Refugee Forms: Essays on the Culture of Flight and Refuge (edited collection)

deadline for submissions: 
April 17, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Mike Classon Frangos

Call for Papers

Refugee Forms: Essays on the Culture of Flight and Refuge

Sheila Ghose (Södertörn University)
Mike Classon Frangos (Linnaeus University)

The edited collection Refugee Forms: Essays on the Culture of Flight and Refuge aims to bring together research on the genres, forms, media and histories of refugee migration. Chapters are invited from a range of disciplines, and interdisciplinary approaches are especially welcome. Contributions may focus on refugee migration through the lens of particular genres, forms, media or histories, addressing such topics as:

  • Documentary, film and video
  • Visualities, media and multimodality
  • Literary genres and narrative form
  • Autobiography, testimony, truth-telling

As migration studies researchers have argued, refugee migration is a complex phenomenon involving mixed motives, multiple points of transit and arrival, and the inherent uncertainty of the asylum process (e.g., Van Hear 2009, Crawley and Skleparis 2018). Our proposition is that studying narratives of refugee migration requires an interdisciplinary approach combining migration research with the theories and methods of the arts and humanities. For example, historian Lynn Hunt (2007:35ff) has described how literary forms such as the novel have been key in the development of discourses of human rights. As Joseph Slaughter further argues in Human Rights, Inc. (2007), genres such as the Bildungsroman employ narratives of development and self-determination underlying modern human rights discourses (2007:86ff, 205ff). 

The goal of this edited collection is to bring together chapters on refugee migration with a focus on particular forms: film and theater, poetry, novels and autobiographies, street literature, graphic novels, music and dance, visual media and digital culture, among others. While refugee studies has become an established field, humanities approaches have only recently begun to be addressed in this research. We are inspired by other recent collections, such as Refugee Imaginaries (2019), that demonstrate the relevance of humanities and arts research in refugee and migration studies. We invite chapters that work with theories of human rights, sanctuary and imaginative empathy, trauma and diaspora, queer theory, gender and intersectionality, and other relevant approaches to the cultural histories of refugee migration.

Submission instructions: Abstracts should be ca 300 words not including references. Send also a 100-word author bio including name(s), affiliation(s) and email address(es). Submit your abstract and bio to

Abstract deadline: April 17, 2020

Decisions of acceptance: May 1, 2020

Completed chapter: December 31, 2020


Works Cited

Cox, E., Durrant, S., Farrier, D., Stonebridge, L. & Woolley, A. 2019. Refugee Imaginaries: Research Across the Humanities. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Crawley, H., & Skleparis, D. 2018. Refugees, migrants, neither, both: categorical fetishism and the politics of bounding in Europe’s ‘migration crisis’. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 44(1).

Hunt, L. A. 2007. Inventing human rights: A history. WW Norton & Company.

Slaughter, J. 2007. Human Rights, Inc. New York: Fordham University Press.

Van Hear, N. 2009. Managing mobility for human development: The growing salience of mixed migration. Human Development Research Paper (HDRP) Series, Vol. 20.