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Uncertain Mobilities

Symposium, Department of Sociology, University of Siegen: October 6 and 8, 2022

Preoccupation with risk and uncertainty in migration research is not new. But as Jens O. Zinn puts it, the focus is gradually shifting from risk and uncertainty to uncertainty and risk meaning that with increasing globality and fast expansion of the multi‐scalar networks, echoing Nina Glick Schiller and Ayse Caglar, uncertain times are creating new risks for the subject of migration to consider. Evidently, in the last three years, the world has witnessed a pandemic incapacitating mobility at most level, and facilitating the urgency of migration at certain others.

Having said that, this symposium is not just about the pandemic and its consequences. Here, we are interested in acknowledging and analyzing the shifting character of migration that is eternally shaped by uncertainties of various sorts at large, and how those uncertainties in turn shape the motivations, urgencies and outcomes of migration for different profiles of people on the move. Consequently, in this symposium, we invite discussions on how uncertain times produce risky spaces that impact the way we explore the subject of migration today. We ask – what are the latest variables in migration research we must consider? Do we need to rethink the contours of uncertainty and risk while understanding migration now? How do the shifting global order and global scenario impact the different profiles of people moving from one place to another? Is privilege and stigma a fixed binary for examining the uncertainty‐risk subtext in migration research?

Within this scope, we are organizing a two‐day long symposium. The first day is dedicated to established scholars of migration studies from different parts of the world with one key note speech and a plenary session. The second day is dedicated to emerging scholars on migration studies (predocs, postdocs and junior professors) where scholars will present their working, published or unpublished papers in any of the themes listed below:

  • Certitude and risk in migration and mobility
  • Reconsidering stigma and privilege in migration processes
  • Gendering risk and uncertainty in migration and movements

Program Details

October 6, 3 pm - 5 pm (CET)

Panel Discussion:

Arjun Appadurai, Professor Emeritus, New York University
Manuela Boatcă, University of Freiburg
Amrita Datta, University of Siegen 


October 8, 10 am - 3.20 pm (CET) Hybrid Session

Venue: University of Siegen, Room: AR-H 210, Adolf-Reichwein-Str. 2; D-57068 Siegen

Scholars are invited to submit abstracts within 300 words, with titles, contact details and
affiliations. There will be two sessions. We also intend to partner with an international
journal for a special issue for publishing a selection of essays.

Important Details for submission of abstracts:
31 July (abstract submission)
16 Aug (confirmation by email)


uncertain_mobilities_posterView the flyer in full size


Contact: amrita.datta@uni-siegen.de

Morning Session: 10 am - 12.15 pm
Chair: Jonathan Ngeh, University of Cologne
Discussant: Samuel Joseph Williams, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology

Afternoon Session: 1.15 pm - 3.20 pm
Chair: Karin Schittenhelm, University of Siegen
Discussant: Jing Jing Liu, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology 

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie
Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 945422.

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