[bestbits] Fwd: [Air-L] CFP Forced migration and digital connectivity in(to) Europe, Special collection of Social Media + Society, edited by Koen Leurs and Kevin Smets

Raquel RennĂ³ raquelrenno at gmail.com
Wed Feb 24 11:42:49 EST 2016

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Leurs, K.H.A. (Koen) <K.H.A.Leurs at uu.nl>
Date: Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 1:14 PM
Subject: [Air-L] CFP Forced migration and digital connectivity in(to)
Europe, Special collection of Social Media + Society, edited by Koen Leurs
and Kevin Smets
To: "'air-l at aoir.org' (air-l at aoir.org)" <air-l at aoir.org>, "A listserv
devoted to Cultural Studies (CULTSTUD-L at LISTS.UMN.EDU)" <
CULTSTUD-L at lists.umn.edu>
Cc: "Smets Kevin (kevin.smets at uantwerpen.be)" <kevin.smets at uantwerpen.be>

Dear colleagues,

apologies for x-posting, and please distribute widely:

Call for papers: Forced migration and digital connectivity in(to) Europe,

Special collection of Social Media + Society, edited by Koen Leurs and
Kevin Smets

While it is increasingly observable that forced migration and digital
connectivity are intertwined, there is a need for more in-depth, critical
research into this topic, especially in the context of Europe. With this
special collection of Social Media + Society, a high standing, peer
reviewed, open-access journal published by Sage, we seek to bring together
cutting-edge research on forced migration in(to) Europe and the way in
which digital technologies and digital connectivity and in particular
social media play a role in the lives of forced migrants. The collection
aims not only to present empirical evidence for discussions about forced
migration and digital connectivity, but also to offer new theoretical
insights on the issue. Approaching forced migration as a complex societal,
political and cultural phenomenon, we seek to consider different aspects of
digital connectivity, such as the use of social media by migrants,
activists and trolls, issues of affectivity, representa
 tion, materiality, mobility, solidarity, political economy and the
communication industry, as well questions related to gender, race,
sexuality, nation, class, geography and religion; identity; diaspora; media
literacy; policy; legislation and human rights.

The label forced migrants includes here asylum seekers, refugees, forced
migrants, stranded migrants, left-behind children and child migrants as
well internally displaced populations amongst others. We welcome scholars
from the (digital) humanities and (computational) social sciences.
Theoretical perspectives may include but are not limited to communication,
media and cultural studies, HCI, postcolonial, feminist, critical race and
intersectional approaches, critical ICT4D, and political economy. Empirical
perspectives may include but are not limited to (virtual) ethnography, big
data, digital methods, fieldwork, action-research, creative methods,
mixed-methods, and survey-research.

Contributions may address the following topics:

* connected migrants in Europe
* social media use in refugee camps and asylum seeker centres
* forced migration and selfie citizenship
* solidarity
* transnational communication and affectivity
* information scarcity
* encapsulation & cosmopolitanization
* differences and similarities different migrant groups (class, gender,
race, age, generation, location)
* digital migrant identities, self-representations and alternative migrant
* migrant recruitment and radicalization online
* digital deportability and algorithmic sorting
* surveillance and tracking
* migrant networked learning
* migrant acculturation online
* trolling, extremism and anti-migration protest online
* political economy of migrant connectivity
* digital communication rights
* rethinking communication rights in Fortress Europe
* securitization versus human rights: recentering European policy and
* ethical considerations and methodological reflections
* digital diasporas
* postcolonial digital humanities

Please send a 1-page (ca. 500 words) abstract outlining the main objectives
of your paper as well as its empirical/theoretical contributions to the
topic of forced migration and digital connectivity to both k.h.a.leurs at uu.nl
<mailto:k.h.a.leurs at uu.nl> and kevin.smets at uantwerpen.be<mailto:
kevin.smets at uantwerpen.be> by 15 April 2016. Decisions by the editors to
solicit full papers will be made in May 2016. The deadline for submitting
full papers (8000 words all inclusive) is 7 December 2016. The
contributions will be published as a Special Collection of the online,
open-access, peer-reviewed journal Social Media + Society, published by
Sage and edited by Prof. Zizi Papacharissi (http://sms.sagepub.com).

Please contact the guest editors if you have any questions about this call
for papers. Informal inquiries about possible topics, themes and proposals
are also welcomed. The guest editors welcome contributions by established
scholars as well as early career researchers.

The special collection is developed in tandem with two events:
1) the symposium "Connected migrants: encapsulation or cosmopolitanism?" (
http://www.knaw.nl/connected-migrants) taking place in Amsterdam, the
Netherlands, from 14-16 December 2016. The symposium is financed by the
Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.
2) two panels on "Forced migration and digital connectivity in(to) Europe",
to be submitted to the Association of Internet Research annual conference,
to be held in Berlin, Germany from 5-8 October, 2016.

Key dates
-15 April 2016: 1-page abstract + 150 word bio
-May 2016: invitations for full papers after selection by guest editors
-7 December 2016: first version of full papers (8000 words all inclusive)
-Late 2017: anticipated publication date

Daily, Europeans witness Syrian asylum seekers arriving on the beaches of
Greek and Southern-Italian islands. TV news footage shows how freshly
arrived migrants use smartphones to take selfies or use Skype to happily
announce their safe arrival on European soil to loved ones elsewhere. In
response, prejudicial discourses about migrants have centered on
smartphones; for example, anti-immigrant politicians and various social
media memes frame refugees who own 'luxury' smartphones as less deserving
of asylum. Forced migrants, who are digitally connected, embody Europe's
Janus-faced character in an age when advanced technologies are celebrated
for increasing communication speed and economic prosperity.

As a result of different conflicts worldwide, forced migration has become a
major challenge for Europe. The enormous death toll of migrants at Europe's
borders, the reintroduction of border controls within the Schengen Area,
and the violence and hostility towards refugees and asylum seekers in
several European countries published across various social media platforms
all attest to the way in which the current influx of forced migrants is
overturning European society and political structures. At the same time
mainstream media have devoted significant attention to the situation of
refugees along their migration routes in(to) Europe. Interestingly, these
instances often included digital technologies as central anchoring points
in the lives of refugees. Detailed reports were made of refugees using
smartphones, keeping in touch with their relatives, or documenting their
journey through social media. Other accounts, albeit less frequently,
focused on the ways in which governments s
 eek to deal with forced migration via digital technologies, for instance
by making use of GPS tracking in smartphones, or by setting up online
deterrence campaigns to discourage refugees to migrant to specific

About the guest-editors
Koen Leurs is Assistant Professor in Gender and Postcolonial studies at the
Graduate Gender Program, Department of Media and Culture Studies at Utrecht
University, the Netherlands. He obtained his PhD in 2012. He is a feminist
internet researcher interested in multiculturalism, race, migration,
diaspora and youth culture using mixed methods and ethnography. He has just
completed a 2 year EU funded Marie Curie research project titled Urban
Politics of London Youth Analyzed Digitally, at the London School of
Economics and Political Science, UK. From February 2016 onwards he will
work on a  3-year Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research funded
research project 'Young connected migrants. Comparing digital practices of
young asylum seekers and expatriates in the Netherlands'. See
Kevin Smets is assistant professor in Communication Studies at the Free
University of Brussels, and a postdoctoral fellow of the Research
Foundation Flanders. He obtained his PhD in Film Studies and Visual Culture
at the University of Antwerp in 2013. He has published widely on diasporic
media cultures, particularly film cultures, in peer-reviewed journals and
edited volumes.

With kind regards,

Koen Leurs, also on behalf of Kevin Smets

Koen Leurs, PhD

Assistant professor Gender and Postcolonial Studies | Department of Media
and Culture Studies | Utrecht University | Muntstraat 2A 3512 EV NL | room
0.05 |
T. + 31 (0)30 253 7844 | www.koenleurs.net<http://www.koenleurs.net>

Latest publications:
Digital Passages. Migrant Youth 2.0. Diaspora, Gender & Youth Cultural
Intersections. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2015  (free open
access download: https://www.oapen.org/search?identifier=559550 )

"Social media as postcolonial contact zones. Young Londoners remapping the
metropolis through digital media". In: Ponzanesi, Sandra and Colpani,
Gianmaria, (eds.) Postcolonial Transitions in Europe (pp. 255-276). London:
Rowman & Littlefield, 2016.

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Raquel RennĂ³
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