Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Berlin Institute for Empirical Integration and Migration Research (BIM)

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | BIM | Projects | Migration, Labour, Digitalisation and Racism (Study Group)

Migration, Labour, Digitalisation and Racism (Study Group)

Project Team


• Moritz Altenried

is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for European Ethnology and the Berlin Institute for Integration and Migration Research (BIM) at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Before this, he was a research fellow at the Institute of Sociology and Cultural Organization (ISCO) and the Centre for Digital Cultures (CDC) at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg, completed his Ph.D. on the transformation of labour in digital capitalism at Goldsmiths University of London, and studied social science and cultural studies in Berlin and London. His research focuses include labour, digitisation, migration, platforms and delivery logistics, the political economy of the digital sphere, as well as logistics and infrastructure. His latest monograph, The Digital Factory, was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2022.


• Stefania Animento, Ph.D.

was a post-doctoral researcher at Leuphana University Lüneburg and at Humboldt University Berlin in the H2020-research project PLUS (Platform Labour in Urban Spaces).
Her work focuses on urban research and the sociology of labour and migration. She is interested in the relationship between class and migration and the valorisation of mobility in digital capitalism.


• Sabrina Apicella

did her doctorate at the ISKO of the Leuphana University of Lüneburg on strike motivations in the European mail order business using the example of Amazon distribution centres.


• Rabea Berfelde

is a PhD candidate in Cultural Studies at  Goldsmiths College (University of London). Her research analyses the impact of financialisation on labour relations and urban spatial production.


• Manuela Bojadžijev

Professor at the Institute for European Ethnology at Humboldt University. She is currently Vice-Dean for International Affairs at the Faculty of Humanities and heads the doctoral committee of the Institute for European Ethnology. Together with Wolfgang Kaschuba, she also heads the department "Integration, Social Networks and Cultural Lifestyles" at the Berlin Institute for Empirical Integration and Migration Research (BIM), Humboldt University Berlin.
Her work focuses on research into globalised and digital cultures as well as migration in a global perspective. In addition to conceptual, methodological and epistemic questions of migration research, she is interested in the "dispute over migration" in migration societies, and how social changes are narrated, lived and contested in and through modes of representation of migration and flight. She also investigates current transformation processes of mobility and migration as well as racism, in interplay with changes in work and everyday life through digitalisation and logistics, predominantly in urban spaces and in geopolitical constellations. She is currently leading a number of research projects on this topic (funded by the Berlin University Alliance (BUA) Grand Challenge "Social Cohesion", the European programmes H2020 and HERA as well as by the Volkswagen Foundation and the DFG). Her most important publications include Turbulente Ränder. Neue Perspektiven auf Migration an den Grenzen Europas (2007; 2012; as part of Transit Migration Research Group), Die windige Internationale (2008; 2012) and Race, Nation, Class: Rereading a Dialogue for our Times (2018; mit Katrin Klingan.)

Together with author Carolin Emcke, she curated the Archive of Refuge at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin. The online archive on the history and present of flight to Germany (funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation) with 42 biographical narrative interviews as well as educational material can be found here:


• Dennis Eckhardt

is a postdoc-researcher at the FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg at the chair for sociology (technique - labor/work - society) by Prof. Dr. Sabine Pfeiffer. He is engaged in making everyday digitization secure in a sustainable way by working at the research project ForDaySec. He finished his dissertation in 2022 with the title “working in and on the comparison platform. Assembling, intermediating and constituting the world in an e-commerce-enterprise” at the Institute for European Ethnology at the Humboldt-University in Berlin. Before that, he studied Cultural Anthropology, European Ethnology and Social Sciences in Frankfurt (Main) and Berlin. Main interests in Media and Digital Anthropology, STS, infrastructures, labor culture research, the sociology of work, industries and organizations and approaches in relational anthropology. More information and a list of publications can be found


• Ivo Eichhorn

Research assistant at the Chair of Social Philosophy, Institute of Philosophy, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main; dissertation project with the working title: "Denken der Menge. Spinoza und die Politik der Kollektivbildungen".


• Daniel Fuchs

is a post-doctoral researcher at the Institute for Asian and African Studies at Humboldt University in Berlin. He completed his PhD at SOAS (University of London) with a research project on labour struggles of migrant workers in Chengdu and Chongqing (PR China) in the context of industrial relocation processes. His current research focuses on labour relations, migration, social movements and industrial policy in China.


• Alexander Harder

is doing his doctorate at the Institute for Sociology and Cultural Organisation (ISKO) at Leuphana University Lüneburg. His research, ethnographic and media anthropological, focuses on the role of transformations in work and everyday life in the rise of the European right, with a particular interest in the digital environments that come into play in this process.
He is a project collaborator in the international research project CURE - Cultures of Rejection, funded by the Volkswagen Foundation (2019-2022).


• Umut Ibis

is doing his doctorate at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg and researching the effects of right-wing populism on migrants.
He pursues the thesis of how the rise of right-wing populism not only increasingly normalises racist language and institutionalises more and more right-wing extremist practices, but also how previously fought-for possibilities of legal and symbolic participation come under threat as a result.
Right-wing populist invocations contain discursive and practical invocations towards migrantised people, which are the focus of this research.


• Laura-Solmaz Litschel

works as research assistant in the international research project »NITE-Night spaces: Migration, Culture and IntegraTion in Europe« and is an associated member of the Centre for Digital Cultures at Leuphana University Lüneburg. She conducts research on digitally organized, migrant night work in the ‘Smart City’ Berlin. In this context she deals with the question how the so-called 24/7 city is further expanded and promoted by new digital services such as crowdwork, parcel delivery services, food delivery services and mobility services, and what kind of work realities this kind of new digital night work promotes.


• Mouna Maaroufi

researched in her dissertation how infrastructures of labour market participation have changed in contiguity with a multiplication and logistification of labour and articulations of racism since the ‘Summer of Migration’ but are also being appropriated, negotiated and refused. During her PhD she was also working part-time as a labour rights advisor for migrants for Arbeit und Leben eV. Currently she is a post-doc in the project “Enacting Citizenship and Solidarity in Europe “From Below”: Local Initiatives, Intersectional Strategies, and Transnational Networks” at the university Hamburg.


• Fabian Namberger

recently completed his PhD dissertation at Goldsmiths, University of London. In his thesis ‘Uberising the Urban. Labour, Infrastructure and Big Data in the Actually Existing Smart City of Toronto’ Fabian explores how Uber reformats the urban and vice versa. Rather than taking for granted Uber’s success in remoulding the emerging ‘smart city’ in its own image, Uberising the Urban pays close attention to the contradictory, variegated and far from frictionless encounters between Uberisation and urbanisation. The thesis is particularly interested in those neuralgic points of contact where the abstract logics of Uber’s business model – its vectors of data extraction, labour exploitation and platform expansion – hit the urban ground of existing social and physical geographies.


• Valentin Niebler

is a PhD candidate at Humboldt Universität zu Berlin. His research looks at labor conflicts and coalition building in the tech sector. Previously, he worked as a researcher in the Horizon 2020 project PLUS (Platform Labour in Urban Spaces), which investigates the impact of the expansion of digital platforms on labor in cities. In recent years, he was involved with the Centre for Digital Cultures (Leuphana University Lüneburg), the Fairwork Foundation (Oxford Internet Institute) and with the project 'Trade Unions in Transition 4.0' (Friedrich Ebert Foundation). He has studied Social Sciences at Humboldt University Berlin, the University of Würzburg and the New School for Social Research in New York.


• Christian Sowa

In his PhD project at SOAS, University of London, Christian Sowa investigates the accommodation of refugees in Berlin in relation to questions of logistics, housing and differential inclusion in the city.


• Mira Wallis

is a research associate and PhD student at the Institute for European Ethnology and the Berlin Institute for Migration Research (BIM) at the Humboldt University of Berlin. Her research interests include digital labour, platform capitalism, logistics, migration and social reproduction. As part of her PhD research she currently investigates digital and home-based platform labour in Germany and Romania.


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