EASA Panel CFP: “Moving people: Anthropologists and Governmental Categorisations”

EASA: European Association of Social Anthropologists
EASA: European Association of Social Anthropologists

Along with Julia Morris (University of Oxford), I am co-convening the following panel at the 13th EASA Biennial Conference of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA), taking place in Tallinn, Estonia, on 31 July – 3 August, 2014: 

Moving people: anthropologists adopting, interrogating and refuting governmental categorisations”

The Call for Papers for this panel is open now and until 27 February

The theme of the conference is Collaboration, Intimacy & Revolution: innovation and continuity in an interconnected world. Our panel is sponsored by the EASA Mobilities Network, and is entitled:

Moving people: anthropologists adopting, interrogating and refuting governmental categorisations

Short Abstract:

From asylum seekers to refugees, foreign students to skilled workers, official categories of migration imbue particular status. This panel invites papers that consider the ways in which anthropologists can reinforce but also interrogate and refute governmental categorisations of moving people.

Long Abstract:

Anthropologists studying the movement of people between and within nation states invariably use legalistic and governmental frameworks to categorise populations. When conceptualising and presenting our work, we differentiate between populations through official terminologies: Internally displaced peoples; refugees; asylum seekers; economic migrants; foreign students; skilled workers; undocumented peoples; international businessmen; third country nationals; naturalized citizens. Only some labels are stamped on official papers. All imbue particular status.

Populations’ right and ability to traverse intra-national spaces and international borders are central to our understanding of mobility at both a governmental and personal level. These categorisations mark the central site where wider regimes of mobility connect with the embodied experience of moving. Holding, or not holding certain papers–passports, visas, titles, finical documents–can profoundly shape subjective experiences of moving; as well as affecting the right to remain. Moreover, being known and named as a particular type of migrant alters perceptions and presentation of selves.

Anthropologists are in a position to cement, contest and complicate official categories of migration. Yet we often adopt legally prescribed definitions without questioning adequately their foundation. This panel is designed to explore the consequences of that choice, and will interrogate the methodological, theoretical and political uses and/or limitations of categorizing moving people.

Your proposal to this panels must be made via the ‘Propose a paper’ link found beneath the abstract on our panel webpageProposals should consist of:

  • a paper title
  • authors/co-authors
  • a short abstract of fewer than 300 characters
  • a long abstract of fewer than 250 words.

The deadline for the CFP is February 27th, 2014.

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