Joint conference of ‘Diaspora, migration and the media’ and ‘International and Intercultural Communication’ sections of ECREA
2-3 November 2017, University of Basque Country, Bilbao (Spain)
MIGRATION AND COMMUNICATION FLOWS: RETHINKING BORDERS, CONFLICT AND IDENTITY THROUGH THE DIGITAL
“We are faced with a crisis of humanity, and the only exit from this crisis is to recognize our growing interdependence as a species and to find new ways to live together in solidarity and cooperation, amidst strangers who may hold opinions and preferences different from our own.” Zygmunt Bauman, Strangers at our door (Polity, 2016)
Migration, cultural diversity and the media are increasingly problematized. Europe appears to be crumbling down in the current moment as a result of the Brexit vote, the election of Donald Trump and the so-called ‘European Refugee Crisis’. This is illustrated by hoaxes and fake news messages on these themes that serve as popular clickbait on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. As media outlets seek to address these ‘post-Truth’ conditions, populist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, racist and neo-nationalist rhetoric and sentiments have grown excessively across social media. Meanwhile, the number of internal and external European borders proliferates, and digital data are used for surveillance and migration management. Therefore, mediated encounters with diversity, the humanitarianism-securitization nexus and the role of communication flows urgently deserve further academic exploration to advance understanding of some of the major societal challenges of our time. The continuous re-appropriation of Anas Modamani’s selfie with the German chancellor Angela Merkel on Facebook is an illustrative case in point. He took his selfie in September 2015, when Merkel visited the Berlin shelter where he was then living. Modamani is a Syrian refugee who fled from Darayya. After posting the selfie online, he has repeatedly been falsely linked to terrorism. On the basis of physically resemblance, he was for example wrongly accused to be involved in the bombings in Brussel (March 2016) and the recent attack at a Berlin Christmas market (December 2016).
The conference aims to cover a broad range of conflict-related themes such as media production and regulation of information on forced migrants in a ‘post-Truth’ era; fake news; the humanitarianism-securitization nexus, migration management, social and political conflicts related to migrant and diaspora communities, radicalization and online counter-terrorism, hate speech and racism, but also solidarities, activism and protest. Digital technologies and innovations constantly offer new ways to approach these issues, both theoretically and methodologically. The organizers invite papers that explore the complexity of migration and communication flows through conceptual interventions as well as qualitative and quantitative studies.
The conference will include keynote lectures by Marie Gillespie (Professor of Sociology, The Open University) and Pedro Oiarzabal (expert on Internet and Basque studies, migration and diaspora); a roundtable to establish bridges of dialogue between academics studying the coverage of migrants and journalists reporting on various conflicts in Europe, addressing methodological and ethical challenges; a YECREA event dedicated to young scholars (PhD and postdoc level); a joint panel to broaden the empirical, conceptual and methodological scope of the conference and to explore future collaborations; and an elaborate social programme, including a conference dinner and boat tour, allowing participants to enjoy the city of Bilbao.
CALL FOR PANEL AND PAPER PROPOSALS
To explore the issue of migration and communication flows in an informal and stimulating atmosphere, we invite participants to submit paper and panel proposals. We particularly welcome proposals on the following topics:
- International news coverage of migration, refugees, diaspora, …
- Rethinking the category of the migrant: forced migrants, guest-laborers, postsocialist, postcolonial, expatriates
- Bottom-up digitally mediated processes, such as transnational and local networking and connectivity, diaspora organizations, identity construction, urban communications
- Top down digitally mediated processes of migrant management: border control, surveillance & control systems for population movements, migrant detention centres, express flights, arrests at the street, lack of public information
- The humanitarianism-securitization nexus, human/communication rights, political economy of NGOs, humanitarian communication on suffering related to migration
- Migrants, media and language: the impact of migrants on linguistic dynamics (particularly in the context of natively bilingual societies), building resilience for new and local minority media structures
- Intersectional analyses of migration and communication flows: how do axes of difference, including race, gender, sexuality, nation, location, generation religion, class together co-constitute subordination and identity
- Methodological considerations in international and intercultural media and migration studie
- Abstract deadline: April 16, 2017
- Notification of acceptance: May 16, 2017
- Full-paper submission: October 1, 2017
- Registration deadline: October 1, 2017
Please send 200-300 word abstracts and a short biography (max 100 words) by 16 April 2017. Submit your abstract + bio to firstname.lastname@example.org, indicate in your email header: [Submission last name + paper title]. Please make sure to clearly mention in your abstract whether your paper should be part of the panels by the ‘International and intercultural communication’ or the ‘Diaspora, migration and the media’ section.