Imagined Geographies of Movement, Migration, and Citizenship

In 2017, the UN Population Division estimated a total of nearly 260 million migrants internationally, comprising more than 3% of the global human population. Today, conflicts in Syria, Myanmar, and elsewhere force citizens across state borders as refugees; changing environmental patterns prompt nomadic herders’ movement across non-arable land; poverty and violence push Central Americans north; and students pursue higher education across international borders. Both forced and voluntary, violent and peaceful, the unprecedented human flow across borders has elicited innumerable responses from state governments, international organizations, media outlets, etc. But what exactly does it mean to traverse physical, legal, cultural, and other boundaries in the 21 st century? As one moves through and connects with spaces across borders, what happens to one’s locus of belonging? Where –or what– is “home”?

 

This session explores the political ecologies of movement, migration, and citizenship that produce imagined geographies of home. While ample research in political ecology interrogates migration, relatively few do so from the perspective of migrants themselves (see Truelove 2011 and other feminist political ecology works for exceptions); furthermore, existing political ecology works on migration tend to present policy as somewhat disconnected from those who construct it and those who live with its impact (for an outstanding example of ‘scaling up’ political ecological methodologies, see Barnes 2014). Thus, this CFP solicits works that disrupt conventional scales of analysis and investigate the lived, embodied experiences of migrants as they engage with dynamic imagined geographies of home.

 

While we anticipate qualitative methodologies being most adept at exploring these themes, we are open to quantitative and/or mixed methodologies as well. We are also open to formatting this session as a panel discussion or other presentation style.

 

Topic areas might include:


● Migrants’ interaction with discursive representations of migrants
● Transnational migration and food security
● Social preservation of collective memory across space
● Relationships between physical dwelling space and imaginaries of “home”


Interested participants should send a 200-word abstract to Meagan Harden at meaganharden@ou.edu and Maddie Williams at mwilliams@ou.edu by November 17th. Participants will be notified by November 21st and must register for the conference by December 1st.

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