Looking back to look forward:  Celebrating 10 years of research on migration, forced displacement and superdiversity

University of Birmingham, 14-16 September 2022

Keynote speakers:

Professor Cecilia Menjívar, University of California Los Angeles and President of the American Sociological Association

Professor Steve Vertovec, Director of Max-Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Germany

The Institute for Research into Superdiversity (IRiS) at the University of Birmingham was founded in 2012 to break new ground in interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary research on international migration, forced displacement, and migration-driven superdiversity. Ever since, it has been at the forefront of empirical and theory-driven research into refugee and migrant integration, migration governance and ‘crisis’, research methods in/for superdiverse contexts, irregularised migration and migrants’ experiences of irregularity, youth migration, and wellbeing in different welfare regimes. For the past decade, shifts in the international order and major global and regional events have changed international and internal migration, transforming societies of immigration and emigration, in turn, challenging migration scholars to reflect on and reassess their methods and epistemologies.

Migration within and to Europe are continuing to shape local, regional and international politics, demonstrating a pressing need to decolonise research, to focus on postcolonial legacies of empire, address processes of racialisation in the Global North and develop more collaborative work challenging the sending and receiving country divide. The Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit have revived public and scholarly interests in critically examining politics and processes of international and internal politics of bordering, and into meanings and practices of citizenship. Urbanisation trends worldwide revamps research in cities and migration, as the urban becomes increasingly a prime space of exclusions and bordering but also of resistance, claiming rights and enacting belonging. Demographic changes in Europe and beyond have led to a renewed focus on migration along the life cycle, from youth mobilities to retirement migration, from first-generation migration experiences to how human mobilities in the past shape societies today. Cross-sectional and intersectional concerns such as age, racialisation, gender and sexuality inform research at all stages.

How do these changes in the global order and international migration shape research on migration today? What new concepts and theories do we need to address the challenges and opportunities of migration-driven diversity? How do local, national, international and transnational processes interact? How do migrants and other local communities respond to and act upon a rapidly changing scenario? How does the study of migration need to change to be ready for the transformations in the decade ahead?

The 10-year anniversary international conference of the Institute for Research into Superdiversity will address these questions and look at key dimensions of contemporary migration studies research, both in the past decade and for the decade ahead. We particularly welcome submissions on the following themes:

  • Urban diversity, space making and the commons
  • Researching and (re)presenting superdiversity: conceptual and methodological advances
  • Migration, citizenship and the politics of diversity after Brexit
  • Border spaces, migration infrastructure and temporalities of bordering and resistance.
  • Migrant descendants as navigators of cultural plurality
  • Transnationalism, diaspora and the state: examining the entanglement of diaspora transnationalism and state engagement
  • Research innovation and impact in migration and refugee studies
  • Forced displacement and sexual and gender-based violence
  • Family migration and intra- and inter-generational dynamics
  • Racialised and gendered youth on the move
  • Theorising the xenophobia and racism nexus: bridging divides and building alliances
  • Axes of differentiation and politics of difference: Identity politics, representations and belonging
  • Geopolitics of diversity and legacies of Empire: Provincialising Europe and decentring migration and superdiversity studies
  • Creating community-led infrastructures for research co-production
  • Linguistic citizenship: state policy and localized practice
  • Constructing diasporic links, online and offline: Languages, identities and belonging

Papers and panels can address empirical, theoretical and methodological concerns. We welcome academics from a broad range of disciplines, including anthropology, sociology, social policy, geography, sociolinguistics, history, psychology, economics, medicine, demography, politics, and development studies, policy makers and practitioners to submit innovative papers and panel proposals. Doctoral researchers are welcome to submit their work. The conference will be an opportunity to meet fellow PhD students and senior academics working on superdiversity.

Submission Guidelines

Abstracts should be submitted electronically, using the online submission page by 16th May 2022.

  • Paper: Submissions should include an abstract (max 250 words) and short biographical note (max 100 words) about the author including their current position and relevant experience related to migration and superdiversity.
  • Panel: submissions should include the names of three speakers and a chairperson, an overview abstract (max 250 words) and an abstract for each associated paper (250 words each) and a short bio for each speaker (max 100 words).

Acceptance decisions will be communicated at the end of May 2022.

Presentation Format: The selected papers will be grouped by themes in parallel sessions. Each presentation will last 20 minutes with Q&A at the end of each panel.

Travel and accommodation expenses should be covered by the participants. However, there will be a limited number of registration fee bursaries for speakers from disadvantaged backgrounds. Online participation is available.

Further info: please contact Paladia Ziss, Conference Manager p.ziss@bham.ac.uk

Conference website: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/iris-at-10