Roma identity in the XXIst century: from oppression to mobilization

Course Description: 

How many Roma are there? Who is Roma and who is not? These questions shaped the narratives on Roma by governments and scholars soon after Roma’s arrival in Europe. To date, answers to these questions vary depending on the position of authority of those who investigate them. However, very few existing narratives acknowledge the role and knowledge produced by Roma themselves, including their answers to the questions above.


This course will explore Romani identity and movement, as well as forms of oppression against Roma such as Antigypsyism, by using analytical tools that move beyond the dominant discourses on Roma.  The course will analyze the above notions using critical social theories and literature on social movements.


The course will also link the above concepts by analyzing how Antigypsyism influences the formation of Roma ethnic identity; how Roma history becomes racialized; and how the process of “othering” with regard to Roma shapes. Linked to the above, the course will explore how Antigypsyism explains forms of Roma mobilization and how categorizations and narratives about Roma, promoted by non-Roma leads to Romani mobilization of Roma social actors.


Students will acquire knowledge on Roma identity, history, and diversity; will understand the main concepts related to identification/categorization of Roma and social movements; and will familiarize themselves with critical issues in ethnic and racial studies, including Romani Studies. Students will also appreciate the democratic values of equality, tolerance, privilege, and respect for diversity in society.






Learning Outcomes: 

The aim of the course is to equip students with knowledge about key issues related to Roma identity and movement and develop skills to analyze narratives on Roma.


Students will be expected to attend all classes and read in advance the required readings. As the course consists of short lectures followed by discussions and group work, students are expected to participate during the classes. Students will have to write an essay at the end of the course. The students’ evaluation will consists of the following:

attendance - 10%

class participation - 15%

assignments – 25%

final essay - 50%.