Making Home Away: Displacement, Migration, and Resettlement Symposium

deadline for submissions: 
January 2, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Helen Underhill, University of Reading
contact email: 

Call for Papers:

Making Home Away: Displacement, Migration, and Resettlement Symposium

12th June 2020, University of Reading


At this specific moment in Europe’s history, questions of identity, fraction, borders, belonging and migration are particularly pressing. Various fields of academic study and practical work are being conducted to address these questions, but they often don’t speak to one another. With the inherently interdisciplinary relevance of migration in mind, this conference focusses on speaking across disciplines, and beyond them. It welcomes academics, policy makers, NGO representatives, community members, community sponsorship groups, and refugees themselves to share their experiences and work in the field of migration during this one-day symposium aimed at cultivating cross-pollination of informed voices across these various fields.

Inviting academic, practical, political, and personal response to the many challenges faced by refugees in losing and making homes, this symposium intends to cultivate both renewed research efforts and policy action. Funded by the British Academy’s “Tackling the UKs International Challenges” grant scheme, this symposium will focus on the complex ways in which refugees move across regions and nations in pursuit of ‘home’, and asks how attention to refugee experiences might shape and enhance our understandings of migration.

Building on the work of the ‘Lost and Found’ digital archive project associated with this grant, this symposium will feature exhibits, conversations, round-tables, and other opportunities for discussion. It will also include an arts evening event, featuring poetry readings and film screening, with an open discussion with the director afterwards.

We aim to publish an edited collection of essays based on a selection of the symposium contributions, which will explicitly encourage policy reform and speak to both academic and third-sector audiences.

Please submit abstracts of 300 words along with a short bio to by January 2, 2020. We invite submissions relevant to the conference theme, in particular those that address the nexus between migration and the following themes:

            · Expanding the definition of ‘home’ by approaching the refugee experience 

            · Rethinking attitudes towards displacement, migration, and resettlement 

            · Oral histories of refugees 

            · Policy making and refugee management on a global scale 

            · What European traditions make space for nostalgia, inclusion and union? 

            · How is ‘home’ both universal and specific – familiar and strange – within European contexts?

            · The creation of safe homes for refugees 

         · Interrogating the role of the social sciences and humanities in interpreting the negotiations of rights to housing, employment and citizenship 

            · Migrant activism 

         · The negotiation of urban space by migrants; the long-lasting contributions made by refugees to urban populations


For more information on the conference and the call for papers, please contact Dr Helen Underhill


Organized by Dr Yasmine Shamma (University of Reading)

Professor Suzan Ilcan (University of Waterloo), and Professor Vicki Squire (University of Warwick). 

Hosted by the University of Reading, Funded by the British Academy