Through the lens of a reflexive cultural anthropology, I am strongly interested in the ways in which migration, and mobilities in general, co-create and transform nation-state societies: by way of transnationalizing and cosmopolitanizing them ‚from below‘. I study these processes mainly in urban settings, in the Mediterranean, at the borders of Europe.
Since I joined the Institut für Europäische Ethnologie at HU Berlin in 2009, I have been working towards establishing a new research perspective of a specifically anthropological reflection on historical and contemporary projects of Europe. In many cooperative discussions as well as in a broad range of publications the approach of “reflexive Europeanization” was developed which has by now become part of the main agenda of my teaching and research. I introduced the format of a Research Laboratory on Critical Europeanization Studies, in close connection to the Research Laboratory on Migration which have become focal points of ground-breaking cross-disciplinary debates, e.g. on “post-migrant Europe” and “Other Europes”. A main focus is put on how migration contributes to projects of „minor cosmopolitanisms”, i.e. how it productively challenges and undermines European self-understandings rooted in the imagination of exclusively national, white ‚containers’. For a long time, I have been collaborating with internationally renowned colleagues to further develop this new venture of a postcolonial European anthropology.
My main research interests include processes of Europeanization in postcolonial, globally entangled perspective; critical migration and border studies; migration and the cosmopolitization of Europe; urban anthropology, reflexive anthropology of the Mediterranean, political anthropology. In terms of methodology, I strongly rely on ethnography and on transdisciplinary collaboration with the arts.
Regina Römhild co-directed the transdisciplinary research project Transit Migration (2003 – 2006) and co-curated the related collective exhibition Projekt Migration (2005, Cologne), both funded by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes. The project and the exhibition addressed Germany from the perspective of post-war migration movements challenging national and newly emerging European border regimes. She is a supervisor of the RTG Minor Cosmopolitianisms, and a co-founder of the Interdisciplinary Centre of Transnational Border Studies at Humboldt-Universität and the related Interdisciplinary Research Colloquium on Border Studies and Critical Migration Research. She is also a co-founding member of the Berlin Institute of Empirical Migration Studies (BIM). And, in cooperation with the Centre of Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage, she currently contributes to the H2020 project “TRACES. Transmitting Cultural Heritages with the Arts. From Intervention to Co-Production.”
„Beyond the bounds of the ethnic: for postmigrant cultural and social research“. Journal of Aeshetics & Culture 9.2 (2017), 69-75.Open access, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/20004214.2017.1379850
Witnessing the Transition. Moments in the long summer of migration. Eds. Birgit zur Nieden, Regina Römhild, Anja Schwanhäußer & Gökce Yurdakul. E-Book, open access (2017), https://www.international.hu-berlin.de/de/internationales-profil/refugees-welcome-an-der-hu/dateien-und-fotos-1/e-book-witnessing-the-transition
“The Post-Other as Avantgarde” (with Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung). We Roma. A Critical Reader in Contemporary Art. Eds. Daniel Baker & Maria Hlavajova. Amsterdam (Valiz) 2013.