about shifting romipen

Between 2011 and 2014 the Austrian Academy of Sciences funded DOC-Team shifting romipen analysed the creation and the dynamics of ethnicity in the context of Central European migrations of Romani people from the mid-19th century to the present. The project drew on three interlinked studies – on the usage of language, on public media discourses and on state-bureaucratic practices – that were carried out from a cross-disciplinary perspective, using theories and methods stemming from sociology, gender studies, (social) history, cultural anthropology, science studies, migration studies, research on racism and ethnicity, cultural studies and other disciplines.

cross-disciplinarity and teamwork

The main objective of the research project was to analyse the broader context of Romani migrations as these processes were identified as crucial to the construction and persistence of popular images of ethnic Romipen (that is, Romani-ness). The research has examined different forms of Romani migrations from the late 19th and 20th centuries in different settings. As a collaborative research effort, a focus has been put on a set of research questions that relate to complex forms of migration (i.e. going beyond the voluntary/forced division) past and present. Each single subproject followed specific research questions, which led towards the understanding of crucial aspects for the given discipline and deepening the cross-disciplinarian analysis. The project has made a significant contribution to the development of transdisciplinary approaches that can be put to use in the context of Romani, Migration and Ethnicity Studies. Please find further information on the three research projects and contact details of the respective team members on the particular subpages below.


shifting romipen was conducted at and hosted by the Institute of History at the University of Graz, the Institute of Sociology at the University of Vienna and the treffpunkt Sprachen at the university of Graz. It was funded by the Austrian Academy of Sciences and accompanied by Heidemarie Uhl.

Mag. Stefan Benedik: Sexualised and gendered images on Central- European Romani migrations

Dr. Wolfgang Göderle: Census and Ethnicity: On the Production of Knowledge about Social Realities in the Habsburg Empire between 1848 and 1910

Dr. in Barbara Tiefenbacher: “It depends on the situation” Negotiating ethnic belongings in post-/migrant Romani communities in Austria