HOMInG’s Paolo Boccagni will give an invited lecture at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, next August 14 at 4pm. See the abstract below. More info:  https://ari.nus.edu.sg/events/paolo-boccagni/


My presentation introduces a research agenda centred on the “home-migration nexus”, as a way to renovate the theoretical, methodological and empirical bases of transnational migration studies. Home – as a material setting, a special relationship with place, and a source of distinctive emotions and social practices – is significantly affected by human mobility. It also provides a unique research venue on the transnational facets of migrants’ everyday life over space and time. Based on an in-depth overview of the interdisciplinary literature on home, I argue for a comparative analysis of migrants’ homing experience, of the underlying infrastructures, and of the processes through which they negotiate the meanings, functions and boundaries of home vis-à-vis their groups of reference. Much transnational literature makes a case for migrants’ unprecedented connectedness with home (societies), or for their novel scope to “emplace home” in several locations simultaneously. However, these evocative claims are not always substantiated through empirical research. The very notion of home has been subject to relatively little elaboration in a transnational optic. Nevertheless, there is a remarkable potential in using home, literally and metaphorically, as a prism to investigate migrant ability to retain, circulate and emplace significant aspects of the “other worlds” they are connected to, while being physically away from them. Building on a variety of case studies and on the preliminary findings of ERC HOMInG, I show how and why a better understanding of home, and of the ways of extending and reproducing it across countries, marks a turning point in transnational migration studies.