Conferences – Call for Papers

Migrant Narratives and the City

International Conference organised by Central European University and the University of Debrecen from 27-28 April 2018, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary. The conference aims to focus on the role of cities and public spaces.

  • Date: 27.04.2018 – 28.04.2018
  • Institution: Central European University (CEU)
  • Location: Budapest / Ungarn
  • Documents to: migrantnarrativesconference[at]

27-28 April 2018, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

Keynote Speakers:

Carolyn Pedwell, University of Kent, UK

Dace Dzenovska, University of Oxford, UK

Roundtable Respondents:

Lisa Blackman, Goldsmith College, UK

Gábor Gyáni, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary

Andrea Pető, Central European University, Hungary

Prem Kumar Rayaram, Central European University, Hungary

Rosemary Wakeman, Fordham University, USA

Further respondents TBA

Proposals are invited for an international conference on migrant narratives and the city in Western modernity to be held at Central European University, Budapest, co-organised with the Gender, Translocality and the City Research Group based at the Institute of English and American Studies, University of Debrecen. Papers exploring anthropological, sociological, historical, literary, filmic and theatrical accounts of migration and the refugee experience are welcomed. The conference aims to focus on the role of cities and public spaces, including the ways in which cities are restructured and reimagined as a result of migration; the affective dimension of the experience as well as the affects involved in reading/watching/listening to migrant and refugee narratives; the gendering of these narratives as well as the role gender plays in the life choices and integration of migrants.

The organizers are particularly interested in comparative interpretations, such as narratives of refugees fleeing from war, genocide and oppressive political regimes in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Apart from exploring the impact of trauma resulting from forced displacement, which has been analysed extensively in the past few decades, they aim to foreground the affective dimensions of place-making, for instance, as well as the function of art in overcoming and healing the experience. How are cities, often considered central to the imaginary of refugees, depicted in narratives of flight? How do these narratives figure differing and overlapping subjectivities in terms of race, class, gender and sexuality? What is the role of public spaces and performances in staging the experience of displacement? Do these narratives shed light on new aspects of intersectional discrimination?

The organizers invite submission of abstracts for 20-minute talks. Papers on the following themes will be particularly welcomed:

  • Trauma and bibliotherapy in the urban environment
  • Art, "fugitive aesthetics" and the city
  • Migrant narratives and urban violence
  • Cities and the art of resistance
  • Queer migrant narratives and the city
  • Affective dimensions of place-making
  • Empathy and the city
  • The postmillennial metropolis and the "waning of affect"
  • Mobility and urbanity: the performative/affective agency of space
  • Historicization of migrant narratives
  • Fugitive, refugee, migrant, émigré(e)
  • Representations of ghettoization
  • Vigilantism

Organizing committee:

Imola Bülgözdi (Institute of English and American Studies, UD)
Ágnes Györke (Institute of English and American Studies, UD)
Gender, Translocality and the City Research Group

Eszter Timár (Department of Gender Studies, CEU)

Please send abstracts of 300-350 words to migrantnarrativesconference[at] before 15 December 2017.

Partial registration fee waivers are available to participants from low and middle-income countries.

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