Past activities

World on the Move: Migration, Societies and Change conference 2017:

This two-and-a-half day conference provided an arena for discussion, debate, and the development of future research projects. Plenary sessions from world-leading migration researchers, panels, and workshops created spaces for the development of sustainable networks and relationships across the academic, policy, not-for-profit and media sectors. The first day was a half day policy and politics event where distinguished speakers from policy, activist, NGO and media backgrounds debated the question ‘How is Brexit Britain responding to a world on the move?’ Read more… 

Mar 23: ‘Mutations in Citizenship’: Activist and translational perspectives on migration and mobility in the age of globalisation

Hosted by the Genealogies of Knowledge project and the Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies at the University of Manchester, this event seeks to explore the following questions:

  • how are activists, humanitarian groups, aid agencies and engaged translators – as well as migrants themselves – working to expand the concept of citizenship beyond the ‘terrain and imagination’ of the nation state?
  • what role does language, and with it translation, play in the construction and contestation of the hegemonic political discourse surrounding citizenship, migration and mobility in the contemporary age?

The symposium will feature contributions by Professor Moira Inghilleri, Dr Polina Kliuchnikova, Dr Tanja Müller, Professor Loredana Polezzi and members of the Genealogies of Knowledge research team.

Oct 30 – Nov 1: World on the Move: Migration Societies and Change

All information on our international conference can be found here.

Oct 31 – Nov 4: Be // Longing: Theatre performance on migration and inequalities

An immersive theatre production by Take Back Theatre in partnership with The Migration Lab and Hope Mill Theatre.  More  information.

19 Oct: Representations of Syrian Refugees in the Turkish Media: A Critical Discourse Analysis

This presentation by Dr Ibrahim EFE  investigates the representation  of Syrian asylum seekers in the Turkish press. The research sample includes news reports, columns and visuals published between 2011 and 2015 in five national newspapers with the highest circulation figures (“Hürriyet”, “Sabah”, “Posta”, “Sözcü”, “Zaman”). Analysis of news texts and columns is a widely observed aspect of research on press analysis, however, conducting a visual analysis on news photographs is usually overlooked. This study investigates news texts and news photographs together. The study shows that the coverage of Syrian asylum seekers has usually a positive or neutral content. However, the results also point out the ambivalence in the representations of asylum seekers. The representations of Syrian asylum seekers portray these individuals mostly as “poor” people “in need of help” as well as “threats” for social security. These frequently repeated representations and ambivalence show that the representation of Syrian asylum seekers in Turkish newspapers reproduces the stereotypical representation of asylum seekers as defined in international studies.

Dr. İbrahim EFE is currently working as an assistant professor at the Western Languages and Literatures department at Kilis 7 Aralık Universitesi. He obtained his doctoral degree in 2012 from the Department of Linguistics and English Language at Lancaster University. His current research focuses on the representations of Syrian refugees in the Turkish press. Recent publications include ‘The 2014 Local Elections: Reflections of the on the Kurdish Question’ in SETAV (with Ali Balci) and ‘Representations of the Ergenekon Case in Turkey, 2007–11: Today’s Zaman and Hürriyet Daily News’ in Middle East Critique (with Murat Yesiltas).

The event was chaired by Prof. Tim Jacoby and included a question and answer session on the situation of the Syrian Refugees in Turkey more generally.

20 June: Refugee self-reliance in cities? Challenges and opportunities

The Migration Lab, in partnership with Jindal School of International Affairs and The Humanitarian Affairs Team, Save the Children UK hosted a workshop on refugee self-reliance in cities. Cities, particularly in the Global South, absorb a growing majority of the world’s displaced – and this displacement is often protracted. In such urban contexts, the lives of migrants, refugees, and citizens intersect, as each negotiates urban spaces and services in pursuit of their interests and/or needs. These interactions are under-studied and are not sufficiently accounted for in the design and implementation of humanitarian programmes for refugees. This one day workshop during Refugee Week brought together researchers examining urban refugee experiences, as well as policy-makers and practitioners, and it examined current research and policy challenges and opportunities.  Unpacking notions like “self-reliance” and building on field study research with urban refugees in diverse contexts, the aim was to contribute new thought to an emerging research agenda and discuss ways of moving forward.

19 June: Not the fake news: real stories of refuge and asylum

The Migration Lab, in partnership with Pathway Arts, The Meteor Newspaper, Unite for Change and Revive hosted a newspaper writing workshop for Refugee Week.

This writing project aimed to counter the ‘fake news’ which proliferates in our national press about migration issues. A mixed group of people seeking asylum, those with refugee backgrounds, local journalists and migration researchers at the University of Manchester co-produced a newspaper which reports ‘Not the Fake News: Real Stories of Refuge and Asylum’. The project brought the academic and civil society worlds together, to share stories and co-produce knowledge. It also dispels some myths about migration/refugee issues and encourages critical thinking among readers of the paper. Read more about the project and find out how to get a copy here.

9 June – 10 June: Migration and political engagement

This workshop centred around the political engagement of migrant populations. It discussed the ways in which people who have crossed borders are politically engaged in their home and hostland contexts, as well as in transnational or global political spaces. We asked what determines the forms and contents of their political acts, what intended or unintended impacts they have on homelands, hostlands and on migrants themselves as individuals or communities. We also discussed instances of silence, passivity or disengagement among migrant populations and seek to interrogate these. As the act of crossing borders has taken on new significance in a global political context which is increasingly dominated by new populisms and nationalist agendas, the intersection between migration and politics is a field in flux. In light of this, the aim of the workshop was to share research findings and set new research agendas which advance our understanding this key intersection.

27 April: Fire risk reduction in informal settlements: interrogating evidence, imagining solutions

The Migration Lab held a workshop with Operation Florian on refugee camp/informal settlement issues, with a particular focus on fire risk and better bottom-up mitigation of such risk. The workshop included participants from The University of Manchester and the Universities of Hull, Kingston and Edinburgh, as well as people from NGOs that co-operate with Operation Florian. The workshop discussed forthcoming engagement of Operation Florian in Macedonian refugee camps, as well as other past and future such missions.

Please see Laura Hirst’s blog post about the event and its outcomes.

20 April: Something about home

An evening of poetry, prose and music to launch an anthology of new writing on the themes of migration, identity and belonging. Something About Home is a unique anthology that provides an invigorating array of creative responses to the experience of living with, and between, two worlds.

Editor Liam Harte has judiciously assembled over 60 original works of poetry, fiction and non-fiction by writers of all ages, from across Britain and Ireland, who offer richly varied perspectives on what it feels like to move from one country to another. The book has its origins in a series of AHRC-funded ‘Writing Migration’ workshops held in Manchester, Belfast and Mayo, which fired the imaginations of new and experienced writers alike. Among the featured authors is one of Ireland’s finest contemporary poets, Manchester-based John McAuliffe, who will join us for this event.

Liam Harte is Senior Lecturer in Irish and Modern Literature at the University of Manchester. His books include The Literature of the Irish in Britain: Autobiography and Memoir 1725-2001 (2009) and Reading the Contemporary Irish Novel 1987-2007 (2014).

21 March 5pm: Jews: movement, migration, location

German Studies and the Centre for Jewish Studies at Manchester are among several institutions in the north of the UK that will contribute to this year’s Astaire Seminar Series in Jewish Studies on Jews: Movement, Migration, Location

Sander Gilman (Emory University), Jews as Exiles and their Representations after 1933

In our age when the meanings associated with ‘exile’ and ‘asylum’ are radically shifting, it is valuable to examine how those not directly impacted came to understand such a political alteration after 1933. The transformation of European cosmopolitan intellectuals, at home in the world but also confortable with their role in high German culture, into exiles and asylum seekers was sudden and often unpleasant. By late January 1933, such cosmopolitans, especially those publically identified as Jews or ‘political’ (or both) began to see their status changing, even prior to the introduction of punitive laws under the new Nazi state. The talk examines two cases of how these exiles were seen by non-Jews in radically different political spaces:  Thomas Mann in exile writing his Joseph novels and Martin Heidegger, suddenly placed in a position of leadership in the new Nazi state, commenting in his ‘Black’ notebooks about Jews. The talk considers what such positions mean for ‘Others,’ Jews and Germans (or both) in our age of the demonization of exiles and asylum seekers.

Cathy Gelbin (University of Manchester), German Jews and the Cosmopolitan Ideal in Exile from National Socialism

The brief period between the two world wars saw concerted efforts by liberal and leftist-leaning German and Austrian Jewish writers to promote the cosmopolitan ideal. Following the nationalist disaster of World War I and the rise of antisemitism throughout the 1920s, the cosmopolitanist project assumed particular urgency for Jewish intellectuals. The talk examines the changes in cosmopolitanist attitudes that exile from National Socialism effected among German-Jewish writers and intellectuals, including Joseph Roth, Stefan Zweig and Lion Feuchtwanger. Jewish cosmopolitans—and indeed, non-Jewish German cosmopolitans who did not support the regime after July 1933—were quickly transformed into ‘exiles’ and ‘refugees.’ The talk will trace how their writings in exile shaped the lasting image of the Jewish intellectual as icon of an imagined European citizenship and identity.

7 March 4pm: Cathie Marsh Institute for Social Research seminar

Visiting Professor James Raymer (Australia National University) presented ‘The sources and diversity of migrant population growth in Australia, 1981-2011’

Australia has one of the largest percentages of migrant populations in the developed world with a highly regulated system of immigration control and regular censuses to track their population changes over time. However, the ability to explain the population change through the demographic components of immigration, emigration, and death by age and sex is not possible due to differences in measurement and sources of information. In this paper, we utilise reconciled demographic accounts from 1981 to 2011 for 18 migrant groups to describe how the migrant populations have changed. We find the sources of migrant growth have varied considerably by country of birth and period of time. Migrants from Europe are currently the oldest and slowest growing populations, whereas those from elsewhere are growing rapidly and exhibit relatively young population age structures. Studying these patterns over time helps us to understand the nature of migration and its contributions to population change.

20 February: One day without us

The University of Manchester’s Student’s Union celebrated the ‘One Day Without Us’ Campaign with a panel discussion about migration and Brexit. Link to recordings of the speeches.

21 February:  Manchester talks many languages

Multilingual Manchester hosted a conversation with practitioners, academics, public sector representatives, and guests who discussed their experiences of multilingualism in Manchester.

7 – 8 February: Migration and families in Europe: national and local perspectives at a time of Euroscepticism.

The University of Manchester’s Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE) hosted this two day conference which explored a range of topics on family migration including ageing and elderly migration; refugee families; parenting and migrant children; family migration policies and the movement of families to and within the EU; and methods and challenges in researching family migration. Link to Migration and Families full conference programme.

18 – 20 January: MigRom project

This conference presented findings from the MigRom project, a four year European Union funded project bringing together researchers from The University of Manchester, University of Granada, University of Verona, Romanian Institute for Research on National Minorities, European Traveller Forum, Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, and Manchester City Council. The conference was hosted by The University of Manchester and Manchester City Council, in collaboration with Roma Voices of Manchester CIC.  Link to MigRom full conference programme.

5 December: Migration Lab introductory workshop

This introductory workshop brought together 40 researchers working on migration across The University of Manchester. It centred around four themes: Borders, Journeys, Agency and Home. Read the ‘Welcome to the Migration Lab’ blog by Global Development Institute.