Critical Approaches to Romani Studies Online Conference 31 May – 4 June 2021

Critical Approaches to Romani Studies

Online conference organized by the Romani Studies Program at Central European University 
in partnership with the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture

draft program
31 May – 4 June 2021

Roma have been an object of academic inquiry for centuries. In spite of the increasing number of articles, studies, and books, especially since the collapse of communism, Roma participation in shaping the discourses on themselves has remained very limited. In the name of scientism and objectivity, Roma have been de facto excluded from knowledge production. 

Recently, an increasing number of activist scholars has been urging a paradigm shift in Romani Studies to challenge the dominant academic and policy discourses. They propose inquiries into the forms of oppression Roma are facing, the importance of racism and structural discrimination for Roma and Romani identity. The conference brings together junior and senior, Roma and non-Roma scholars embracing critical approaches.

This year’s conference includes a special panel on the restitution of Romani artworks and artefacts. Recent struggles for racial justice and decolonization force cultural institutions, museums, and galleries all over the world to critically reflect on their past, their exhibited objects, and their present narratives. Similarly to that of other colonized communities, Romani culture has been perceived and studied as “exotic”, “oriental”, “primitive”, and “naïve art”. Romani artefacts and artworks have been “collected” by museums and galleries all over Europe. 

Selected papers will be published in the open access journal Critical Romani Studies. Earlier issues are available at