The IMISCOE Podcast: Making migration scholars talk
The Migration Podcast is an initiative by the IMISCOE network, exploring migration and mobility research globally. It provides scholars with a platform to discuss their projects and ideas. Initiated by Dr. Fiona Seiger in 2020, the podcast has 122 active subscribers and 7,048 plays to date.
This year the team has undergone changes, with Milena Belloni, Sarah Vancluysen, and Roos Derrix becoming the team coordinators, Fiona Seiger taking temporary leave and handing production to Kate Dearden, and Asya Pisarevskaya handling financial administration and engagement.
Since its inception, the podcast aimed for a balanced representation of migration researchers in terms of geographic location, geographic focus, thematic expertise, and career stage. This principle helped to showcase perspectives and knowledge gained outside of Europe, the continent where most IMISCOE member institutes are located. For instance, our episodes included Loretta Baldassar speaking about transnational families and media use, Xinyuan Wang’s work on low-wage factory workers in China, Lukasz Szulc’ work on LGBTQ migrants in the UK and Douglas S. Massey speaking about how migration policies shaped Mexican migration to the United States.
The podcast has featured experts talking about a variety of topics including second generation migrants, the architecture of refugees' reception, South-South migration, activism and migration, and the role of art in migration research. For the upcoming season, the team plans to invite guests who work across a variety of disciplines, including anthropology, sociology, international politics, geography, philosophy, law, and human rights.
The podcast team's goal is to provide a platform to a diverse crowd of scholars. This commitment to diversity in 2023/24 is continued by way of growing the team of interviewers to thirteen enthusiastic migration communicators located across Europe and in China, Mexico, South Africa, and India are now part of the team. Keep your eyes peeled on the IMISCOE socials where the new team will be introduced. Lastly, we hope that the diversification will help them reach a wider audience and grow our listenership.
Our audience are mainly scholars working in academia (80%), as well as postgraduate and undergraduate students, and experts from the field of academic podcasting. They use the podcast for research and leisure and describe it as a ‘liberating and fun‘ approach to communicating research. Students have found our podcast informative and useful in their learning. Thus, the podcast team encourages you to use it in your teaching. Individual episodes can be used to supplement the course reading list, or it can be a tool to initiate discussions and group work among your students about such topics as misinformation on migration, forced displacement, refugee reception, migrant workers' rights and labour exploitation.
Still some listeners (about 25%) were not comfortable using podcasts to showcase their own work. We would like to change this since we need more scientists participating in informing public perceptions of migration via fact-based storytelling.
We would like to thank our former team members Dr Jolynna Sinanan, Dr Jamie Coates and Mamta Sachan Kumar for their contributions to the podcast for the past three years.