CfP: Comparing e/migrations: Tradition – (Post)memory – Translingualism

Adam Kola's picture
Call for Papers
April 24, 2019 to April 26, 2019
Subject Fields: 
Area Studies, Eastern Europe History / Studies, Immigration & Migration History / Studies, Literature, World History / Studies

Call for Papers:

Comparing e/migrations:

Tradition – (Post)memory – Translingualism

Faculty of Languages, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń (NCU), Poland

in cooperation with the Polish Comparative Literature Association

April 24-26, 2019

Toruń, Poland

The current migrant crisis has recently become one of the most significant topics of political and public debate not only in Europe but, in different forms and on a different scale, all over the world. Border barriers (fences and walls) and sinking asylum seekers’ boats, human trafficking and smuggling are among the most visible signs of contemporary violence. There is no doubt that the refugee crisis has reached global proportions and represents one of the most serious challenges of late modernity. However, widely understood migration – its different forms and practices, causes and objectives – is as old as humankind.

The main topic of our interest at this conference is e/migrations as an object of comparative studies within different traditions, schools, and approaches, as well as migrations as a comparative and comparatists’ experience. We seek the answer to the following questions: What is the relevance of earlier theoretical concepts and approaches, such as postcolonialism and decoloniality, roots and routes, diasporic, cosmopolitan and transnational identities in the 21st century? How does migration change our thinking about home, belonging, language and self in an age of globalization but also defensive fundamentalism and conservative backlash? What is the effect of analyzing migratory itineraries in a comparative framework? How do migrations reconfigure our understanding of the legacies of violence?

We hope that the conference will open up a discussion on new forms and new understandings of e/migrations and migrant experience; it will also enable us to face emerging questions about the place of migrants, immigrants, emigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, and displaced persons in the contemporary world and beyond. We are interested in all topics and problems related to e/migration in the context of cultural production: literature, film, music, and all other forms of artistic production. We encourage you to consider both linear narratives of migration and more experimental ways of representing migration traumas and crises.

We would like to invite scholars form different fields of the humanities and social sciences who will share their ideas on the following topics:

  • The history and tradition of e/migrations;
  • Post/memory of e/migrations, i.e. including experience of the first, second and third generations of migrants;
  • The representation of diasporas and diasporic identities today; gender and sexuality in the context of migration and diasporic experience
  • The problem of translingualism as a challenge to national (literary) canon formation;
  • Cosmopolitanism, global citizenship, statelessness and expatriatism;
  • Migrations hubs and non-places as cultural intersections on travel routes;
  • Capitalist expansion, labor migrations (both forced and voluntary) and the post/colonial condition;
  • Migrations genres and artistic manifestations;
  • Traveling theories and theorists;
  • Nature and landscape, climate migrations, environmental refugees,
  • Migrations and violence (changing borders, wars, population transfers or resettlements, deportation and ethnic cleansing).

The conference will be held in Toruń, Poland, on April 24-26 2019, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Faculty of Languages at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń. The conference is organized jointly with the Polish Comparative Literature Association.

Confirmed keynotes and invited speakers:

  • Stanley Bill, Cambridge University
  • Dagmara Drewniak, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań
  • Dorota Kołodziejczyk, University of Wrocław
  • Haun Saussy, University of Chicago.
  • Roma Sendyka, Jagiellonian University, Kraków
  • Bożena Shallcross, University of Chicago
  • Olga Solovieva, University of Chicago
  • Galin Tihanov, Queen Mary University of London

Deadline for the submission of proposals (300 words) and a short CV (150 words): 15 December 2018. Notifications of acceptance will be sent by the mid of January 2019.

All correspondence, including the submission of proposals and a short CV, should be addressed to:

We encourage you to submit:

  1. Individual proposals for 20-minute presentations,
  2. Panel proposals (consisting of at least three papers),
  3. Poster session proposals.

The conference language will be English.

Conference fee

Conference fee for affiliated academics is 500 PLN or 125 Euros and for PhD and MA students 350 PLN or 80 Euros. It covers the costs of conference materials, coffee breaks, lunches and opening banquet. It does not cover accommodation and travel expenses. Account number for bank transfer will be provided upon the acceptance of proposal. Further details will be provided in the second circular.

Conference webpage:

Social events include:

  1. Guided tour of the Toruń Old Town and The Olender (settlers from the Netherlands and Friesland, members of the Protestant Mennonite group) Ethnographic Park
  2. Additional trip to Gdańsk-Sopot-Gdynia on Saturday, April 27, 2019, with a guided tour of the Emigration Museum in Gdynia
Contact Info: 

Adam Kola, PhD

Faculty of Languages

Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń (NCU), Poland