International Conference: Transforming Mobility and Immobility: Brexit and Beyond 28-29 March 2019, Sheffield, UK


International Conference: Transforming Mobility and Immobility: Brexit and Beyond

28-29 March 2019, Sheffield, UK

This conference is organised by the Migration Research Group (MRG) at the University of Sheffield in collaboration with the Centre of Migration Research (CMR) at the University of Warsaw, IMISCOE and is supported by the Noble Foundation’s Programme on Modern Poland. 

Confirmed speakers include: 

Professor Nira Yuval Davis, University of East London

Professor Bryan Turner, Australian Catholic University and Potsdam University

Professor Feargal Cochrane, University of Kent

Professor Pawel Kaczmarczyk, University of Warsaw

Dr Majella Kilkey, University of Sheffield

Professor Louise Ryan, University of Sheffield

Professor Peter Scholten, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Professor Anna Triandafyllidou, European University Institute

Catherine Woollard, European Council on Refugees and Exiles

At the very moment the UK plans to exit the EU, we invite migration scholars to come together to discuss how Brexit cannot be understood in isolation, but must be seen in relation to a geographic, temporal and conceptual ‘beyond’. We will collaborate to develop understanding of how on-going events in Europe and worldwide are transforming regimes, patterns and understandings of mobility and immobility.

In the 15 years since the 2004 Enlargement, at local and national scales, European countries have experienced seismic shifts associated with increasing intra-EU mobility, the economic crisis, austerity, the so-called ‘refugee crisis’, the rise of far-right and other populist sentiments. Brexit is clearly a notable political landmark in the UK’s more generalised ‘hostile environment’, but globally it sits alongside other significant events such as Trump’s ‘raising the border’ rhetoric in the USA to the forced displacement of the Rohingya from Myanmar.

Following Castles (2010: 1576), we understand these shifts as bound up in broader processes of social transformation in which ‘existing social patterns are questioned and many are reconfigured’. A social transformation lens on migration, invites us, therefore, to interrogate what is changing in the politics, policies and practices of mobility and immobility, and what this means for our existing theoretical and conceptual frameworks.

We welcome paper proposals from various disciplines, theoretical and empirical oriented, case-studies and comparative and with relevance to the UK, Europe and beyond on the following themes:

  • Shifting mobility and migration policy regimes
  • Ordering and re-ordering of (im)mobile subjects in shifting regimes: gendered, classed and racialised implications
  • Rescaling borders and everyday bordering
  • Bottom-up strategies of individuals and groups to negotiate and resist borders
  • Social transformation through migration: countries of origin and countries of living perspectives
  • New and emerging patterns of migration and mobility
  • Multicultures in place and understandings of integration in local contexts
  • Understanding and responding to the politicisation of borders and migration

Important information:

Day 1 of the conference is dedicated to doctoral research. PhD students will be given the opportunity to showcase their research, ‘work in progress’ and emerging research findings.

The Conference Opening Plenary and a wine reception will take place on the evening of Day 1 for all conference participants. Day 2 of the conference will include paper presentations from post-doctoral level researchers / academics and further plenary sessions.

Submission of paper proposals should include a 250-word abstract. The deadline for submitting paper proposals is 10th October 2018.

Applicants will be notified about the acceptance of their paper proposals by mid-November 2018, at which point the conference registration system will open.

Please consult the conference webpage for more details and information on how to submit:


Conference organising team at the University of Sheffield:

  • Laura Foley / Indra Mangule (MRG Administrator)
  • Dr Majella Kilkey (Co-Director MRG and Department of Sociological Studies)
  • Maev McDaid (PhD Student, Department of Sociological Studies)
  • Dr Aneta Piekut (MRG and Sheffield Methods Institute)
  • Dr Clare Rishbeth (MRG and Department of Landscape)
  • Professor Louise Ryan (Co-Director MRG and Department of Sociological Studies)
  • Dr Zheng Wang (MRG and Urban Studies and Planning)
  • Edanur Yazici (PhD Student, Department of Sociological Studies)