RSP MA-level Courses

The following courses are offered  by the Romani Studies Program to MA and PhD students in the 2021/2022 academic year. The courses can be taken within the framework of the advanced certificate or simply as elective courses (outside of the certificate program).

Fall term:

RSP5066 Patterns of exclusion, dilemmas of inclusion: Roma policies and politics in the 21st century

Marton Rovid

2 credits, 2021-22 Fall term 

        Hybrid teaching:

        - onsite at the Vienna Campus, room: QS D-107 Thursdays 17.40-19.20

        - online participation: please see in the course description 

The aim of this course is to introduce students to various forms of social exclusion Roma face in the 21st century, and the dilemmas policy-makers, NGOs and activists encounter when promoting the equality of Roma. The course is composed of three parts. First, the debates on ‘Who are the Roma?’ are discussed. Shall the ‘Roma’ be seen as a non-territorial nation, the biggest European minority or as a label referring to diverse ethnic groups or a socio-ethnic class? Theoretical questions of labelling, group-making and self-determination are examined in view of the case of Roma.  The second part discusses the various patterns of exclusion Roma face (in the fields of education, labour market and residence). Debates on the relation between recognition and redistribution, as well as ethnicity and poverty are studied. Furthermore, the applicability of the analytical category of ‘underclass’ to case of Roma is examined. The third part of the course analyses the role of various actors and the dilemmas they face when promoting the participation, equality, and inclusion of Roma. The foremost theories of multiculturalism and the main forms of political autonomy are discussed. Particular attention is paid to the role of NGOs and international organizations in the codification, spread and acceptance of norms in relation to Roma. The challenges and shortcomings of Roma inclusion policies and National Roma Integration Strategies are discussed in depth. The course ends by reflecting on how to tackle enduring form of injustice.


Winter Term:

RSP5061 Critical Approaches to Romani Studies

Angéla Kócze, Márton Rövid

4 credits, 2021-22 Winter term

(Thursdays 17.40-19.20)

The course aims to re-envision Romani Studies through a critical lens and discuss further possibility to use new theoretical frameworks such as gender, critical race, and post-colonial theories to understand the situation of Roma in the context of changing social, economic, cultural, and political landscapes in Europe. Students will discuss concepts and arguments from the orientalist folklorist via anthropological and sociological studies and engage with emancipatory scholarship.

Learning outcomes:

By the end of the course, student should be able to:

    • understand key concepts and approaches in Romani studies
    • form theoretically and historically grounded understanding of the main ways in which anti-Romani racism operate
    • critically reflect upon academic and policy papers on Romani people
    • present coherent arguments in both oral and written forms in English



Spring Term

RSP 5065 Race, justice, solidarity: addressing anti-Roma Racism in contemporary Europe

Márton Rövid

2 credits, 2021-22 Spring term

(Schedule - TBC)

The growing literature on racial justice in the field of political theory usually tracks the legacy of colonialism and imperialism, white settlement and African slavery, that systematically privileges ‘whites’ globally, and that needs to be ‘repaired’. The moral grounding and forms of reparations are highly debated not only in academia but in countless political fora. However, both academic and political debates have largely taken place in post-colonial contexts and ignored the enduring forms of injustice Romani peoples face.

In the course we are going to assess the relevance of normative debates around racial justice for the case of Roma in two steps. First, arguments on the forms, desirability, and feasibility of reparations are reviewed. Some scholars distinguish remembrance, reconciliation, restorative justice, and reparations. The United Nations distinguishes five forms of reparations: restitution, compensation, rehabilitation, satisfaction, and guarantees of non-repetition. We discuss the relation between racial justice and democratic solidarity. Second, contemporary academic and political debates on anti-gypsyism are assessed in light of the literature on racial justice. To what extent and under what conditions can social and education policies remedy enduring racial injustice? What is the relation between social inclusion and tackling anti-gypsyism? Who and on what grounds can demand racial justice on behalf of Roma? Who have benefited from the exploitation of Roma and who bear responsibility for past and present forms of oppression? What are the responsibilities of so-called post-socialist states, churches, companies, settlements? To what extent is it desirable and feasible to tackle white privilege in Eastern Europe?


LEGS5172  Critical Race Theory: Race and Law from the United States to Europe 

Angéla Kócze, Mathias Möschel

2 credits, 2021-22 Spring term

(Schedule TBC)

Critical Race Theory emerged in American legal academia at the end of the 1980s as a critique of the limitations both of orthodox liberal civil rights scholarship and of the failure to address race by scholars belonging to Critical Legal Studies. Since then, critical race theorists have developed a rich body of scholarship and critique. This course will thus explore what hides behind the ideas and concepts of „interest convergence”, „intersectionality”, „unconscious racism”, „white privilege” and „legal storytelling”. This will allow at the same time to better understand the developments of legal social theories concerning race issues in the United States from the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to today’s „post-racial” articulations after the election of President Obama. Race, racialization, racism and its humiliation and inferiorization historically produced and contemporarily articulated, yet so often in denial in Europe. The prevailing myth of „European colorblindness” masks Europe as a space which never was “racial”. Thus it makes difficult to challenge the narrative within a European theoretical framework that constantly treats race as an external issue that does not need to be theorized. Some scholars name it as a „racial amnesia”, which contributes to the erasure of the history of European racism and the history of Europeans of color that makes unspeakable the processes of internal racialization. Critical Race Theory can challenge the „European colorblindness” by providing theorizations of the racilization of Roma and the extremely violent anti-Gypsyism that only recently receives some theorization in academia. This course examines the geneology and applicability of Critical Race Theory in in Europe, particularly in the case of racialized groups, such as Roma.

To learn more about the topics you will be discussing in the courses, you can review the previous syllabi of RSP5066  and RSP5061 .