The Swansea-Sorbonne Migration Network was pleased to host our first postgraduate and early career researcher conference Migration, Mobilities and Emerging Political Spaces at Swansea University (Wales) from Tuesday May 24th to Wednesday May 25th, 2022.
The event was organised by Dr Franz Bernhardt, Swansea University and Mila Sanchez, Swansea University and Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne.
The event brought together contemporary research from notable academics from the UK, France, Denmark and Italy and inspiring papers from several postgraduate students, early career researchers and emerging academics working on a wide range of topics surrounding issues of migration, mobility, and the politics of space. The conference also welcomed local civil society organisations supporting refugees and asylum seekers, such as Swansea City of Sanctuary and the Ethic Youth Support Team (EYST) to showcase and exhibit their important work and to put them into conversation with our attending academics. The event was funded by the Morgan Advanced Studies Institute (MASI) at Swansea University and by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Wales Doctoral Training Centre and is organised in collaboration with the Centre for Migration Policy Research (CMPR) at Swansea University and Sorbonne University.
Academic conference theme: Migration, Mobilities and Emerging Political Spaces
The conference theme engaged with how political movements and migrants do experience, navigate, and assemble political space. This theme is anchored in contemporary debates in International Political Sociology (IPS) seeking to conceptualize movement in ways that often challenge and/or exceed established sociological political categories (including identity, the people, citizenship, sovereignty etc.). In these debates, migration is understood as an analytical lens which enables the politicization of practices of mobility, but also highlights and makes visible the exclusionary boundaries of what are commonly considered "political spaces”.
From this starting point, ideas and themes emerging from the reading group influenced the make-up and structure of the conference, with panels and discussions that critically engaged migration concepts and issues including affect, integration, visibility, control, sovereignty, risk, fear, management, resistance, and the nation-state. We thus invited postgraduates, early career researchers, scholars and others directly concerned with theoretical and pragmatic questions about migration and mobility to apply and/or attend with presentations and/or advanced stage works-in-progress to share and discuss in an open, cross-disciplinary environment.
The Swansea-Sorbonne Migration Network and the Online Migration Reading Group
The Swansea-Sorbonne Migration Network contributes to the development of Migration Research Wales (a new research network on migration within the Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods) and started with a monthly Migration Reading Group.
The concept of the Migration Reading Group is that we will hold a series of reading sessions to critically engage migration concepts and issues affecting our world such as “deportation”, “integration”, “visibility”, “control”, “risk”, “fear”, “management”, “resistance” and the “nation-state”.