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June 26, 2022



Czech capital sees workshop on Romani history with academics from all over the world

13.6.2022 7:44

On the occasion of the sixth anniversary of the founding of the Prague Forum for Romani Histories, a two-day workshop was held in Prague aiming to evaluate the efforts to promote the academic study of the histories of people of Romani origin. Until quite recently in the field of Romani Studies, historical research has been overshadowed by the work of anthropologists, ethnographers, musicologists, philologists and sociologists. 

During the last decade, new projects have contributed significantly to creating the newly-emerging field of the history of Romani people. "Researchers from all over the world came to the workshop, both Romani and non-Romani ones who deal with different periods of Romani history," said Kateřina Čapková from the Prague Forum for Romani Histories.

"This is not just about dialogue, but also about discussing both methodological and ethical questions," Čapková added. "We talked about ethical rules in connection with the daily discrimination of Romani people, such as how to anonymize the names of the Romani people researchers are writing about," she informed ROMEA TV, adding that the academics also discussed community participation and participation by researchers of Romani origin in such research. 

"Here at the Forum, I was talking about Romani representation and Romani presentation in the social sciences, how different eras of Romani Studies presented [Roma] or what they thought, how they saw Romani people through social science, through the lens of antigypsyism, so I was talking about academic antigypsyism and about the development of Romani Studies, from Gypsy Studies to Critical Romani Studies," said the Romani researcher Dr. Dezso Mate, who is a research fellow at the Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut in Essen, Germany (for more, he speaks in English at 1:40 in the video above). The workshop also examined how investigating the past of Romani people can enrich and illuminate the scope of the questions that are being tackled through historical research.   

František Bikár, Zdeněk Ryšavý, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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