Special Issue "Transnational Families: Europe and the World"

A special issue of Genealogy (ISSN 2313-5778).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 June 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Ginger S. Frost
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of History, Samford University, Birmingham, AL 35229, USA
Interests: Britain; modern Europe; women’s studies; legal studies

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Interest in imperial and transnational history has grown exponentially in the last twenty years, but globalization and its relationship with family history remains understudied. Marrying and having children across lines of nationality, race, and empire has led to complications for the relationships between husbands and wives, parents and children, wider kin, and the state. Though many historians of empire have noted the hostility to mixed-race marriages, less attention has been given to marriages between different European countries or between Europe and the Americas. In addition, more in-depth study of the family experience of migrants, refugees, or stateless persons is necessary to understand the full tragedy of twentieth century wars and revolutions.

In order to help to fill this void, this Special Issue centers on the experience of bi- or multinational families in modern European history (1850–present) by focusing on issues of citizenship, race, and empire. Particularly in the twentieth century, populations moved continually for both political and economic reasons. Wherever people moved, they met partners, fell in love, married, and had children. How states dealt with this teeming variety differed greatly, since citizenship was not a fixed quality but one that varied based on the needs of the area. Gender, class, and race all factored into how much protection European states were willing to offer. Modern European governments wished to support family ties (and, especially, promote population growth), while at the same time they narrowed the parameters of citizenship, pushing more families to the margins. In short, mixed-nationality families faced great challenges in a nationalistic age.

Possible topics for papers include but are not limited to the following:

  • Transnational marriage and divorce
  • Married women’s denationalization and/or renationalization
  • Children’s positions in dual-nationality households
  • Transnational adoption
  • Nationality, citizenship, and race
  • War, family, and citizenship
  • Enemy alien and/or refugee families
  • Migration and the family
  • Economic strategies for diasporic or multinational families
  • Intermarriages in European empires
  • International bigamy
  • International organizations and family policy
  • Religion and cross-nationality in families
  • Fertility control and migration in family policy
  • Cultural representations of dual-nationality couples and/or their children
  • Alienage and statelessness
  • LGBTQ families across national borders

Prof. Dr. Ginger S. Frost
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Genealogy is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • family
  • marriage
  • parenthood
  • nationality
  • citizenship
  • migration
  • race
  • empire

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

Article
Precarious Transnationality in Family Relations on the Finnish-Russian Border during the Soviet and Post-Soviet Periods
Genealogy 2021, 5(4), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy5040092 - 22 Oct 2021
Viewed by 215
Abstract
The article develops the view of transnational familyhood as an affect of precarity. Transnationality itself is viewed as being defined by state actors and border regimes which make transnational connections fragile and vulnerable. The precarity is compared here with “the lease that is [...] Read more.
The article develops the view of transnational familyhood as an affect of precarity. Transnationality itself is viewed as being defined by state actors and border regimes which make transnational connections fragile and vulnerable. The precarity is compared here with “the lease that is not in your pocket”. The text assembles the authors’ ethnographic work in Finnish-Russian border areas from two decades. Using the methodology of narrative ethnography, the study creates a picture of the atmosphere and affects in which transnational familyhood has been kept alive from the early 1920s until today. The historical context of transnational familyhood is divided into four periods: the period of confrontation and wars, 1920s–1940s; the period of friendly cooperation and a selectively open border, 1950s–1980s; the post-Soviet period of a conditionally open border and migration, 1990s–2010s; and the post-Crimean period of rebordering and the securitization of the transnational everyday since 2014. The everyday reality of transnational familyhood is portrayed through the constructed figures of “Aili” and “Vera”, who represent women belonging to transnational families from different generations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transnational Families: Europe and the World)
Article
Azai Dosi Kfaang (Modern or Families of Newness): Kom Families from Village to Coast and Further Diasporic Spaces
Genealogy 2021, 5(3), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy5030079 - 31 Aug 2021
Viewed by 222
Abstract
This paper focuses on “families of newness”, which amongst the Kom of Northwest Cameroon are known as azai dosi kfaang. It argues that because of geographical and social mobility experiences, families have not remained static, and consequently, the further they go from the [...] Read more.
This paper focuses on “families of newness”, which amongst the Kom of Northwest Cameroon are known as azai dosi kfaang. It argues that because of geographical and social mobility experiences, families have not remained static, and consequently, the further they go from the village the more modernized they become. In recent times, African societies as well as family histories have been concerned with connecting with those who have been left behind. As a result, the blueprint that marks out the African family today is found in its mobility both within and out of the continent. At the same time, what glues the family together is the newer forms of technologies encapsulated in Information Communication Technologies (ICTs), which include amongst many others the cell phone, internet, WhatsApp, and Twitter. Letters pre-dated these new technologies and were significantly used by migrant families to stay “in touch”. Families began in the village, and as newer technologies were introduced—motor cars, a postal service and motorable roads—they moved or thought about places further away. With later technological developments, such as air travel and the mobile phone, families found themselves in distant diasporic spaces. This paper therefore hopes to make a contribution that relates family history and the history of migration to technology and social change. It also has the great value of discussing an area that gets too little attention in historiography. Fundamentally, the paper attempts to compare and contrast the use of technology, the news that could be shared (welfare, births, or obituaries), the length between contacts, the ability to make visits in person, the tensions that cropped up between family members abroad and those back at home in two periods, the 1930s–1940s and the 1990s to the present. What did these periods have in common? What was different and why? For the purpose of clarity, I will start the paper with a short introduction about the area, the issues of family formation, and kfaang. The second part of the paper will focus on the discussion of the “newness” of those who migrated to more modern places and the role of technology. The third part compares/contrasts the connections of families in the two periods (1930s–1940s and 1990s-present) in order to flesh out the argument. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transnational Families: Europe and the World)
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Article
Norm Localization and Contestation: The Politics of Foster Children in Turkey
Genealogy 2021, 5(1), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy5010025 - 18 Mar 2021
Viewed by 500
Abstract
International norms do not diffuse linearly; they are localized, adapted and contested at every turn. Foster care systems have been enthusiastically promoted by international organizations to serve the best interests of children. This study explores the recent adaptation of foster care (Koruyucu Aile) [...] Read more.
International norms do not diffuse linearly; they are localized, adapted and contested at every turn. Foster care systems have been enthusiastically promoted by international organizations to serve the best interests of children. This study explores the recent adaptation of foster care (Koruyucu Aile) in Turkey. This elite-driven norm change was institutionalized through comprehensive legislation, economic incentives and national campaigns, situated in the “politics of responsibility” arising from moral duty and national and religious ethics. These efforts faced early resistance, leading to slow cultivation of foster families, while over time, the foster system found unlikely allies among urban middle-class women. Using Zimmermann’s typologies of reinterpretation of norms through an analysis of narratives about foster parenting in 50 local and national TV productions, this article shows how the foster family system has evolved as a panacea for women’s empowerment in contemporary Turkish society. In parallel, Turkey has embarked on an intense criticism of the care of ethnic Turkish children in European foster care systems. However, this creative utilization of the foster system has come at the cost of the rights of biological parents and a permanency that has decoupled the Turkish foster care system from its counterparts around the world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transnational Families: Europe and the World)
Article
From Good Time Girl to Damsel in Distress: Protecting the British War Bride in the United States, 1944–1950
Genealogy 2020, 4(4), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy4040114 - 30 Nov 2020
Viewed by 635
Abstract
During the Second World War, the United Kingdom became an epicenter of transnational, especially transatlantic, marriages, but not all these marriages proved successful. As one disappointed English war bride on her way back home expressed herself, she was “Too shocked to bring her [...] Read more.
During the Second World War, the United Kingdom became an epicenter of transnational, especially transatlantic, marriages, but not all these marriages proved successful. As one disappointed English war bride on her way back home expressed herself, she was “Too shocked to bring her baby up on the black tracks of a West Virginia mining town as against her own home in English countryside of rose-covered fences.” This essay examines the government program developed to provide financial aid and legal advice to British women estranged from or abandoned by their American husbands from the passage of the 1944 Matrimonial Causes (War Marriages) Act to its winding down in 1950. The analysis draws upon a wide range of documents to survey the formulation and implementation of the government response and to consider some illustrative cases dealt with by British consular officials in the United States. These examples illuminate the gap between human behavior envisioned by policy-makers and the more varied behavior encountered by those who carried out the duties charged to them. The cases thus represent the nexus between state intervention and the individual experience of larger-scale social dynamics set off by war and the global movement of populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transnational Families: Europe and the World)
Article
A Great Desire for Children: The Beginning of Transnational Adoption in Denmark and Norway during the 1960’s
Genealogy 2020, 4(4), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy4040104 - 22 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1109
Abstract
This article examines the beginning of transnational adoption in Denmark and Norway to illuminate the role of private actors and associations in Scandinavian welfare systems. Utilizing case studies of two prominent private adoption actors, Tytte Botfeldt and Torbjørn Jelstad, the article analyzes how [...] Read more.
This article examines the beginning of transnational adoption in Denmark and Norway to illuminate the role of private actors and associations in Scandinavian welfare systems. Utilizing case studies of two prominent private adoption actors, Tytte Botfeldt and Torbjørn Jelstad, the article analyzes how these Nordic welfare states responded to the emergence of transnational adoption in comparison with both each other, neighboring Sweden, and the United States. This study shows that private actors and associations strongly influenced the nascent international adoption systems in these countries, by effectively promoting transnational adoption as a progressive and humanitarian form of global parenthood; while simultaneously emphasizing the responsibility of the welfare state to accommodate and alleviate childless couples’ human rights and need for children. A need that was strong enough that couples were willing to transcend legal, national, and racial borders. Ultimately, Danish and Norwegian authorities not only had to show leniency towards flagrant violations of adoption and child placement rules, but also change these so that families could fulfill their great need for children by legally adopting them from abroad. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transnational Families: Europe and the World)
Article
Transnational Practices and Emotional Belonging among Early 20th-Century Greek Migrants in the United States
Genealogy 2020, 4(3), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy4030090 - 27 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 748
Abstract
This article aims at studying transnational families dispersed among Greece and the United States in the first half of the twentieth century. It examines the ways in which transnationalism was a common way of being, acting and feeling strongly associated with the available [...] Read more.
This article aims at studying transnational families dispersed among Greece and the United States in the first half of the twentieth century. It examines the ways in which transnationalism was a common way of being, acting and feeling strongly associated with the available “technologies” of those times, namely photographs, letters and private financial and judicial records. The focus is purposefully micro-historical, analyzing the private collections of two families in a small mountainous village community of the Greek south. Its purpose is to manifest the ways in which transnational families communicated, exchanged items, thoughts and emotions, fulfilled economic obligations and marital aspirations and, overall, created “proxy” transnational spaces. At the same time, shifting the focus to individuals, it aims at presenting the diversities of transnationalism as a lived experience, as unfolded in the personal records of migrants and their kin. Further, it explores transnationalism as a holistic, multi-faceted and all-encompassing ground, with its dynamics influencing not only migrants, but also their families and societies back in the homeland. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transnational Families: Europe and the World)
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Article
Racialized Affectivities of (Un)Belonging: Mixed (Race) Couples in the Shadow of Brexit
Genealogy 2020, 4(3), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy4030083 - 01 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1767
Abstract
This paper explores the affective economy of (un)belonging, revealed by the UK decision to withdraw from the European Union (EU). Emerging social science research on so-called ‘Brexit’ focuses on the anticipated effects of a stricter UK immigration regime on the lives of EU [...] Read more.
This paper explores the affective economy of (un)belonging, revealed by the UK decision to withdraw from the European Union (EU). Emerging social science research on so-called ‘Brexit’ focuses on the anticipated effects of a stricter UK immigration regime on the lives of EU citizens and families. Against the background of the country’s postcolonial melancholia, and drawing from my ethnographic fieldwork in England (2018–2019), this paper discusses how British and mixed-migration status, mixed (race) couples narrate the impact of the poll’s outcome on their affective orientations towards the UK and the EU. It shows how race inflects partners’ different perception of Brexit as a historical rupture or as an event in a continuum; as a loss of entitlement to mobility in space, or of the legitimacy of permanence in place; as a lingering danger, or a magnifier of existing patterns of violence. By putting Black and mixed-race partners’ narratives center stage, this paper traces three scenes of expression of their perceived contested and precarious belonging: the ordinariness of racism in the UK, the mistrust in the durability of the boundaries of inclusion drawn by the British state, and a heightened alertness for fear of escalating racist and homophobic violence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transnational Families: Europe and the World)
Article
‘Vindictiveness on Account of Colour’?: Race, Gender, and Class at the English Divorce Court, 1872–1939
Genealogy 2020, 4(3), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy4030082 - 01 Aug 2020
Viewed by 604
Abstract
This article uses 116 divorce or separation cases involving people of color between 1872 and 1940 to interrogate the role of the state in adjudicating racially mixed marriages in Britain. These examples demonstrate the rising population of imperial subjects within the U.K., but [...] Read more.
This article uses 116 divorce or separation cases involving people of color between 1872 and 1940 to interrogate the role of the state in adjudicating racially mixed marriages in Britain. These examples demonstrate the rising population of imperial subjects within the U.K., but also that marital cases could reverse in-migration, due to embarrassment and expense for all parties. In addition, gender and class factors limited the impact of race in the court. Men’s advantages in bringing cases overcame some racial prejudices, and rich men, whatever their color, could hire effective representation. Race only impacted divorce cases when women could play on stereotypes of violent men, or when men of color were co-respondents and thus broke up homes. Still, the number of undefended cases limited the influence of race in most divorce suits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transnational Families: Europe and the World)
Article
Shifting Racial Boundaries and Their Limits. German Women, Non-European Men, and the Negotiation of Sexuality and Intimacy in Nazi Germany
Genealogy 2020, 4(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy4010030 - 20 Mar 2020
Viewed by 792
Abstract
This essay examines the cultural, ethnic, and “racial” boundaries of the National Socialist “Volksgemeinschaft” based on planned, failed, and completed marriages between German women and non-European men in the early twentieth century. From evidence in the relevant files from the Federal Archives and [...] Read more.
This essay examines the cultural, ethnic, and “racial” boundaries of the National Socialist “Volksgemeinschaft” based on planned, failed, and completed marriages between German women and non-European men in the early twentieth century. From evidence in the relevant files from the Federal Archives and the Political Archive of the Federal Foreign Office, this essay discusses male partners from various countries of origin as examples of the role of the state in racially mixed unions. The reactions of the institutional actors and the couples themselves demonstrated the surprising ambivalence of National Socialist racial policy due to political and diplomatic requirements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transnational Families: Europe and the World)
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