Narratives for Europe: Reading Room - Rainer Ohliger

Rainer Ohliger

born in 1967, studied history, economics and demography at the University of Freiburg and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. From 1995 to 2004 he worked as researcher at Humboldt-University Berlin (Social Science Department). From 2004 to 2007 he was European Associate Director of the euro-transatlantic organisation Humanity in Action, Inc. In 2001, he co-founded the Network Migration in Europe e.V. He is member of its board of directors. The Network’s activities include research and consultancy in the areas of immigration, integration and diversity. Ohliger’s research focuses on questions of international and historical migration, interethnic relations and education in immigrant societies. Among his publications are European Encounters: Migrants, Migration and European Societies since 1945, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003 (co-edited with Karen Schönwälder and Triadafilos Triadafilopoulos); Cross Over Geschichte: Historisches Bewusstsein Jugendlicher in der Einwanderungsgesellschaft, Hamburg: edition Körber, 2009 (co-edited with Viola Georgi). A recent product work product is the short film and website: Migrants Moving History: Narratives of Diversity in Europe ( The film was nominated as one of the top 100 German short films in 2009.

Migrants Moving History: European Narratives of Diversity

Immigrants are not yet seen as an essential part of Europe or its nations; rather, they serve as entities against which excluding and exclusive collective narratives and identities are forged.

What role do immigrants play in the construction of historical narratives within a uniting Europe? Can the cultural diversity spurred by immigration be included in new European narratives of diversity? What would such broadened historical pictures look like? In this essay (PDF), Rainer Ohliger provides some answers to these questions, which lay behind the project Migrants Moving History: European Narratives of Diversity.

Narratives for Europe Reading Room

We invite you to read the contributions from journalists, researchers, writers who are, as we, investigating and questioning European Narratives and their making in the present and the future.