Past Events

IMISCOE Spring Conference: Transforming Mobility and Immobility: Brexit and Beyond

The ‘Transforming Mobility and Immobility: Brexit and Beyond’ IMISCOE Spring Conference took place on 28-29 March 2019 in Sheffield, UK.

This conference wass 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 and IMISCOE. It was supported by the Noble Foundation’s Programme on Modern Poland.

Speakers included:

  • Professor Feargal Cochrane, University of Kent
  • Professor Nira Yuval Davis, University of East London
  • 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
  • Dr Aarti Iyer, University of Sheffield

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.


Migration and Transformations: PhD Research Methods Summer School

Monday 3rd September 2018 – Friday 7th September 2018, Warsaw, Poland 

The Migration and Transformations: PhD Research Methods Summer School took place from Monday 3rd – Friday 7th September 2018 in Warsaw, Poland. The Summer School brought together young scholars and more established academics working on migration research through a week of lectures and master classes.The Summer School was organised by the Migration Research Group at the University of Sheffield, the Centre for Migration Research and the Centre for Research on Prejudice at the University of Warsaw, and the Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

This event is part of the ‘Modern Poland’ project, which is a collaboration between leading scholars from the Migration Research Group at the University of Sheffield and the Centre for Migration Research at the University of Warsaw. This project is funded by the Noble Foundation’s Programme on Modern Poland ( It runs from October 2017 to September 2019.

More information can be found here.


Migration Matters Festival: Stories of Migration and Belonging

19-23 June 2018, Sheffield

The Migration Research Group at the University of Sheffield has partnered with the Migration Matters Festival to host a special programme of films and events.

The Migration Matters Festival is a five day theatre and arts festival that ran from 19-23 June 2018 in Sheffield during Refugee Week.

The ‘Stories of Migration and Belonging’ showcased films made by women that explored different representations of migration, identity and belonging across the world.

For more information, see here.



Research Workshop: Understanding the ethics of interdisciplinary research with refugee communities

Friday June 15th. Arts Tower, Room 13.17 | Time: 9:30 – 14:15

The workshop, sponsored by the University Research Ethics Committee (UREC) explored the ethics of interdisciplinary research with refugee communities, in the context of displacement in refugee camps and host communities.

Dr Jason Hart (University of Bath) and Dr Lucy Mayblin (University of Warwick)

Also featuring PhD researchers Aya Musmar (Architecture) and Sarah Linn (Urban Studies and Planning), and Mrs Lindsay Unwin, Ethics & Integrity Officer, University of Sheffield.

 More information here.



Debate – Hostile Environment: The Culture of Disbelief and Conscious Cruelty

6:00pm – 8:00pm, Wednesday, 16th May, Central United Reform Church 
60 Norfolk St, Sheffield S1 2JB

A ‘culture of disbelief’ in the Home Office has devastated the lives of many seeking asylum in the UK, but does it reflect a wider culture in our society? The way benefit claimants are treated has also been described as a process of ‘conscious cruelty’. Recent revelations concerning the treatment of the Windrush generation are arguably the tip of the iceberg. Refused asylum seekers have borne the brunt of the ‘hostile environment’ for many years.

In this public debate, expert speakers set the context, and those who have suffered from our society’s lack of compassion, including a representative from the Windrush generation itself, told of their experiences.  A diverse panel discussed the issues from a range of different perspectives, with opportunity for discussion and questions.

For more information, see here.



Seminar: ‘How does immigration affect segregation and employment at the local level?’ with Professor Gwilym Pryce and Dr Dan Olner

2-3pm, Wednesday 16th May, Elmfield Building, Room G19.

Professor Gwilym Pryce and Dr Dan Olner presented a Migration Research Group seminar at 2pm on Wednesday 16th May entitled: “How does immigration affect segregation and employment at the local level? The interweaving roles of path dependency, cultural distance, and spatial spillovers”.

In this talk, they presented an overview of two ongoing research projects that attempt to explore the local connections between immigration, segregation and employment. They argued that to understand these effects we need to understand the interweaving processes of path dependency, cultural distance, and spatial spillovers. They presented the results of their research so far and invite reflection on what they mean for policy, theory and future research directions.

More information here.



Migration Research Group Networking Event

On Wednesday May 16th from 1-2pm in Elmfield Room 109  new and past members got together for a coffee, conversation and networking.


Modern slavery, expertise and evidence roundtable

1.30pm – 3pm, Tuesday 15th May 2018, Room 216, Elmfield Building

This Roundtable brought together two leading scholars of modern slavery from Australia and South Africa, and experts from Anti-Slavery International, to reflect on current efforts to address modern slavery.  Speakers shared cutting edge research and practitioner perspectives on the state of global and national government efforts to combat modern slavery, including: Are current government and civil society initiatives to measure, study, and combat modern slavery working?  Are the right actors and experts involved?  Is it dangerous to enact solutions when the evidence base on modern slavery is still so thin? This interdisciplinary conversation benchmarked the state of anti-slavery movements and governance, and chart out pathways forward.

– Professor Joel Quirk, University of Witwatersrand (South Africa)
– Dr Sanja Milivojevic, La Trobe University (Australia)
– Klara Skrivankova, UK and Europe Programme Manager, Anti-Slavery International

Chairs: Dr Hannah Lewis and Professor Genevieve LeBaron

More information here.


2:00-6:00pm, 10th May 2018, The University of Sheffield

Workshop: John Pemberton Lecture Theatre, Regent Court, 2-4pm

Film Screening: Lecture Theatre 2, The Diamond, 4:30-6pm

This one-day event, sponsored by the Arts & Humanities Postgraduate Forum and the Migration Research Group at the University of Sheffield, aimed to open up discussion and debate about women making films across the Black Atlantic. It showcased films, by four female directors, which traverse that space. In bringing them together, new connections can be made through the filmic representations and explorations of migration, belonging and identity.

More information here.


Seminar: “Promoting the engagement of migrant and refugee communities in research, healthcare innovation and evaluation”

12:30pm -1:45pm, Thursday May 10th 2018, ICOSS Board Room

Associate Professor Jane Yelland from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) in Melbourne gave a seminar “Promoting the engagement of migrant and refugee communities in research, healthcare innovation and evaluation”  on Thursday 10th May.



‘Social Policy & Society’ Annual Lecture 2018: “Migration-Induced Social Change in Poland” with Professor Izabela Grabowska

The second Annual Lecture of the Journal Social Policy & Society, sponsored by Cambridge University Press in association with the Noble Foundation, was held in Lecture Theatre 9 in the Diamond at the University of Sheffield on the 18th of April at 5.15 pm. 

The lecture focuses on ‘Migration-Induced Social Change in Poland’ and will be delivered by Professor Izabela Grabowska from SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Warsaw. The lecture was followed by a wine reception at the same venue (Work Room 3), finishing at 7.00 pm. Information about the lecture can be found below:

Migration-Induced Social Change in Poland

To capture the impact of migration on a single, sending country (Poland in this case) is not an easy task. It requires that we disentangle the migratory outcomes from those of more general societal changes, happening retrospectively, in the present time and prospectively. This lecture will offer the methodological device of ‘an inside-out’ approach (White 2016), which suggests that migration needs to be analysed not as a forefront, isolated and individual process but complementary to the wide general societal trends and conditions. Special focus will be given to the grass-root social change, ‘hand-made’ by return migrants with the help of migratory social remittances as local forms of social and cultural diffusion (Grabowska et al. 2017). The lecture will be based on the wide array of quantitative and qualitative data documented in the forthcoming book The Impact of Migration on Poland: Mobility and Social Change (with Anne White, Pawel Kaczmarczyk and Krystyna Slany, UCL Press) in which the Polish society is discussed in light of other ‘new EU countries’ of Central and Eastern Europe. The lecture takes up some of the themes addressed in an article to be submitted to the Journal Social Policy & Society.


Professor Izabela Grabowska is a Sociologist and Economist; Professor at SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Warsaw; International Research Coordinator at the Centre of Migration Research, University of Warsaw; Deputy Chair of IMISCOE Research Network Board of Directors and member of IMISCOE Executive Board; Head of Youth Research Center of SWPS University Social Sciences and Humanities; and national expert of the European Commission in ESCO (Classification of European Skills, Competences, Qualifications and Occupations). She is author of many books, including Movers and Stayers: Migration, Mobility and Skills (Lang, 2016) and Migrants as Agents of Change (with Garapich, Jazwinska and Radziwinowiczowna, Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), and co-editor of Mobility in Transition. Migration Patterns After EU Enlargement (Amsterdam University Press, 2013). She currently leads the project on Peer-groups and migration at the Youth Research Center of SWPS University. More at:


In addition to Cambridge University Press, the 2018 Social Policy & Society Annual Lecture is partly supported by the Noble Foundation as part of the ‘Modern Poland’ project, which is a collaboration between leading scholars from the Migration Research Group at the University of Sheffield and the Centre for Migration Research at the University of Warsaw. This project is funded by the Noble Foundation’s Programme on Modern Poland ( It runs from October 2017 to September 2019.


Masterclass for PhD and Early Career Researchers: “Interdisciplinary approach to complex policy issues: A case of migration-development nexus” 

On Thursday 19th April 2018, Professor Izabela Grabowska from the University of Warsaw delivered a two-hour masterclass to PhD students and early career researchers entitled, “Interdisciplinary approach to complex policy issues: A case of migration-development nexus”.

The masterclass provided a valuable opportunity for PhD students and early career researchers working on migration research to learn about interdisciplinary approaches to complex policy issues with a leading migration scholar.

The masterclass is part of the ‘Modern Poland’ project, which is a collaboration between leading scholars from the Migration Research Group at the University of Sheffield and the Centre for Migration Research at the University of Warsaw. This project is funded by the Noble Foundation’s Programme on Modern Poland ( It runs from October 2017 to September 2019.

Objectives of the Master Class:

  • To use the theme of migration and development to showcase the interdisciplinary and complex policy areas;
  • To link migration with wider social issues;
  • To learn how to form interdisciplinary and mixed-method approaches to policy challenges, including collaborations both on the science and the policy sides, as well as across this divide;
  • To exemplify the benefits of mixed-method approaches in order to understand how to manage knowledge for policy and how to deal with knowledge overload.



Professor Izabela Grabowska is a Sociologist and Economist who is the International Research Coordinator at the Centre of Migration Research, University of Warsaw and is a Professor and the Head of the Youth Research Centre at SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities. She is Deputy Chair of IMISCOE Research Network Board of Directors and a member of IMISCOE Executive Board, and is a national expert of the European Commission in ESCO (Classification of European Skills, Competences, Qualifications and Occupations).

She currently leads the project on Peer-groups and migration at the Youth Research Centre of SWPS University.

See more at

Symposium – Ageing in and out of place: towards sustainable well-being in diverse and mobile contexts

Professor Louise Ryan and Dr Majella Kilkey from the Department of Sociological Studies and the Migration Research Group at the University of Sheffield organised a one-day symposium: “Ageing in and out of place: towards sustainable well-being in diverse and mobile contexts”. The event took place on Wednesday 18th April 2018 at the Leopold Hotel in Sheffield.

This symposium had two paper sessions. The first focused on “Ageing in and out of place” with papers given by Alistair Hunter from the University of Edinburgh and Inés Calzada from Complutense University. The second session was on “Researching ageing migrants – life course and transnational perspectives” with papers given by Julia Brannen and Elizabetta Zontini.

The event also included two panel discussions. The first discussion entitled “Ageing Migrants – Care and well-being needs and policy and practice responses” included contributions from Oliver Tsemo and Clinkton McKoy from SADACCA Sheffield, Tamara Fieldsend, from the Polish Drop-in Centre & Library in Barnsley, Dan Horsfall from the University of York, and Kelly Hall from the University of Birmingham.

The second panel “Migrants’ experiences of racism, discrimination and precarity – impacts in later life” included contributions from Omar Khan from the Runnymede Trust, Shereen Hussein from Kings College London, Mary Tilki from the Cuimhne Irish Memory Loss Alliance, and Barbara Drozdowicz from the East European Resource Centre in London.

You can read a report of the event here.



Challenging ‘integration’: building new sociological theories to understand migrants’ mobilities and settling strategies in the context of Brexit – Symposium 

On Thursday 30 November 2017, the Migration Research Group and the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Sheffield held a symposium at the Leopold Hotel in Sheffield:

This symposium, co-sponsored by the Migration Research Group and the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Sheffield, aims to re-evaluate the concept of migrant ‘integration’ in the context of intra-EU mobility post-Brexit. On the one hand, migrant ‘integration’ is at the centre of the EU’s ‘social cohesion’ policy, but with very different associated meanings and expectations for non-EU (CoE 2008) and EU migrants (Directive 2004/38/EC). On the other hand, ‘scientifically speaking, there are no satisfactory core definitions, despite the growing number of national and crossnational projects’ (Favell 2014).

The symposium brought together migration scholars whose recent work on European migration has either explicitly challenged the notion of ‘integration’ based on empirical sociological observations (Ryan 2015; 2017; Grzymala-Kazlowska 2016; 2017), or sought to adapt it to the circumstances of intra-EU mobility and Brexit by bridging sociological and legal approaches (McGhee and Moreh 2017; Phillimore, 2017; Strang, 2017).

The speakers’ included:

  • Prof Jenny Phillimore, University of Birmingham: ‘More than a two-way process? Multi-directional influences on migrant integration’
  • Prof Adrian Favell, University of Leeds: National integration in theory, measurement and practice (or, What difference do 900,000 non-white children in state funded primary schools, 8 million non-nationals, 3 million EU residents, 1 million Commonwealth voters, or 36 million tourists make…?)
  • Dr Roxana Barbulescu, University of Leeds: ‘”The freedom to not integrate. Integration ‘models’ and the exempted migrants in European societies”
  • Dr Aleksandra Grzymala-Kazlowska, University of Birmingham: “Dynamics of social anchoring: capturing the complexity of migrants’ settlement”
  • Prof Louise Ryan, University of Sheffield: ‘Differentiated embedding and migrants dynamic attachments through space and time’
  • Dr Marcia Alejandra Vera Espinoza, University of Sheffield: “Understanding ‘unsettlement’ as part of refugee integration: experiences from Latin America”
  • Dr Alison B Strang, Queen Margaret University Edinburgh: ‘Applying conceptualisations of integration to policy and practice – examining the Scottish experience’.
  • Dr Maria Sobolewska, University of Manchester: ‘From assimilation to rejection of extremism: what does integration mean and has it become a dangerous concept?’

MRG SymposiumSymposium 2017MRG Symposium Panel 1






MRG Symposim Marcia Vera Espinosa

MRG Symposium Alison Strang

MRG Syposium Louise Ryan








Brexit & EU Nationals – Your Questions Answered

On Monday 6 November 2017, the University of Sheffield Migration Research Group hosted an informative, public discussion to consider what Brexit might mean for EU nationals’ legal, family and worker rights. The event was led by Dr Hannah Lewis from the University of Sheffield.

06.11 EventEvent panellists

  • Emma Brooksbank, Partner, Head of Immigration, Simpson Millar
  • Christopher Cole, Partner, Head of Immigration, Parker Rhodes Hickmott
  • John Donkersley, Solicitor & Service Supervisor, Citizens Advice Sheffield
  • Angela Greenwood, Community Services Manager (Cohesion, Migration and Equalities), Sheffield City Council
  • Terezia Rostas, Roma Futures
  • Sarah Smith, Howells Solicitors

Photo exhibition

The Remain/Leave: Photography Exhibition by Jeremy Abrahams at Sheffield Train Station ran in association with this event. There was a chance to view and discuss the exhibition with Jeremy before the Q&A.

This event was part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science. To view more events visit:




3rd Annual Postgraduate Conference on Migration at the University of Sheffield: ‘Understanding Migration: States of (Un)Belonging’

On Thursday 15th June 2017 we held our 3rd Annual Postgraduate Conference on Migration at the University of Sheffield. The conference gathered more than 60 postgraduate students and early career researchers. All of them contributed to explore the conference theme: ‘Understanding Migration: States of (Un)Belonging’.

The keynote speaker was Dr Nando Sigona from the University of Birmingham.

More information about the Conference is available here.

You can watch Dr Nando Sigona’s Keynote Lecture here.

The conference was co-sponsored by the Sheffield Migration Research GroupDepartment of GeographyThe Sheffield Institute for International Development (SIID)The Department of PoliticsThe Department of Sociological StudiesThe Sheffield Centre for Law and Society, and the Department of Urban Studies and Planning.

MRGConferenceCoverScreen Shot 2017-05-18 at 09.41.15

Conference organisers:

Thekli Anastasiou (Law), Dr Marcia Vera Espinoza (Politics), Laura Foley (Politics), Sarah Linn (Urban Studies and Planning), Katy Steward (Languages), Esteban Sanchez Botero (Journalism), and Rebecca Murray (Geography).

*You can read about our 2016 conference here



Annual Conference Keynote Lecture: ‘Within and beyond citizenship: status, rights and belonging’

By Dr Nando Sigona (University of Birmingham)

Thursday June 15th, 2017 | 2:00pm | The Diamond, Lecture Theatre 7

The Migration Research Group at the University of Sheffield was delighted to host Dr Nando SigonaSenior Lecturer and Deputy Director of the Institute of Research into Superdiversity at the University of Birmingham who gave the Keynote Lecture of our 3rd Postgraduate Conference on Migration.

Drawing on a range of examples from previous and ongoing research related to different figures of membership, including undocumented children, unaccompanied minors, Roma, boat migrants and eurochildren, the paper explores the relationship between immigration status, rights and belonging in contemporary societies of immigration. It considers the ways in which political membership is experienced, spatially and bureaucratically constructed, and actively negotiated and contested in the everyday lives of non-citizens, as well as citizens.

Nando Sigona is Senior Lecturer and Deputy Director of the Institute of Research into Superdiversity at the University of Birmingham. His research interests include: statelessness, diasporas and the state; Romani politics and anti-Gypsyism; ‘illegality’ and the everyday experiences of undocumented migrant children and young people; crisis, governance and governmentality of forced migration in the EU; Mediterranean boat migration; and Brexit and intra-European mobility. His work has appeared in a range of international academic journals, including Sociology, Social Anthropology, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Identities, Citizenship Studies and Ethnic and Racial Studies. His forthcoming edited volume Within and beyond citizenship (with Roberto G. Gonzales, Routledge/BSA) will be published in June 2017.

You can watch Dr Nando Sigona’s Keynote Lecture here.



Migration Research at Sheffield Annual Lecture

‘The Brexit election and what it means for the future direction of migration policy in Britain’
By Roger Casale, founder of New Europeans.

The Migration Research Group at the University of Sheffield held its Annual Lecture on Thursday 15th June 2017. We were delighted to host Roger Casale, founder of New Europeans, a civil rights organisation which champions freedom of movement, non-discrimination and the principle of solidarity in Europe.

Roger Casale, New Europeans

Roger Casale, New Europeans


Roger Casale is a civil rights activist with experience in business, academia and politics both in the UK and internationally. In 2013 he set up New Europeans, a Europe-wide civil society movement which champions the rights of European citizens and the principles of equality, diversity and solidarity in Europe.

He is the winner of the Sheila Mckechnie Foundation People’s Choice Award for his role in the #righttostay campaign for the rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU and a Financial Times Future of Britain Award for his essay “A Green Card for Europe“.

Roger was one of the organisers of the Unite for Europe march which attracted 100,000 people to London on 25 March 2017 to express their European identity and determination to work to unite Britain, reverse Brexit and change Europe.

​Previously Roger was a senior government and parliamentary affairs advisor to industry and not-for-profit organisations. He served as a Member of Parliament from 1997-2005 and a Parliamentary Private Secretary in the Foreign Office between 2002 and 2005.

Roger has international experience having lived, worked and studied in Germany, Italy, Australia and the United States and he speaks four languages.



Documentary Screening: Wallah Je te jure

Migration Research at Sheffield is glad to invite you to a screening of the film «Wallah Je te jure» on June 14th at the Hicks Building Pool Lecture Theatre 3, 17:30.

Discussant: Dr Nishat Awan

The screening will be free to the public | Trailer |  IMDb page


The documentary has been produced in 2016 by the International Organization for Migration. The documentary tells the stories of men and women travelling along West African migration routes to Italy. Senegal’s rural villages, Niger’s bus stations and “ghettos” full of traffickers, and Italian squares and houses will be the backdrops of these courageous trips, which often end in tragedy. No matter the cost, the goal to reach Europe will be achieved, “Wallah.” But there are those who, tired from the journey, turn back home.

Department of Sociological Studies and Sheffield MRG Research Seminar

‘Modern slavery and human trafficking’: The re-emergence of the intersection of faith and slavery in postsecular contexts
by Dr Hannah Lewis

When: Wednesday 24 May, 1-2pm
Where: Room 109, Elmfield Building, University of Sheffield.

 This paper explores the 21st century re-emergence of the intersection of faith and slavery in its ‘modern slavery and human trafficking’ guise. The rise of ‘neo-abolitionism’ emerges from a nexus of faith, (modern) slavery, and human trafficking in a context of the UK’s changing religious landscape and growing welfare pluralism in times of austerity. The new assemblages of faith based organisations operating in secular welfare provision can be seen as creating new forms of postsecular partnerships. Nevertheless, the faith/anti-trafficking nexus at times reproduces discursive constructions of deservingness and dependency that are especially acute within gendered anti-trafficking efforts to tackle ‘modern slavery’. This paper sets out the context and conceptual framework of a new ESRC study that aims to understand the role of faith based organisations in anti-trafficking. The project is designed to explore anti-trafficking responses in three terrains of action: support for trafficked persons; campaigns and public awareness; government and statutory responses. The paper will sketch the rapid growth in the number of faith-based organisations and their diversity of roles in the anti-trafficking sector. Abolishing modern slavery has achieved international policy consensus. Against such a backdrop, rather little is empirically known about the particular assemblages and affective atmospheres created for trafficked persons in either faith-based or secular anti-trafficking settings, and how particular faith-based constructions of trafficking may affect the wider project of ‘ending modern slavery’.

All welcome. Please add your name to the attendance list HERE.


Documentary Screening: Clínica de Migrantes

On Thuesday, 18th of May, Migration Research at Sheffield and the School of Health and Related Research showcased the documentary “Clínica de Migrantes”.

The film was introduced by Ahmed Aber, Research Associate at ScHARR. Ahmed has experience working as a medical doctor with migrants in The Jungle in Calais. The documentary preceded a networking gathering for all ScHARR students, researchers and staff interested in migration and members of Sheffield MRG.

Synopsis: Clinica de MiClinicadeMigrantesPostergrantes is a medical drama about a year in the life of Puentes, one of the only health clinics in the U.S. involved in the politically controversial practice of providing healthcare to undocumented immigrants. By law, illegal immigrants cannot obtain health insurance, and receive no regular medical treatment. At Puentes, a team of volunteers led by Dr. Steve Larson attend to an ever-growing population of housekeepers, prep cooks, and construction workers. Many come to Puentes after being turned away at other hospitals. Full of unforgettable patient-doctor interactions and human portraits, Clinica de Migrantes tells the story of America’s true untouchable class and of the heroic few who reach out to help them.

IMDb page | More information about the film here

CIRCLE and Sheffield MRG Research Seminar

‘Shaping and Reshaping Care and Migration in East and Southeast Asia’
by Professor Ito Peng

On Tuesday, 16th of May, The Centre for International Research on Care, Labour & Equalities (CIRCLE) and Migration Research hosted Professor Ito Peng, University of Toronto who discussed her paper titled: ‘Shaping and Reshaping Care and Migration in East and Southeast Asia’.

Photo on 2017-01-25 at 11.45 AM #2

Professor Ito Peng

This article examines how culture, institution, and social policies interact to shape national approaches to care and the use of migrant care workers. I compare Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore to show variations in approaches to care and migration despite their cultural similarities. Through a conceptual framework that intersects culture, institution and policy I identify two approaches that are evident across a spectrum of approaches in East Asia: regulated institutional (Japan and Korea) and liberal market oriented (Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore). The analysis shows that cultural, institutional and socio-economic factors are continuously interacting with each other to shape national understandings of care and the use of foreign care workers, and that different policies interact with each other referentially as they develop and affect social and cultural norms through policy feedback.

Ito Peng is a Professor of Sociology and Public Policy, and Canada Research Chair in Global Social Policy at the Department of Sociology, and the School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Toronto. She has written extensively on family, gender and social policies, and social and political economy of care, in East Asia. She currently leads a large international partnership research project entitled Gender, Migration, and the Work of Care funded by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The project brings together over 50 researchers and non-academic partners to examine how the reorganization of care influences the global migration of care workers, and how this in turn impacts family and gender relations, gender equality, government policies, and global governance. Her new book, co-edited with Sonya Michel, Gender, Migration and the Work of Care: A Multi-Scalar Approach to the Pacific Rim, will be out in July 2017.


Migration and the future of Global Governance

Celebrating 10 years of the ERC
#ERC10yrs | @migprosp

On Thursday March 22nd, 2017, the ERC funded project Prospects for International Migration Governance (MIGPROSP), in collaboration with Migration Research at Sheffield Group, hosted the lecture of Dr Martin Ruhs, associated professor in Political Economy at Oxford University. Dr Ruhs presented his paper “Labour immigration policies in high-income countries: Variations across political regimes and varieties of capitalism”, followed by a discussion by Dr Genevieve LeBaron, Senior Lecturer in Politics, which triggered a stimulating dialogue with a multidisciplinary audience from Politics, Sociological Studies, Urban Studies and Planning, and members of the civil society.

Dr Ruhs’s talk was preceded by a roundtable discussion by members of the MIGPROSP team. Prof Andrew Geddes introduced the MIGPROSP project, highlighting the changing and dynamic character of international migration as a research topic. Dr Marcia Vera offered an overview of the most recent findings about migration governance in South America, and our MIGPROSP doctoral students Luca Lixi, Laura Foley, and Andrea Pettrachin, presented their PhD research.

17_03_22_Ruhs_02 17_03_22_Ruhs_01 File_007

Paper Abstract: This paper analyses why and how labour immigration policies in high-income countries vary across politicalregimes (democracies vs autocracies) and types of capitalism (liberal vs coordinated market economies). I investigate these policy variations both theoretically and empirically based on a unique dataset of the characteristics of 77 labour immigration policies, most of which are temporary migration programmes, in 33 high-income countries. My exploratory analysis finds that, compared to policies in democracies, labour immigration programmes in autocracies are characterised by fewer restrictions on the conditions of employment of migrants, greater openness to labour immigration, more restrictions of migrants’ rights, and stronger trade-offs between openness and rights. With regard to variations across types of capitalism, I find that the admission policies in liberal market economies (LMEs) impose fewer limitations on the employment conditions of migrants and are less likely to require migrants to be self-sufficient than policies in coordinated market economies. However, LMEs place more restrictions on the social rights of migrants. I identify a trade-off in the policies in LMEs between restrictions of migrants’ social rights and the use of the self-sufficiency requirement as a condition of admission. My exploratory analysis further suggests that broader policy trade-offs between openness and social rights are more likely to occur in liberal market economies with liberal welfare states than in coordinated market economies with other types of welfare states. The paper argues and explains why these links between national institutions and labour immigration policies have critical implications for the global governance of international labour migration, and for the search of “best practices” in the design of temporary migration programmes.

BIO: Martin Ruhs is Associate Professor of Political Economy at the University of Oxford, where he is also Director of Studies in Economics at the Department for Continuing Education (OUDCE) and Senior Researcher at the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS). Martin’s research focuses on the economics and politics of international labour migration, with a strong international comparative dimension. Recent publications include “The impact of acquiring EU status on the earnings of East European migrants in the UK” (British Journal of Industrial Relations 2017) and The Price of Rights. Regulating International Labour Migration (Princeton University Press 2013; Winner of the 2014 Best Book Award, Migration and Citizenship Section, American Political Science Association). Most of Martin’s work addresses key questions and dilemmas in public policy-making. He has provided policy analysis and advice for various national governments and international institutions. During 2007-14, Martin was a member of the UK’s Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), an independent body of five academic economists tasked to advise the UK government on immigration policy.

See more pictures of the event in the MIGPROSP webiste.


“Why are so many Eritreans forced to become refugees?” Conversation with Martin Plaut

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Sheffield MRGSYMAAG and SIID, were pleased to host Martin Plaut, author of ‘Understanding Eritrea’ who delivered the seminar:

“Why are so many Eritreans forced to become refugees?”

Thursday 2nd March, 2017 | 18:30 | Seminar Room F20, Hicks Building

Martin Plaut, the BBC World Service’s former Africa Editor, has published extensively on African affairs. An adviser to the Foreign Office and the US State Department, he is Senior Researcher at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London.

The ICwS gives details of his book ‘Understanding Eritrea’ here.

Martin has a great website and a really interesting blog on current African political issues and history of Eritrea. See the website here.


Machiel Salomons, Principle Policy Development and Evaluation Officer, UNHCR Geneva

Migration Research @ Sheffield together with the Department of Politics and the Politics Society hosted a public lecture by Machiel Salomons, Principle Policy Development and Evaluation Officer at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva.

Title: What is UNHCR’s protection strategy to address the current asylum crisis in Europe and beyond? MachielSalomons

Abstract: Since the Second World War, the world has not seen an equal number of forcefully displaced people. More than 65 Million are fleeingviolence, oppression and human rights violations prompting states to adopt ever restrictive measures. Can UNHCR convince states to keep their borders open?

BIO Drs. Machiel Salomons holds a Master’s Degree in International Law from the University of Amsterdam and pursued post-graduate studies, International Human Rights Law at Oxford University (New College). Since 2012, Machiel is Principal Policy and Evaluation Officer in the UNHCR Executive Office. Some of the evaluation reports he co-drafted, including on South Sudan, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Kenya and refugee status determination procedures may be found on the UNHCR website.

 Exhibition at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Migrant Narratives of Citizenship: A Topological Atlas of European Belonging
This autumn, from 31 October to 27 November, Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) presented an immersive video installation by artist and academic Nishat Awan in the refurbished Bothy Gallery. Grounded in original field research, Migrant Narratives of Citizenship: A Topological Atlas of European Belonging presented a collection of maps which follow the borders of Europe, particularly along the Black Sea.
Photo by Cressida Kocienski

Photo by Cressida Kocienski

The exhibition traced a route through the borderlands of the ‘refugee crisis’ narrating stories of migrant journeys and the clandestine crossing of borders. An unfinished and provisional Atlas of European Belonging visualises Europe through its margins and the spaces of transit, movement and stasis produced by those on the move.

This timely project, developed in collaboration with artist Cressida Kocienski, took as its starting point the historical connection between the way states represent themselves through maps and how citizens and non-citizens are defined. Awan considers maps to be world-making entities traditionally created by those in power, rather than as visualisations of an already existing world.

More information available here.

Professor Louise Ryan, Department of Sociological Studies

Migration Research @ Sheffield Seminar Series


On November 23, 2016, new Migration Research @ Sheffield member Professor Louise Ryan delivered a talk titled: ‘…It all depends’: a comparative analysis of Irish and Polish highly qualified female migrants navigating competing priorities”. Professor Ryan recently joined the Sociological Department at the University of Sheffield and focuses on issues around migration, social networks, gender and religion.  More information about Professor Ryan’s research and experience can be found here.

Paper title: ‘…It all depends’: a comparative analysis of Irish and Polish highly qualified female migrants navigating competing priorities.

Abstract: Discourses of mobility frame movement within the context of the European Union (Collett, 2013). Concepts such as ‘freedom of movement’ evoke a sense of on-going motion, transience and temporary sojourns. This paper, drawing on my recent research with young Irish and Polish people working and living in London, explores how narratives of movement are framed by wider, competing discourses around freedom of mobility, on the one hand, and anti-immigration/ emigration rhetoric, on the other hand. The research was carried out during 2013-14 and involved 37 interviews with young highly qualified female participants in London (20 from Ireland and 17 from Poland). Although all the participants had arrived in the UK with the intention of a short, temporary stay, over time their plans had changed as they took advantage of the in-place career opportunities. Their narratives reveal their gendered negotiations of embedding (Ryan and Mulholland, 2015) in contexts of mobility, while also acknowledging the possibilities of future return to their country of origin. I suggest that although many of these participants are displaying signs of settlement, their narratives continue to be shaped by wider discourses of mobility. Migration studies has been criticised for its tendency to focus on the single national case study approach (Glick-Schiller and Caglar, 2008; Mahler and Pessar, 2006). This paper builds on my on-going comparative work (Ryan, 2010; Ryan, 2013) to explore the similarities and differences across as well as within diverse migrant groups. In so doing, my paper aims to contribute to understanding migration in two key ways: Firstly, by developing comparative analysis which seeks to go beyond a narrow ethnic/national exceptionalism; secondly, by challenging some the dominant discourses around mobility and transience to explore how women migrants negotiate processes of embedding through the life course.


“In Conversation: Arrivals: Making Sheffield Home”

When: Wednesday 9th November 18.00 – 20:00
Where: Weston Park Museum, S10 2TP

The University of Sheffield’s Migration Research Group joined in conversation with subjects of Jeremy Abrahams’ ‘Arrivals’ exhibition linking the individual stories of migration to Sheffield, to shifts in the UK’s economic and political position globally. And engaged audience joined the discussion that followed the conversations held with Imelda from Chile and Magdalena from Poland. Sheffield MRG members Majella Kilkey, Julie Walsh, Jo Britton and Marcia Vera Espinoza facilitated the discussions.

‘Arrivals’ is an exhibition documenting and celebrating the diversity of Sheffield’s population.

Photos by Jeremy Abrahams

Photos by Jeremy Abrahams

Jeremy builds a picture of how that diversity was created by photographing people who arrived in Sheffield throughout the period between 1945 and 2016. Each person chooses where in Sheffield they would like their picture to be taken. So over time the project has become a portrait of the city, of the pattern of migration and of 72 individuals.

Jeremy describes the project: “I wanted to remove immigration from the zone of contention and represent it positively, to humanise it through the images and stories of the people who have migrated from around the world to Sheffield. Sheffield is a unique city; but its experiences are shared by countless cities around the world.”

The Arrivals exhibition will be open between 24 September 2016 and 12 February 2017.




 PGR Drinks

When: Thursday, November 3rd at 6pm

Where: The University Arms, 197 Brook Hill, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S3 7HG

Post-graduate research students and early-career researchers working on issues around migration and mobility from the University of Sheffield got together last November 3rd to meet, discuss research projects and to identify future venues of collaboration.


 Welcome Meeting and Museum Visit

Screen Shot 2016-09-30 at 10.31.24

When: 04 October 2016 at 12:30pm

Where: Room 109, Department of Politics, University of Sheffield,  Elmfield, Northumberland Road, S10 2TU

This meeting provided the opportunity to welcome new and existing members to the new academic year 2016/17. At this informal gathering, we  offered information about future activities and opportunities. In addition, we were happy to host photographer Jeremy Abrahams who accompanied us to visit his new exhibit Arrivals: Marking Sheffield Home at the nearby Weston Park museum.


 Sheffield MRG Seminar

Managing migration or losing control? The production of migrant irregularity in Italy during the ‘migration crisis’.

By Dr Simon McMahon

Research Fellow, Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University

Date and time:  Thursday 2nd June / 12.30 – 14.00
Place: Department of Politics, Elmfield Building, Room 109 (Mohan)

Abstract: Over recent years, as part of what has come to be known as Europe’s migration crisis, hundreds of thousands of people have moved across the Mediterranean Sea to Italy. Thousands have also died, placing this route among the most perilous sea crossings in the world. Against such a backdrop, the Italian government and European Union have established an elaborate, multi-tiered and spatially differentiated system to process the arrival of migrants and refugees by boat. However, alongside this managed migration approach there has been a widespread production of irregular settlement in and transit through Italy. Through an analysis of over 200 interviews with migrants who arrived in Italy by boat in 2015 and 50 key stakeholders, as well as observations from the field, this paper seeks to better understand the relationship between migration controls and migrant irregularity. Whereas much research has viewed irregular migration as exceptional and outside ‘normal’ legal and social structures, this paper illustrates how formal migration control measures can be intertwined with informal modes of reception and transit networks. In doing so, it also shines light on the implications of recent efforts to control the dramatic arrival of migrants and refugees seeking a better and safer life at Europe’s southern borders.


Bio: Simon joined the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University as a Research Fellow in September 2014, having previously completed a PhD from King’s College London and been a visiting researcher at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy and the Interdisciplinary Research Group on Migration at the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, Spain. He is the author of Immigration and Citizenship in an Enlarged European Union (Palgrave, 2015) and editor of The Handbook of International Political Economy of Migration (co-edited with Leila Talani, Edward Elgar, 2015), and has written for Ethnic and Racial Studies as well as more mainstream outlets such as The Guardian, Open Democracy and The Conversation. Simon is currently undertaking new research on irregular migration in the Mediterranean and working on the project Unravelling the Mediterranean Migration Crisis, a comparative study of migration routes in four European countries (Italy, Greece, Malta and Turkey) gathered from over 500 migrants who arrived during 2015 (more information at



Migration Research @ Sheffield
Annual Lecture

“The Economic and Political Lives of Refugees”
By Professor Alexander Betts

Betts Talk 2

On Thursday, June 9th, 2016, Professor Alexander Betts, Director of Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford delivered the Migration Research @ Sheffield Annual Lecture. Betts’ presentation, The Economic and Political Lives of Refugees, highlighted the importance of recognising refugees as capable agents rather than as potential burden. The talk followed Migration Research @ Sheffield’s 2nd Annual Postgraduate Network Conference, Looking Beyond the Refugee Crisis. The conference featured  more than 30 presentations on a variety of migration issues, including but not limited to governance, integration, gender, methodology and many others.

In order to watch Prof. Betts’ lecture, please click here.

Could your research make an asylum claim successful?

A key component of asylum claims are expert reports on the applicant’s country of origin. Often written by academics – most of whom are not specialists in migration or refugee studies. Could you answer these sort of questions about a region you have researched: How are unmarried mothers viewed? What is life like for LGBTQ people? Can people speak out against the government? This event will introduce the work of Sheffield charity South Yorkshire Refugee Law and Justice, provide reflections by Professor Anthony Good on his work as a country of origin expert, and offer time to chat with others over drinks.

Date: Tuesday 10 May, 2016
Time: 5.00-6.30pm
Place: Moot Court, School of Law, University of Sheffield. Bartolome House, Winter Street, S3 7ND, Sheffield.

The event is free to attend, but registration is required through this link.

Organised by Dr Casey Strine and Dr Bríd Ní Ghráinne.


Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 11.52.34




Visiting Scholar/ Migration Activist Linda Rabben, University of Maryland

On Wednesday 16th March, Linda Rabben gave a talk to the Migration Research Network and colleagues from local charitable organisations about migration and asylum in the United States. Linda is a scholar, organiser, and activist based in the Maryland area, and her talk offered a brief history of asylum and refuge matters in the last few decades.

20160316_104210She outlined the pitiably limited support available to people seeking asylum, and how this had been systematically reduced over  the years; and how the Obama administration’s pledge to support Syrian refuges may be well-intentioned, but was already mired in political and administrative difficulties.

There was, as ever, grounds for hope. Linda talked about the power of community activism to support refugees and migrants, including an initiative in her own town to resettle a set number of  forced migrants. She also, in response to popular demand, offered her reflections on the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump; her feeling was that while he may never have enough broad appeal to come to office, the far-right political rhetoric he was using and exploiting still presented a threat to the quality of American civic life, and deserved an appropriately robust liberal response.

We thanked Linda for her talk, and we’re glad that she had time for questions and discussion with interested colleagues.

Linda Rabben’s talk was organised by Dr Tim Herrick, with support of the Sheffield Migration Research Network.

Dr. Casey Strine and Emilie Taylor present their work with involuntary migrants based in Sheffield

Dr. Casey Strine and artist/art therapist Emilie Taylor presented “Back Where You Came From: Reading the Book of Genesis with Involuntary Migrants in Sheffield”, as part of the Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies (SIIBS) Research Seminars, on Monday February 8th 2016. The seminar took place in the HRI Seminar Room, at 2pm.The seminar was free and open to anyone who would like to attend.

‘Back Where You Come From’ comprises one part of a larger research project led by a collaboration between Dr. Strine and Taylor. This collaboration explores how reflecting on narratives from sacred texts through discussion and art making can provide new knowledge and insight for people about their own experiences and the experiences of other people. More information about the project here.



MRGWelcomeMeetingWelcome Meeting

On Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015 at 12:30pm, Migration Research at Sheffield invited anyone interested in migration research at the University of Sheffield to attend the Faculty of Social Sciences Migration Research Group Welcome Meeting. The meeting will lasted approximately one hour and provided academics and PGR students from different departments and disciplines to connect with others researching migration at the University of Sheffield. In addition, the meeting provided an opportunity to introduce the network, its aim and activities, and to inform about the various activities and opportunities available.

If you were unable to attend this meeting but are interested in joining the network, please email




Inaugural Lecture: “Forced Labour and Human Trafficking in the Global Economy”

By Professor Nicola Phillips

Wednesday 9th December 2015 at 5pm in:

Lecture Theatre 8, The Diamond Bldg, University of Sheffield.

The lecture was followed by a drinks reception in the ICOSS Foyer.

Nicola Phillips Poster (1)





The Prospects for International Migration Governance research project celebrated The Department of Politics 50th anniversary with a dramatic script-in-hand reading created in partnership with Sheffield-based national touring company Eclipse Theatre (One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show, The Hounding of David Oluwale) on Saturday, November 14, 2015. RefWelcome3

Migration has become one of the most complex and emotive issues of our time. Images of migrants have become commonplace in the media, but how much do we know about the people who formulate and administer the laws that determine the fate of those on the move?Andrew at RefugeesWelcome



This brand new darkly comedic script by leading playwright Leah Chillery (BBC R4 Afternoon Drama; BBC3 TV Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps) shines a light on the lesser-known world of the migration policy makers, the lenses through which they see the world of migration, their power and the consequences for people on the move. People like you and me.

This was followed by a lively discussion with the audience, playwright, director and academics around the issues raised in the reading.




Visiting fellow Brigitta Busch: seminar and master class on the lived experience of multilingualism

In early November, the Multilingualism & Mobility in the Northern & Southern Hemispheres Project was pleased to welcome Professor Brigitta Busch to the University of Sheffield, where she gave an engaging and insightful talk on ‘Linguistic repertoire and the lived experience of language’ at the Humanities Research Institute. Professor Busch followed this up on the next day with a memorable masterclass which encouraged much active participation. The title of the masterclass was ‘Multimodal biographical approaches to research in multilingual settings: exploring linguistic repertoires’. Brigitta Busch holds the post of Professor for Applied Linguistics at the University of Vienna and has a wide range of research interests, including linguistic rights, multilingualism, interethnic relations and the relationship between language, space and the media.


Professor Brigitta Busch at the University of Sheffield, 4-5 November 2015



Joint Roundtable on Resolving the Refugee “Crisis”: European and African Perspectives

The Sheffield Centre for International and European Law, School of Law, and the Migration Research Group, University of Sheffield and The African Studies Program and the Centre for European Studies,the University of Wisconsin – Madison

Wednesday 11 November 2015, 18:00 – 19:30
Moot Court, School of Law, Bartolome House, Winter Street, University of Sheffield, S3 7ND

The Roundtable was hosted jointly by Sheffield and Wisconsin over a live videolink. The roundtable featured comments from:
Caroline H. Bledsoe, Department of Anthropology, Northwestern University
Paul James Cardwell, School of Law, University of Sheffield
Bríd Ní Ghráinne, School of Law, University of Sheffield
Sharon Hutchinson, Emeritus Professor, UW-Madison



Working on the Edge of Society: Migrants in Illegal, Precarious or Exploitative Work

Monday 2 November 2015, 09:45-16:45
Moot Court, School of Law, Bartolome House, Winter Street, Sheffield, S3 7NDEdge of Society 1

Supported by the University of Sheffield Department of Politics and the Sheffield University Migration Research Network.

This workshop brought together academics, policy-makers and campaigners interested in migrant work in the informal economy, those who work on forced labour, as well as those who look at the precarious situation of asylum seekers and failed asylum seekers in relation to work.

The event started with contributions by MP Paul Blomfield and Donn Flynn, Director of the Migrants Rights Network. This was followed by presentations by Professor Nicola Phillips, Dr. Genevieve LeBaron, Dr. Louise Waite and Dr. Hannah Lewis on the relationship between migration and forced labour. Dr. Nando Sigona, Deputy Director of the Institute for Research into Superdiversity (IRiS) at the University of Birmingham, explored dynamics surrounding statelessness, camps, Edge of Sociey 2and belonging in Italy. Dr. Sonia McKay from the Working Lives Institute discussed the impacts of raids on businesses and employer sanctions on undocumented migrants and their employers. Dr. Alex Balch introduced the concept of ‘hospitality’ and its role in the liberal state to the debate.

The key note address, Good Workers, Poor Slave and the Politics of Locomotion was delivered by Professor Bridget Anderson from the University of Oxford.

The symposium ignited interesting debates and strengthened understandings of migrants existing on the margins of society, working but not employed in the formal labour market, in the shadow of the law but not necessarily under its protection.

See the full programme here.


Talent Tale 2Unravelling the Talent Tale

‘Unravelling the Talent Tale – Skilled Migration Policies between National Images, Membership Bonds and Economic Priorities’ has been co-sponsored by the Sheffield Centre for International and European Law and by the Migration Research Group. This one day conference held at the Sheffield University School of Law brought together 14 speakers from 11 countries to unravel the stories underpinning skilled migration policies in Europe and beyond. With the ultimate objective of unpacking the relationship between skilled migration and community, the panels explored, in a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective, the design and the outcome of contemporary skilled migration policies as well as policies on investment citizenship. Prof. Peter Spiro, of Temple University Beasley School of Law, delivered an intriguing keynote suggesting that investment citizenship is a symptom rather than a cause of the erosion of citizenship. In the concluding roundtable, Lieven Brouwers of the European Commission, Prof. Andrew Geddes, Dr. Paul James Cardwell, and Alagie Jinkang, a Gambian journalist who travelled to Europe by sea, helped stimulate a debate on the linkages between skilled and humanitarian migration. ‘I found the day really engaging and fascinating’ – commented a lawyer in the audience- ‘As a practitioner as opposed to an academic I was a little fearful that the day would be quite theoretical but I think it struck a useful balance between the two elements and was very thought provoking.’



Workshop: The Government of (Post)Colonial Citizenship and Migration

This workshop took place at the University of Sheffield on 15 June 2015. Click here to read a report by workshop organiser Joe Turner.


Postgraduate Workshop



“Reframing the Migration Debate”

University of Sheffield – 11th June 2015

Around 50 postgraduate students and early career researchers attended the 1st Postgraduate Workshop on Migration organised by the White Rose Migration Research Postgraduate Network, in collaboration with The University of Sheffield Migration Research Group.

The event took place at the University of Sheffield and gathered a multidisciplinary group of PhD researchers from more than 20 universities, who shared research covering a wide range of topics including migrants constructions of belonging, integration, migrant experiences in the UK, governance, forced migration and the experiences of highly skilled migrants (full programme available here).

During the workshop, a vibrant community of postgraduate and early career researchers explored and debated diverse issues related to the migration experience, contributing to critically engage with this year’s overarching theme: “Reframing the migration debate”. The discussions emerged from 25 presentations distributed in eight parallel panel sessions. The panels were chaired by academics from Sheffield and Leeds.

We were delighted to host Professor Andrew Geddes (Politics, University of Sheffield) as the event’s keynote speaker. Professor Geddes triggered the debate with his presentation entitled: “The Drivers of Migration and the Drivers of Migration Governance: Challenges for the EU”. The closing remarks were provided by Dr Majella Kilkey (Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield).

The workshop showcased a dynamic community of young researchers critically and insightfully engaged with the migration arena. The event created a supportive environment to discuss research findings and foster collaboration for future events. The presentations and discussions expanded the understanding of the experiences of migrants beyond the boundaries of the UK and Europe, exploring the lived-experience of migrants in other regions and continents. The participants also reflected on the multi-dimensions and various scales of migration including research that explored the international, regional, local and individual level.

Twenty-one delegates evaluated the event, all of whom stated they would definitely like to attend future events hosted by the network: “Yes, as it’s guaranteed to be a well organised, informative and comprehensive event”. Thirteen out of 21 delegates that evaluated the event found the diversity of topics and inter disciplinary nature of the event to be the most enjoyable aspect: “As a historian it’s great to connect with current research on migration. Much of it was relevant to migration 100 years ago”.

The opportunity to not only present but for senior academics to be present and participate in the panel was also of significant importance. Every participant reported that the day had influenced their academic work and practice ranging from the developing and refining presentation skills to informing their epistemological and methodological approach to their own research. Overall . . . “It is a useful network to find colleagues working on similar issues” and “An excellent and friendly atmosphere for the exchange of ideas”.

You can check the discussions we had that day by following us on twitter @SheffieldMRG and checking the hashtag #MRatShef.

The organising team: Michaela Bruckmayer (Politics), Rebecca Murray (Geography), Francesca Di Renzo (Journalism), Johanna Schenner (Politics) and Marcia Vera Espinoza (Geography), all from the University of Sheffield.

The organising team: Michaela Bruckmayer (Politics), Rebecca Murray (Geography), Francesca Di Renzo (Journalism), Johanna Schenner (Politics) and Marcia Vera Espinoza (Geography), all from the University of Sheffield.


This post has also been published on the The White Rose Social Science Doctoral Training Centre website.

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