Gender and Migration

This course is part of the programme
Doctoral study programme Humanities

Objectives and competences

Students will acquire the ability to discern and conceptually understand the transdisciplinary similarities and differences in the study of gender issues and migrations. They will learn how to independently and responsibly use quantitative and qualitative methodology and the intersectional perspective. They will be able to deal, practically and theoretically, with real-life cases of contemporary society, both on the national and the European levels, as well as on a more global level.
Students will acquire the ability to apply their critical and reflection skills to structural inequalities and power relations in migration politics, ideologies and discourses from a variety of viewpoints, including the viewpoint of gender issues.


Students on the Gender and migrations course are expected to attend lectures (75% ) and to actively participate in lectures – to take part in discussions, read relevant literature in the course of lectures, and prepare an oral presentation (15 to 20 minutes). At the end of lectures and seminar work, the students will be required to submit an independent final/exam assignment (20 pages).
Students attending the Gender and migrations course are expected to have previously acquired appropriate knowledge in the fields of humanities and social sciences, with an emphasis on cultural and social theories related to sociological, anthropological, historical and cultural themes. Students are expected to have a good and active command of English.


Gender issues in the context of migrations will be dealt with from two points of view.
The first one is historical, providing an insight into economic, intellectual, literary and cultural activities of women and men in the migration process as a mechanism of restructuring gender roles in the past and the present day; a special emphasis will be given to the contemporary „feminisation of migration“ and to an intense concern with the issues of migration in Europe. The other point of view includes a theoretical framework and the analytical tools for understanding structural social determinants, which are key factors in defining the role of gender in society, specifc gender roles, gender embodiment and contemporary gender roles that transcend the male – female division; a special emphasis will be given to epistemological aspects and contemporary controversies within the migrational policies related to gender issues.
The third, methodological, part of the course will concern analysing the testimonies of female and male migrants, their personal stories, subjective interpretations, intimate testimonies, „documents of life“ of real persons who have taken part in the migration process of the past and the present, and within a specific historical, political and social context.
A special emphasis will be given to the position of the researcher's subjectivity within his or her research task and interpretation of results.

Intended learning outcomes

Through their active participation in the lectures and workshops (oral presentations, written reflections and exam assignment), the students will acquire:
- knowledge of the historical and social context of gender-related migrations studies in the past and the present;
- ability to discern dominant concepts and explanatory models of contemporary social changes in the light of the „feminisation of migrations“;
- understanding of current scientific discussions concerning the advantages/disadvantages of diverse disciplinary approaches in studying gender issues, multi-culturalism and racism;
- knowledge of case studies and ethnographies that connect gender-defined migrations with other contemporary social issues of equality;
- ability to carry out independent research assignments related to the issues covered during the course.


  • Braidotti, Rossi (2011) Nomadic Subjects. Embodiment and Sexual Difference in Contemporary Feminist Theory. New York: Columbia University Press.Catalogue E-version
  • Griffin, Gabrielle, Rosi Braidotti (eds.) (2002) Thinking Differently. A Reader in European Women's Studies. London: Zed Books.
  • Lennon, Kathleen, Margaret Whitford (eds.) (1994) Knowing the Difference: Feminist Perspectives in Epistemology. London: Routledge. E-version
  • Anthias, Floya, Gabriella Lazaridis (eds.) (2000) Gender and Migration in Southern Europe, Women on the Move. Oxford, New York: Berg. E-version
  • Abdelmalek Sayad (2004) The Suffering of the Immigrant. Cambridge: Polity Press E-version
  • Macey, M. (2009) Multiculturalism, Religion and Women: Questioning the Veil. Open letters to Muslim women? University of Bradford: Palgrave Macmillan. E-version
  • Marnia Lazreg (2011) Questioning the Veil. Open letters to Muslim women. Princeton: Princeton University Press. E-version
  • Cohen, Joshua, Matthew Howard (1999) Is multiculturalism bad for women? Princeton: Princeton Univerisity Press. E-version
  • Lutz, Helma (ed.) (2008) Migration and Domestic Work. A European Perspective on a Global Theme. Surrey: Ashgate. Catalogue
  • Momsen, Janet H. (1999) Gender, Migration and Domestic Service. London: Routledge. Catalogue E-version
  • Parrenas, Rhacel Salazar (2005) Children of Global Migration. Transnational Families and Gendered Woes. Stanford: Stanford University Press. E-version
  • Liz Stanley, (1995) The Auto/biographical I, The theory and practice of feminist auto/biography. Manchester, New York: Manchester University Press. Catalogue
  • Perks, Robert and Alistair Thompson (eds.) (2000) The Oral History Reader. London: Routledge. E-version
  • Sharpe, Pamela (ed.) (2001). Women, Gender and Labour Migration, Historical and global perspectives. London and New York: Routledge. E-version


  • final assignment (20 pages) = 60% of the final grade - active participation with an oral presentation (20 minutes) = 40% of the final grade

Lecturer's references

Mirjam Milharčič Hladnik is Senior research associate at the Institute for Slovene diaspora and migrations (Scientific research centre, Slovene Academy of Science and Arts in Ljubljana).
Professor Hladnik is Associate Professor teaching at the University of Ljubljana and the University of Nova Gorica, and at universities abroad, particularly in Germany and Norway. Her educational background is in the field of cultural studies. Professor Hladnik is concerned with sociology of education, migration studies and female studies.

MILHARČIČ-HLADNIK, Mirjam, MLEKUŽ, Jernej (ed.). Going places : Slovenian women's stories on migration. Akron: University of Akron Press, 2014.

MILHARČIČ-HLADNIK, Mirjam, MLEKUŽ, Jernej (ed.). Krila migracij : po meri življenjskih zgodb, (Migracije, Migrantke, 17, 1). Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, ZRC SAZU, 2009.

MILHARČIČ-HLADNIK, Mirjam. Historical and narrative perspective of Slovenian women migrants' experiences : social networking, gender priorities, and questions of identity. In: DRNOVŠEK, Marjan (ed.). Historical and cultural perspectives on Slovenian migration, (Migracije, 14). Ljubljana: ZRC Publishing, Scientific Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, 2007, pp. 113–136.

MILHARČIČ-HLADNIK, Mirjam. Long live America, where women are first!. In: LUKŠIČ-HACIN, Marina (ed.), MLEKUŽ, Jernej (ed.). Go girls! : when Slovenian women left home, (Migracije, Migrantke, 19, 2). Ljubljana: ZRC Publishing: = Založba ZRC, ZRC SAZU, 2009, pp. 109–132.

MILHARČIČ-HLADNIK, Mirjam. Stopinje skozi čas v avto/biografskih zapisih slovenskih migrantk. In: KORON, Alenka (ed.), LEBEN, Andrej (ed.). Avtobiografski diskurz : teorija in praksa avtobiografije v literarni vedi, humanistiki in družboslovju, (Studia litteraria). Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, ZRC SAZU, 2011, pp. 189–203.

MILHARČIČ-HLADNIK, Mirjam. Avto/biografičnost narativnosti : metodološko teoretični pristopi v raziskovanju migracijskih izkušenj. Dve domovini. 2007, 26, pp. 31–46.

MILHARČIČ-HLADNIK, Mirjam. From a dollar bill in an envelope to a petition to the White House : the significance of Slovenian migrants for those back home. In: BRUNNBAUER, Ulf (ed.). Transnational societies, transterritorial politics : migrations in the (Post-)Yugoslav region : 19th-21st century, (Südosteuropäische Arbeiten, 141). München: R. Oldenbourg, 2009, str. 193–212.