[Air-L] Reminder special collection of Social Media + Society on Forced migration and digital connectivity in(to) Europe

Leurs, K.H.A. (Koen) K.H.A.Leurs at uu.nl
Thu Mar 31 01:13:02 PDT 2016

Dear colleagues,

Apologies for cross-posting, 
this is a kind reminder there are 2 weeks left to submit an abstract for a 
guest-edited special collection of Social Media + Society 
on Forced migration and digital connectivity in(to) Europe. 

With best regards,

Koen Leurs & Kevin Smets 


*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, representation, 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  cartographies

* 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> <mailto:k.h.a.leurs at uu.nl> and
kevin.smets at uantwerpen.be<mailto: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<http://sms.sagepub.com/> <http://sms.sagepub.com/><http://sms.sagepub.com/%3E <http://sms.sagepub.com/%3E%3Chttp://sms.sagepub.com/%3E>> <http://sms.sagepub.com/%3E%3Chttp://sms.sagepub.com/%3E%3E> <http://sms.sagepub.com/%3E%3Chttp://sms.sagepub.com/%3E%3E%3E>).

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 seek 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 countries.

*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 www.koenleurs.net

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.

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