ESF Research Conferences

ESF-LiU Conference

Home, Migration and the City: New Narratives, New Methodologies

6-10 August 2010

Scandic Linköping Vast, Linköping, Sweden

Chaired by:
Dr. Ayona Datta - London School of Economics, UK
Non- Attending Co -Chair:
Dr. Kathy Burrell - De Montfort University, Leicester, UK


© Rohit Madan

New! Programme available here.
There will be no short talks other than those listed on the final programme.

Recommended poster size is A0 (Vertical). Use letters and drawings that can be read from approximately 100 cm distance. Posters can be affixed with pins.

There has been a recent surge of scholarship from human geography, sociology, history, architecture, and cultural studies that focuses on migration as a social, political, cultural and material process. This area of research on migration examines migrants’ transnational spatial practices, social and political identities and relationships with the state. Central to this research has been a recognition that at the heart of migration lies a fundamental transformation in spaces and places that are linked to the social and cultural meanings of home and belonging.

Migration brings about a material change in the places and locations through which notions of identity, individual expressions and belonging are transformed. Through the movement of people, for instance, cities, homes and localities become re-narrated through migrants’ stories, photographs, music, artwork and films. Cities in particular, as places of origin and (re)settlement become key sites of migrants’ experiences of ‘home’(s). The experience of Europe over the past fifty years is a good example; urban spaces have increasingly become contested locations where the spatial and material nature of identities are negotiated – Muslim/Christian, European/non-European, first/second generation of migrants. Much migration research, moreover, connects home and nation by investigating migrants’ connections with past, present or imagined ‘homelands’. Home can now also be described as translocal, transnational and diasporic – shaped by consumption, remittances and social networks. The domestic spaces inhabited by migrants are especially important for their roles in constructing attitudes and behaviours towards ‘others’ when strangers share living spaces in the city. Home can even be redefined through its ‘socio-technical’ differences across national spaces. This conference offers an opportunity to bring these social, spatial, material and technological facets of migration together – to consider migrants’ identities and experiences of homes and cities, and the material, aural and visual landscapes of mobility and movement.

This conference takes ‘narratives’ – broadly defined as stories, diaries, myths, photographs, music, films, media images and representations of movement – as the analytical starting point for new research on migration. Narratives have several dimensions. Firstly, migrant narratives need to be understood as inherently spatial. As is widely acknowledged, migrants’ stories of movement are often stories of different places at different moments, and thus are essentially ‘spatial stories’. Secondly, this spatiality of migration narratives is multi-scalar; it can relate to belonging on a national, political scale, represent locality dynamics, more small-scale, personal experiences of migration, or even the material narratives of migration, such as stories of significant objects and material culture. The political element of the larger scale narratives is especially important; it is these that foster the exclusion and inclusion of migrants in societies. Thirdly, the performative element of migrants’ narratives is very strong; not all narratives are textual but instead are enacted through music, theatre, film, food, or dance. Finally, such narratives can also be highly visual, corporeal, and embodied, whether through media representations, artwork, or architecture. Such a broad conceptualisation of migrant narratives demands new interdisciplinary theories and methodologies to understand the interconnected landscapes of home, migration and the city.

Conference flyer PDF (96 KB) Last updated 05-February-2010

How to Participate

For accepted participants and invited speakers only

All participants - including speakers & session chairs - are kindly expected to confirm their attendance (and, when applicable, to pay the conference fee) by filling in the registration form

Official list of invited speakers and accepted participants

Registration Deadline: 6 July 2010

Fees & Grants

Conference fees cover an all inclusive package which includes all basic expenses that occur during the event. For more details, click here.

To Pay
Conference fee will be covered by ESF and its partners0 €
AssistedConference Fee will be partially covered by ESF and its partners380 €
Early Bird
Registration and payment by June 22
730 €
Registration and payment by July 6
800 €
Conference participation without accommodation550 €
Single room Supplement to be paid at the hotel
150 €

7 EUR of this fee is used to make this conference more ecologically sustainable. This amount will allow us to offset almost 100% of the CO2 emissions created by this conference and are part of our efforts to make ESF Research Conferences greener.. For more information, please click here


Practical Information

The conference will be held at Scandic Linköping Väst, Sweden – 7km from Linköping airport and 4km from the train station. Most notably, the Swedish chain Scandic Hotel´s commitment to sustainability won the Green Meetings Award in 2008. It is located in Linköping which is the capital of Östergötland county, situated in the center of a vast open farmland. It is Sweden's fifth largest city with more than 136,000 inhabitants and has a long history as a city of learning. For further information, please click here.

ESF Contact

If you have any questions please consult our FAQ page or contact:
Ms. Alessandra Piccolotto Email
Conference Officer
Phone +32 (0)2 533 2023
Fax +32 (0)2 538 8486
Please quote 10-317 in any correspondence.