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A PGR and ECR conference to be held at the Institute of Modern Languages Research (IMLR), University of London, on 13 January 2023.

Organisers: Vivian Jochens (IMLR) and Franziska Wolf (University of Birmingham/Oxford)

Call for Contributions - deadline 30 September 2022

Migration is one of the most widely discussed cultural, socio-political, and economic questions of our time. Whether internal or across borders, voluntary or forced, migration movements are influenced by a variety of factors that are rooted in regional and national, local and global interrelations. In contemporary discussions of migration, Europe’s diverse migration history and its entanglement with colonialism, (forced) labour, war and conflict are sometimes overlooked.

The crossing of nation-state and linguistic borders challenges stable notions of individual and collective identity and opens up debates about notions of belonging beyond established markers like nationality, ethnicity, and language. While writers, thinkers, and film-makers alike have used the theme of migration to explore alternative, potentially fluid ways of identifications, the political reality confronts us with a surge of cultural conservatism, right-wing populism, and an increase in racist violence.

Focusing on the European context, this conference aims to explore how contemporary writers and film-makers contribute to the (re-)negotiation of migration as a cultural, socio-political, and economic matter, thereby addressing the following questions:

How are migration experiences remembered, represented, problematised or celebrated?
What role do class, gender, ethnicity, religion, language, and nationality play in these migrant experiences?
What concepts frame the experience and narration of migration - integration, assimilation, exile, belonging?

Contributions might address the issues above but are certainly not limited to these. 
We are particularly interested in the artistic (re-)negotiation of migration:

How do writers, artists, and other actors involved in cultural production negotiate the paradigmatic shift associated with increasing societal diversity? 
How do they contribute to this shift by moving away from established notions of belonging in their writing, film or theatre making?
What comparisons can be drawn between literary and cinematic production across languages and cultures?
How does contemporary artistic practice challenge established analytical approaches and categories?
And the academic discussion of these artistic practices: 
Which terminologies are being used to describe and categorise artistic interventions and how do notions of diaspora, transnationality, interculturality, postmigration, and others relate to one another?
What are the implications of the different terminologies used when referring to migration and what concepts of European literature(s) and culture(s) are implied by these terms? 

We warmly invite PGR students and ECRs from various academic disciplines to submit an abstract of no more than 300 words for a paper of 20 minutes’ length along with their contact details and a brief biographical note of no more than 50 words to and by 30 September 2022.