Decolonialising Gender and Migration - GenSeM first Migration Dialogue

22 October 2020

In setting up GenSeM, we listed a number of activities that we wanted to organise. Among those was to create a constructive and committed space where members could present their work done in the field of Migration, Gender and Sexuality. In this spirit, we launched the GenSeM Migration Dialogues on October 21st, 2020.

In this highly successful first Dialogue, Professor Eleonore Kofman and Dr Tanja Bastia discussed how we can decolonise gender and migration. Taking Eleonore’s latest work, recently published in Comparative Migration Studies, on decolonizing the field of gender and migration as a starting point, we discussed what it may mean, how it could be done, by whom, and for whom.

 We were joined by over 100 people and colleagues could join us from Japan, Pakistan, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, the UK, among others. We engaged in a conversation about who produces knowledge about gender and migration, how that knowledge is circulated, what we are missing out (unwittingly, perhaps) in using Western understandings of gender and intersectionality, what types of migration are deemed worthy of study.

Decolonialising Gender and Migration - GenSeM first Migration Dialogue

One of the key questions we discussed at length was how can we unsettle the current status quo in gender and migration research? Many suggestions were made by the presenters and the audience. Among those, to look at the early works in the field, which gave more prominence to theoretical and empirical scholarship outside Europe and North America, to incorporate more proactively research written in other languages than English, and to establish more horizontal, small-scale collaborations with non-Western colleagues.

We all agree that how to decolonialise the field of gender and migration is not a task that will be addressed in one seminar and we are keen on keeping the momentum going. Therefore, we will organise other activities around this theme in the near future. In the meantime, both Eleonore and Tanja have kindly shared the readings and names of organisations they referred to in their presentations. These can be found here.

If you would like to join us in this conversation, join our email list by contacting us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and follow us on Twitter

In the meantime, a wholehearted thank you to Tanja and Eleonore for sharing their thoughts, and to the audience for their insightful comments.

Latest News

IMISCOE conference organizing committee

Extended submission-deadline, IMISCOE's 18th Annual Conference

Deadline: 8 January (23:59 CET)
Because of the special times we are in, we would like to offer you extra flexibility and postpone the deadline until January 8, 2021 (23:59 CET).

read more

Elsa Mescoli

Scale Shifting: New Insights into Global Literary Circulation

01 December 2020
Journal of World Literature, Volume 5 (2020): Issue 4 (Nov 2020): Special Issue: Scale Shifting: New Insights into Global Literary Circulation, edited by Wiebke Sievers and Peggy Levitt This special issue on scale shifting brings into sharper focus the...
Elsa Mescoli

Arts and Antiracism in post-migration societies

11 December 2020
An online scientific event organised by the University of Padova and CEDEM as part of the DIVCULT SC activities. The programme of the event includes panel discussions and film screening, and it is accessible here: pdf Arts and Antiracism ( 362 KB )....
Ryerson University

SAVE THE DATE: online conference - Migration and the Future of Work - Ryerson University

23 November 2020
Join the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Migration and Integration program for its second annual international conference. Our 2021 conference will investigate the impact of technological change on the future of work and how this is transforming...

read more

Patrick Simon

CfP: Discrimination and Racism in Cross-National Perspective

Deadline: 27 November, 2020
For a long time, racism has been studied without references to discrimination and was mainly conceived as a specific expression of prejudice. The retreat from blatant form of racism that were not tolerate any more to more subtle and systemic forms of...

read more