IMISCOE Standing Committee “Reflexivities in Migration Studies”: Call for Proposals for the 20th IMISCOE Annual Conference, 3-6 July 2023, Warsaw & online

27 October 2022

The aim of this Standing Committee is to push forward a reflexive (and self-reflexive) perspective within migration studies. Given the growth, relevance and responsibility of migration studies, we strive to promote reflexivity in our research and to investigate on how the field of migration studies has emerged. Being reflexive in these two senses involves investigating how knowledge on migration is produced, circulated and utilized – both by us as researchers as well by other actors in the field.

This endeavour tackles the embeddedness of the field of migration studies in wider societal and power relations and the risk to reproduce hegemonic structures. Hence, studying knowledge production cannot be separated from studying eurocentrism, racism, situated positions of researchers, or contested public debates on “truth” or “fake-news”. Studying knowledge circulation requires examining patterns of knowledge utilization in policy, politics, or state institutions. Equally important is to analyse the transfer of migration-related knowledge produced by other actors, like mass media, so-called migrants themselves, civil society actors, international organizations, or social science disciplines.

For migration studies as field of research, becoming reflexive changes its positionality. The reflexive approach that we pursue emphasizes the boundedness of knowledge about migration to specific epistemological, methodological and political modes of knowledge production. The awareness that modes of conceiving and researching migration are inevitably historical and theoretically contingent shall feed back into the ways of how knowledge is produced. Consequently, the objectives of this SC are to:
-promote reflexivity amongst migration scholars
-provide a platform for research on knowledge production, circulation and utilization in migration studies
-address the risk of migration studies of reproducing hegemonic structures and problem definitions
-develop alternatives in theory, empirical research and science-society dialogues

The Standing Committee on Reflexivities in Migration Studies calls for panel, workshop, and paper proposals that fall into the framework of the Standing Committee.
In addition to the above, for the 2023 Annual Conference the Standing Committee on Reflexivities in Migration Studies is particularly interested in paper proposals related to the two sessions below:

Session Convenors: Janine Dahinden, Oleyna Feyduk, Halleh Ghorashi, Kesi Mahendran, Marta Kindler, Andreas Pott, Gunjan Sondhi (members of the board of directors of the SC).

Session I Boundary spanners: Reflexive practices that unsettle bordering in migration (studies)
The IMISCOE Standing Committee “Reflexivities in Migration Studies” calls for contributions which reflect on the role of boundary spanners in knowledge production and investigate practices of unsettling bordering. The world deals with one human crisis after another, and the dominance of bordering practices results in growing dehumanization of ‘the stranger’. According to Bracha Ettinger, artist, psychoanalyst, and feminist theorist, the border is not a line that separates ‘us’ and ‘them’ but a shared field that joins the ‘self’ and the ‘other’, a densely woven web of connections, movements and interactions. In this alternative visualization of borders we can see the role of individuals and organizations who act as boundary spanners. These are the ones who cross over boundaries of the self and other, of separated nations and academic disciplines and various forms of knowledge, to create innovative connections which acknowledge, rather than erase, humanity. The in-between positionalities of boundary-spanners disrupt dominant bordering practices.

With this visualization in mind, we call for papers which go beyond descriptions of dehumanising bordering discourses and practices , but adapt a broader reflexive lens that engages with societal actors whose actions unsettle the bordering practices. Boundary spanners embrace an in-between position to mediate, bridge and act as brokers who challenge the dichotomies of difference and help reimagine borders as a shared field that includes mobility of people. These are NGO’s and various professionals in the field of migration, who connect the lived experiences of migrants with institutional knowledge and search for solutions in-between the lines of separating structures. Also, migration scholars can use their theoretical knowledge and methodological capabilities to collaborate with engaged actors in the field and/or activate knowledge for bettering the situation at the borders. And migrant and refugee advocates can use their in-between position to connect institutional efforts with firsthand experiences and challenges.

The session’s aim is twofold: (i) to reflect on the character and impact of boundary-spanners in knowledge production (ii) to explore how to include different actors involved in unsettling bordering practices?

We are inviting paper proposals addressing the following questions:
● How do boundary spanners shape and participate in knowledge production?
● How can we critique bordering without excluding all actors affected by and involved in these processes?
● How do we identify bordering practices, including racism, its narratives and excuses?
● What kind of actors do we see invested with different forms of power at the EU borders (e.g. securitisation, criminalisation of civil society by state actors)?
● Who are the boundary spanners in the current reception-crisis in the EU?

We particularly welcome proposals from early career stage scholars.
Disclaimer on funding: The Standing Committee "Reflexivities in Migration Studies" encourages participation of colleagues from all backgrounds and career stages. To facilitate this, we can offer co-funding for participation for early career researchers, scholars at risk, colleagues from the Global South or people who have difficulties funding their conference participation for other reasons.

Session II The practice of reflexivities in research
The IMISCOE Standing Committee “Reflexivities in Migration Studies” calls for contributions which critically reflect on the practice of reflexivities in research.
There is a large body of academic work that critically examines the political, ethical and theoretical problems of migration studies. For example, many scholars have highlighted the embeddedness of migration studies in nation-state centred epistemologies or pointed out the danger of migration studies reproducing coloniality. These works do a good job of questioning categorisations, concepts and theories. In contrast, there is less literature that shows the changes in everyday (empirical) research practice when scholars apply a reflexive view. What do we understand by reflexivity and how do we put reflexivity into practice? What does reflexivity change in fieldwork, concepts, collaboration, theories, power relations etc.?

We are inviting paper proposals addressing the following questions:
● How does a reflexive lens change knowledge production in practice?
● How do we put into practice a reflexive lens in our research?
● How do we conceptualize and practice reflexivity in various research, methodological and knowledge production contexts?
● What are the consequences of practicing reflexivities for our research? How can reflexivity change the outcomes, productions, dissemination and application of our research?
● How do these new practices change power relations and impact on forms of collaboration and knowledge production? What is the role of reflexivity in collaborative projects and knowledge production?

We particularly welcome proposals from early career stage scholars.
Disclaimer on funding: The Standing Committee "Reflexivities in Migration Studies" encourages participation of colleagues from all backgrounds and career stages. To facilitate this, we can offer co-funding for participation for early career researchers, scholars at risk, colleagues from the Global South or people who have difficulties funding their conference participation for other reasons.

Should you wish to propose a paper for the two sessions described above, please send your abstract (250 words) and a short biographical note (150 words) to the coordinator of the Standing Committee, Anna-Lisa Müller (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) by 18/11/2022.

For all other submissions for the SC Reflexivities, please follow the instructions below.

Individual Paper Proposals
Paper proposals should include a 250-word abstract and the name, affiliation and contact details of the author(s). Individual papers will be thematically clustered into panels. We strongly encourage authors to highlight the conceptual and methodological novelty of their contribution.

Panel Proposals
Panel proposals should include a 250-word abstract of the theme of the panel, together with min 3/max 5 thematically consistent and related 250-word paper abstracts. Submissions should also include the name, affiliation and contact details of the chair(s), discussant(s) and author(s) of each paper.

Workshop Proposals
Proposals can also be submitted for workshops. This can be, for example, book workshops, policy workshops or round tables focusing on specific topics, with the aim of discussing research or outlining future research agendas. Submissions for workshops should include a maximum of 400-word abstract as well as the names, affiliations and contact details of the organizer(s) and workshop participants (up to 10 participants, excluding the workshop chairs).

The deadline for submitting proposals is 5 December 2022 (23:59 CET). Please submit your proposals through the IMISCOE submission platform and link them to the SC “Reflexivities in Migration Studies”.

 

Latest News

IMISCOE Network Office

2023 IMISCOE PhD School

Deadline: 08.01.2023
Call for Application for the 2023 IMISCOE PhD School: Critical Reflections on Migration Studies, Racism and Discrimination on 24-28 of April 2023 (on-site at Vrije Universiteit Brussel). The event is organised by the Brussels Interdisciplinary Research...
IMISCOE Network Office

CfP 20th IMISCOE Annual Conference

Deadline: 05.12.2022
We are delighted to announce the Call for Proposals for the 2023 IMISCOE Annual Conference! The DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS is December 5th, 2022.
IMISCOE Network Office

CfP 2023 IMISCOE Spring Conference

Deadline: 09.12.2022
Call for Papers for the 2023 IMISCOE Spring Conference: Postcolonial migrations- heritages, specificities, mobilizations, on 15-17 of March 2023 (hybrid event in Nice & online). The event is organised by Unité de Recherche Migrations Sociétés (URMIS),...

read more

Elsa Mescoli

CALL FOR PAPERS - ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2023 Sustainable food and cultural diversity: discourses and practices

Deadline 2/12/2022
Sustainable food and cultural diversity: discourses and practices Organiser: Elsa Mescoli, CEDEM – ULiège This panel aims to discuss ongoing research on the ways in which cultural diversity is included or excluded in contemporary discourse and practice...
Elsa Mescoli

CALL FOR PAPERS - ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2023 Celebratory Migranticization? Questioning the Histories and Practices of Racialization in the Arts

Deadline 3/12/2022
Celebratory Migranticization? Questioning the Histories and Practices of Racialization in the Arts We are a transdisciplinary research collective interested in critical approaches and creative engagements with arts, aesthetics, and race in migration and...