Olaf Zenker is professor and chair of sociocultural anthropology in the Department of Anthropology and Philosophy at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany. With a focus on Southern Africa, Northern Ireland, and Germany, his research interests include political and legal issues such as statehood, bureaucracy, the rule of law, normative pluralities, inequality, sentiments of justice as well as conflict and identity formations that also permeate the affective dynamics in the digital transformation of German immigration management. His book publications include the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Law and Anthropology (co-edited with Marie-Claire Foblets, Mark Goodale, and Maria Sapignioli).
Panel "Affect Works": Affective Digital Bureaucracies: Affective Afterlives of Digitalizing Diversity in the Administration of Migration in Germany
28th May 11.30 am – 01.00 pm | Larissa Vetters & Olaf Zenker
We take up the conference’s invitation to consider the multiple intertwined processes of institutionalizing diversity and their affective repercussions within and beyond institutional settings, by exploring how these play out in that field of German public administration which is tasked with the management of immigration and integration. Focusing on the BAMF, the federal office for migration and refugees, we trace the affective afterlives of administratively and statistically domesticating plurality into contingent forms of diversity. We will present four snapshots of how knowledge about diversity is at the same time processed and produced within the BAMF. We conclude with a reflection on how work affects and affects work in and through these processes.