an historical context.
The consortium has been set up as an interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers in the Humanities and the Social Sciences who will approach migration as both a condition of modernity and one of its greatest challenges.
Through an innovative training programme, carried out in conjunction with 18 non-academic partners (including NGOs, charities, and the cultural and creative industries), the project will enable a new generation of experts to gain the historical knowledge required to respond to future migration crises with innovative solutions. It will generate new knowledge about the shaping of the modern world and provide conceptual tools to avoid short-termism in migration management through its emphasis on enduring cultural patterns, historical context, and migration flows over the long term.
It is expected that the links between contemporary and historical migration that its research will uncover could help improve educational provision, inform future policy, and counter the rise of anti-immigrant sentiment across the EU.
The project was scored 98/100 – one of the highest ever scores for H2020 funding.