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Cultures, Citizenship and Human Rights


14 - 16 December 2016

KNAW Academy Colloquium ‘Connected migrants: encapsulation or cosmopolitanism?’


The KNAW (The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences) has granted funding to Prof. Sandra Ponzanesi and Dr Koen Leurs. In December 2016, they will organise a KNAW Academy Colloquium entitled ‘Connected migrants: encapsulation or cosmopolitanism?’ with 16 international experts. Koen Leurs & Sandra Ponzanesi will organise a two-day seminar and a one-day masterclass for advanced PhD students and emerging scholars.

World renown emeritus professor Zygmunt Bauman will assess contemporary formations of the internet, diaspora, migration and multiculturalism on a public lecture on Friday 16, from 15.00-16.30.

Encapsulation and Cosmopolitanism

In our contemporary world, migrants should be considered as ‘connected migrants’. More than ever before, migrants can chose between different technologies to be in contact with loved ones living in their country of origin. This colloquium will innovatively address how digital practices of migrants revolves around the dialectic of ‘encapsulation’ and ‘cosmopolitanism’.

Previously, scholars singled out one or another of these processes. ‘Homophily’, the assumption that ‘birds of a feather flock together’, is popular among those who argue that transnational communication hinders integration and leads to segregation and radicalisation. Scholars however also contend that migrants can be present in both their host society and their homeland .

Seen this way, migrants can connect with their homeland and diaspora, forming bonding capital and developing bridging, cosmopolitan capital by connecting with their host society. Although contested, cosmopolitanism is indispensable as a ‘grounded category’ to capture everyday reflexive imaginations of openness between self, other and world among elite and subaltern subjects.

This colloquium innovatively brings experts in the field together to acknowledge how boundary making and cosmopolitanisation operate simultaneously and grasps social, cultural and political implications of migrant digital practices as grounded in everyday practices.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Prof. Zygmunt Bauman
  • Prof. Miyase Christensen
  • Dr. Dana Diminescu
  • Dr. Alexander Dhoest
  • Prof Godfried Engbersen
  • Prof. Radhika Gajjala
  • Dr. Myria Georgiou
  • Prof. Cees Hamelink
  • Dr. Gavan Titley
  • Dr. Nishant Shah
  • Dr. Sanjay Sharma
  • Dr. Kevin Smets
  • Prof. Huub Dijsselbloem
  • Dr. Farida Vis
  • Dr. Roopika Risam
  • Dr Saskia Witteborn
  • Dr. Kishonna Gray

We also welcome PhD students, early career researchers and advanced students interested in the topic to apply for this exciting masterclass preceding the colloquium on December 14, 2016 in Amsterdam. International experts Farida Vis, Kishonna Gray & Roopika Risam will equip participants with a solid theoretical grounding and methodological skillset to analyse migrant connectivity practices.

Sign up before November 28 here.
Questions? Email Koen Leurs @ k.h.a.leurs@uu.nl