Keywords in Refugee and Migration Studies - Day 2

Europe-Asia Research Platform on Forced Migration
Conferences and Workshops

Keywords in refugee and migration studies are words in motion. They show in many cases the colonial and postcolonial imprint on them. It is necessary to not only review their histories but also the multiple deployments of terms for co-option. The question is: How do some words initially appearing minor to our general understanding of society and our existence become key to understanding the marginalities? Else, belonging to mainstream language, these words would have remained banal, vacuous, telling nothing of the hidden from our gaze the world of domination, contests, and struggles. These words quiz our theories of political existence. They also help us understand attempts by governments across the world to normalize “migration” by flexible control and management strategies. Hence, three points:

  1. Precisely because these words are minor to general understanding, they require patient digging into their histories, erasures, and paradoxically their status as “live words”;
  2. Keywords in refugee and migration studies are contested in every sense of the meaning; hence they call for plurality of approach, collection, and configuration;
  3. Finally, turning “minor” meanings into interrogative gestures towards larger significations requires collective effort. This double nature of the minor words speaks of the duality of keywords

Friday, 13 October

10:00 – 11:30 Politics of Migration I
Som Niroula, Nepal Institute of Peace, IWM Fellow: The Complexities of Refugee Governance
Paula Banerjee, Calcutta Research Group, Asian Institute of Technology: Trafficking

11:30 – 11:45 Break

11:45 – 13:15 Politics of Migration II
Sandro Mezzadra, University of Bologna: Migration and Geopolitics
Manuela Bojadžijev, Humboldt University: Three keywords: Autonomy of Migration, Border Regime, Logistical Borderscapes

13:15 – 14:15 Lunch

14:15 – 16:00 Conceptualizing Migration
Nagehan Uskan, Humboldt University: Multilingual Dictionary: Living Together in a Refugee Camp
Marie-Caroline Saglio-Yatzimirsky, Institut Universitaire de France: Migralect, the language of migration
Sabyasachi Basu Ray Chaudhury, Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group: Labour in platform economy

16:00 – 16:30 Discussion