Researching home and migration: questions, methods, prospects
An international workshop at the University of Trento, 5-6 June, 2017
Home, as a social setting, experience, or category, has raised increasing attention in a number of research domains, including migration and its consequences in and across societies. While several case studies have been done around this topic, systematic and comparative research still lags behind. Our workshop aims to address this gap by collecting methodological and substantive contributions, first, on the relevance of a home lens in migration/refugee studies, and beyond; second, on the ways in which extended mobility affects the material and affective bases of home – possibly resulting in a protracted lack of it, or in an ongoing search for it. Gender, class, legal status, ethnicity, life course position etc. are also key variables in the process. An apparently mundane and intimate topic, such home, emerges thus as a meaningful public, political and practical question.
This two-day workshop will enable in-depth, empirically-based conversation on the spatial, temporal, relational and emotional dimensions of home, under the influence of migration-driven displacement, re-placement, diversification and cross-border circulation. Consistent with the goals of the ERC HOMInG project, it will make for a cross-disciplinary, transnational and homely milieu for advancing research on the meanings, functions and implications of “home”. Contributions with strong empirical bases and a comparative focus are particularly encouraged. Topics of relevance include, but are not limited to, the following:
– Home-related views, values and practices in the everyday life of immigrants and their families, groups and broader communities;
– Migrants’ dwelling arrangements (including makeshift ones) and pathways over time and across countries;
– Domestic environments, rituals, routines and material cultures, as revealing of broader social processes such as those related to international migration;
– Material living spaces, houses and built environments, as affected by migration and migration-driven diversification;
– Ways of mobilizing and negotiating “home” in majority-minority relations, in public and semi-public environments, on local and/or transnational scale;
– Meanings, material bases, distribution and implications of “Feeling at home”, or “not at home”, as a distinctive and emplaced emotional experience;
– Research options, techniques, methodologies to understand and compare migrants’ housing arrangements and home views and experiences.
Keynote speakers will include Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo (University of Southern California) and Cathrine Brun (Oxford Brookes University).
The workshop is open to ordinary paper presentations, as well as posters, special sessions and artistic displays with pictures, clips, objects etc. around migration & home. Relevant proposals should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 19, 2017. The selection will be finalized by early April. For prospective papers, submissions should include a 250 words long abstract with the key argument, research methods and findings of each contribution. Participants are expected to cover their own travel and accommodation expenses. More information: homing.soc.unitn.it; @erchoming.