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Call for papers – Conference: Migrant Belongings Digital Practices and the Everyday

4-6 November 2020, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Submissions for panels should be submitted via e-mail to by 15 May 2020.

Abstracts should be submitted electronically, using the on-line
submission system<> by 15 June

Convenor: Sandra Ponzanesi

Confirmed keynote speakers:

Paul Gilroy (University College London)

Engin Isin (Queen Mary, University of London)

Nicholas de Genova(University of Houston)

Larissa Hjorth(RMIT University, Melbourne)

Saskia Witteborn (Chinese University of Hong Kong)

Migrant belonging through digital connectivity refers to a way of being
in the world that cuts across national borders, shaping new forms of
diasporic affiliations and transnational intimacy. This happens in ways
that are different from the ways enabled by the communication
technologies of the past. Scholarly attention has intensified around the
question of how various new technical affordances of platforms and apps
are shaping the transnationally connected, and locally situated, social
worlds in which migrants live their everyday lives.

This international conference focuses on the connection between the
media and migration from different disciplinary vantage points.
Connecting with friends, peers and family, sharing memories and
personally identifying information, navigating spaces and reshaping the
local and the global in the process is but one side of the coin of
migrant-related technology use: this Janus-faced development also
subjects individual as well as groups to increased datafied migration
management, algorithmic control and biometric classification as well as
forms of transnational authoritarianism and networked repression.

This conference pays particular attention to the everyday use of digital
media for the support of transnational lives, emotional bonds and
cosmopolitan affiliations, focusing also on the the role digital media
play in shaping local/urban and national diasporic formations. This is
because it becomes increasingly important to give everyday digital media
usage a central role in investigations of transnational belonging,
digital intimacy, diasporic community (re)production, migrant subject
formation, long-distance political participation, urban social
integration and local/national self-organization.

Therefore we need to examine individual and collective user practices
within the wider historical and cultural contexts of media studies,
cultural studies and postcolonial cultural studies scholarship, attuned
to issues of politics and power, identity, geographies and the everyday.
This also creates new challenges for cross-disciplinary dialogues that
require an integration of ethnography with digital methods and critical
data studiesin order to look at the formation of identity and
experience, representation, community building, and creating spaces of

Contributions are welcome from any field of study that engages with
questions about how technology and social media usages mediate
contemporary migration experiences, not only within media and
communication studies, or digital and internet studies but also in
neighbouring disciplines such as anthropology, postcolonial studies,
gender studies, race studies, psychology, law, visual studies, conflict
studies, criminology, sociology, critical theory, political theory and
international relations.

Contributions that explore non-media-centric entry points by focusing on
users’ digital practices and foregrounding ethnographic exploration as a
uniting framework are especially welcome.

The conference is part of the ERC project CONNECTINGEUROPE, /Digital
Crossings in Europe: Gender, Diaspora and Belonging/:

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

   * Affective digital practices and the politics of emotion
   * Digital diaspora
   * Cosmopolitanism
   * Cities and urban belonging
   * Translocality and translationalism
   * Co-presence and togetherness
   * Cultural capital
   * Migrant visualization
   * Appification of migration
   * Platformization of migrant lives
   * Gender and critical race studies
   * The migration industry of connectivity
   * Digital ethnography
   * Transnational authoritarianism
   * Networked conflicts
   * Datafication and surveillance


Submissions for panels should be submitted via e-mail to
<> by 15 May 2020.

   * Submission for panels should include a chairperson, a rationale for
     the panel (250 words), and the names of three speakersincluding
     their abstract (250 words) and biographical note (150 words).

Abstracts should be submitted electronically, using the on-line
submission system<>*by 15**June

   * Submissions for papers should include an abstract (max 300words) and
     short biographical note (150 words) about the author including
     her/his current position and interest in the field of digital media
     and migration.

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