Migration Conference 2017

Country: Portugal

City: Lisbon

Abstr. due: 28.10.2016

Dates: 01.04.17 — 03.04.17

Area Of Sciences: Sociology; Political science;

Organizing comittee e-mail: jrollins@arts.ryerson.ca

Organizers: Inter-Disciplinary.Net


Migration has defined our age perhaps more than any other single issue, as the 20th and 21st centuries have been characterized by prolonged global mobility on a massive scale. Total estimates of the number of migrants, both international and internal, vary widely but the United Nations puts the number at approximately 300 million. The scale of this global migration and its effects are reshaping the world to the extent that in many areas, this level of mobility has created a new ‘normal’ or status quo that challenges the idea of the nation state and old notions of collective core identities and mainstream cultures.

Migration is routinely associated with crisis, and here, the current Syrian refugee crisis comes to mind but it is by no means the only one. Other examples of crisis migration include those connected with political uprisings, wars, famine and other environmental disasters, and various global socio-economic crises in a broad range of locations that are not isolated to one single area of the world. However, crisis is not the sole factor in determining who migrates and how. The movement of these roughly 300 million individuals, living temporarily or permanently outside their place of birth, is motivated by a heterogeneous set of circumstances. So, while some are forced to flee their homes due to conflict or disaster, others leave their homes as part of the international flow of labour in increasingly globalized economies in order to escape poverty. Some leave home not because of an acute crisis but, rather, in order to pursue opportunities in education and employment. And a relatively small group of individuals with sufficient wealth/privilege constitute a kind of transnational class of global vagabonds and migrate at will for leisure as long-term visitors/‘expats,’ with some choosing to retire in their adopted homes. Thus, for some (for example, international refugees, exiles, and IDPs or internally displaced persons), migration is a forced, violent displacement that is accompanied by the psychological trauma of the loss of one’s home/homeland, while for others it is a much more mundane necessity or even a voluntary pleasure.

Therefore, any discussion of migration needs to acknowledge this hetereogeneity, since the experience of global migration is as varied as the causes for movement. Migrants who  leave their place of birth permanently may come think of themselves as members of a diasporic community, or as transnational, and/or as citizens and become integrated into the national cultures of their new homes. As a result of xenophobia and other issues, there are those migrants who will remain disenfranchised and marginalized outsiders in their reluctant or indifferent host countries. Moreover, there are those migrants who will remain away from home only temporarily and return once academic degrees are complete, or upon retirement from the workforce, or once the conflict or disaster at home has abated. Regardless of the status or cause of their migration, each of these individuals is confronted with a variety of competing issues including acceptance and belonging, exclusion, exploitation, and issues of security and survival.  Whatever the causes of mobility, global migration has had and will continue to have significant consequences for national identities and cultures, economics, education, food security, social infrastructure including health services, and politics and governance.

This inter- and multi-disciplinary project seeks to explore the contemporary experience of migration, to pose questions about how and why people move, and study the effects of that mobility. The project seeks to examine how migration and the experiences of migration are conceived, discussed, represented, and understood, and how that understanding is subsequently applied or put into practice in governance and policy.

The Migration project encourages innovative and creative interdisciplinary dialogues. We warmly welcome papers and presentations from all disciplines, professions and vocations that struggle to understand what it means for people to experience migration and to understand the effects of that global migration. We invite presentations, informal talks, performances, workshops, directed discussions, screenings and other types of interactive engagement that address topics as they pertain to migration, including but not limited to the following:

    Child care and child development
    Discrimination/exploitation, inclusion vs. exclusion
    Economics and the global labour force
    Environment (including climate change, natural disaster)
    Famine and food security
    Gender and sex
    Governance and policy
    Health and life sciences
    Human rights
    Identities (‘home’, community, ethnicity, race, language, religion, gender, and sexuality – includes queer and gendered identities)
    Indigenous peoples
    Internally displaced persons (IDPs)
    Nationalism and nation identity
    Representing migration (including the visual and performing arts, and literary and non-literary narrative representations, both oral and written)
    Social infrastructure, social services
    Technology and social media
    Visitors, retirees, and expats (long-term)

Conference Web-Site: http://www.inter-disciplinary.net/at-the-interface/cultures-traditions-societies/research-streams/migration/call-for-presentations/