Call for abstracts

Mobilities and Transnationalism in the 21st century

28-30 April, 2019

University of Iceland, Reykjavik.

Changing geo-political environment, economic transformations and technological advancements have induced intensified movement of people in great diversity of forms. These include large numbers of labour migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, business travellers, students, and tourists. Along with flows of capital, commodities and ideas, the mobility of people reflects an increasingly globalised and interconnected world. This however yields multiple legal, social and cultural ramifications. Transnational flows of money and supranational organizations affect sovereignty of nation states and their power to regulate internal affairs. International migrations have brought different cultures and societies into direct juxtaposition, not only contributing to ethnic diversity, but also creating inequalities on local and global level. Moreover, mobility emerges as ideological construction that informs public debates, policies and cultural production. It evokes different, often contradicting imaginaries with migration from the south to north being increasingly framed in terms of securitization influenced by populist discourses and growing neo-nationalism while movement of those more privileged frequently being conceptualised as leisure travels, lifestyle migration or expats mobility.

This conference seeks to bring together scholars from different fields interested in various forms and expressions of mobility and transnationalism. What does mobility mean at the advent of the 21st century? What are the implications of mobility on agency, discrimination, policies, and immobility? How do they affect cultural politics? This conference invites papers that critically engage with the theoretical potentials of mobility and transnational turn, discussing both their possible merits as well as pitfalls. What is the empirical value of transnational approach and mobility turn? To what extent is it stimulating to change focus from sendentarism to movement in social research?   

Confirmed keynote speakers:

Liz Fekete, Director of the Institute of Race Relations

Mimi Sheller, Center for Mobilities Research and Policy, Drexel University

Sharon MacDonald, Institute of European Ethnology, Humboldt University

The conference is organized by the project of excellence Mobility and Transnational Iceland, led by Kristín Loftsdóttir, Unnur Dís Skaptadóttir and Sigurjón Baldur Hafsteinsson, professors at the University of Iceland. Information about the project can be found on the project’s webpage:

Interested participants are asked to submit abstract (maximum 250 words) using the on-line form: abstract submission. The deadline for submission is 10th of February, 2019. The proposal for panel sessions are also welcome. Please send title of the session along with abstracts of the included papers to Anna Wojtynska. For any question, please contact Anna Wojtyńska,

Deadline for the registration is 15th of March, 2019. The regular conference fee is 15.000 ISK (ca. 120 EUR) and students fee – 7.500 ISK (ca. 60 EUR). The fee includes lunches and final conference dinner.

 Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

  • transnationalism and transnational practices
  • borders, boundaries and global governance
  • “migration crisis” and refugees
  • climate change and migration
  • ideologies and imaginaries of mobility
  • gender and sexuality, class and migration
  • artistic representation of migration
  • intersection of different forms of mobilities (eg. migration, tourism and pilgrimage)
  • mobility and immobility
  • voluntary and forced movements
  • transnational labour market
  • reception of migrants and racialization of migration processes
  • cultural politics
  • transnational families
  • museums and exhibitions
  • migration and wellbeing / good life