2-3 NOV 2017 | Migration and Communication Flows: Rethinking Borders, Conflict and Identity Throught the Digital

University of Basque Country, Bilbao (Spain), 2-3 November 2017

Joint conference of ‘Diaspora, migration and the media’ and ‘International and Intercultural Communication’ sections of ECREA

“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 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.

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 studies

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 ecreadmm@gmail.com, 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.

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