Digitized global mobilities’ The role of new media and digitization in the security approaches of the refugee crisis

3- 4 June, 2019, Utrecht University 

Digitization and the use of social media has dramatically changed most aspects of our everyday practices, perceptions and cause severe changes in Human Mobility (Innes, 2016, Gray, 2018). While the importance and effects of technological innovations in social science research has been increasingly recognized, the role of new technologies and how these shapes the security of people on the move is still limited in scope.
This international event of UGlobe seeks to address questions on the digital features of forced mobility, how technology shapes the approaches of migrant’ security, particularly the unintended effects of digitization and social media use.
This event aims to bring together multiple stakeholders: NGO representatives, social workers, media representatives (e.g. Dutch Refugee Council, Dutch Association for Migration Research, European institutions, IOM, UNHCR) and academics.
The first day of our event is a Seminar with invited speakers from different disciplines, the second day is organised in Workshops to facilitate interactive knowledge exchange and inclusion of visual material. For the Workshop sessions we invite papers, films and art works that rethink issues of the ‘digital’ in the study of human mobility and security. Papers should include an inquiry into one or more of the following questions:

  • How does `the digital´ change the way we approach security issues in the migration domain, and do we need to adjust our research objectives accordingly?   • How current changes in nationalist movements, securitization processes and surveillance mechanisms are shifting human mobility approaches in different social contexts?  • What are the ethical concerns and limitations in using new media, particularly when studying mobility?  • How do we critically assess digital justice, traceability and accountability?

We encourage paper proposals from various disciplines including, but not limited to, social and cultural anthropology, sociology, human geography, criminology, law, communication studies and digital humanities by early and mid-career scholars.   As we aim to create a platform for in-depth discussion, selected papers will be grouped into one of the five sessions, each led by an expert in the selected field. The preliminary topics below serve as a guide for applicants:
Session 1 Perceived Security and Asylum processes
Session 2 Media, Gender and Ethnicity
Session 3 Fear of Expulsion and Relocation
Session 4 Digilantism, Digital solidarity and Social Justice
Session 5 Migration Security and Technology
Abstracts for papers (max. 300 words) and a short biographical note including your institutional affiliation and position, should be sent via e-mail as a Word.doc attachment by Monday, 11th of March, 2019.
Please e-mail your abstracts and papers to Dr Veronika Nagy: v.nagy@uu.nl
Decisions will be communicated before the 22th of March.
Accepted abstracts should be turned into preliminary papers (3000 words) and sent by Sunday, 05th of May, 2019.
Should you have a preferred session(s), please indicate it upon abstract submission.

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