Bold New Voices in Migration Research: Understanding Displacement, Hope, Resistance


Wednesday, March 31, 2021, 9:00am to 6:00pm



An Early Career Conference for Graduate Students and Recent PhDs hosted by the Immigration Initiative at Harvard (IIH) and Immigration Research Fellows Program




Wednesday March 31, 2021

9.00-6.00pm EST.



Call for Abstracts

Recent years have seen a global upheaval in the way we understand, talk about, and research issues of migration. From international responses to COVID-19, to the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States and beyond, what it means to move and mobilize in migrant and refugee spaces intersects with a range of radical new politics, practices, and ideas. This is true in universities, as with other institutions, where we have seen the emergence of a range of bold new voices in migration research spanning subject-matter, methods, and impact. With a focus on early career researchers, this conference seeks to provide a meeting-ground for the fertilization of new approaches to what has become, in the last two decades, an established field of global migration research.


The Immigration Initiative at Harvard (IIH) welcomes abstracts of no more than 500 words for the Spring conference, “Bold New Voices in Migration Research: Displacement, Resilience, Resistance.” Priority will be given to early career researchers, including graduate students, PhDs and post-doctoral researchers. Once accepted, papers of 6,000 words will need to be submitted for circulation among co-panelists and organizers by March 17.


Submissions are invited across a wide range of disciplines and themes that speak to exciting new research and practices in migration policy and research from around the world. We also welcome submissions from artists in a range of media and will consider requests to present in a foreign language with translation for those whose native language is not English (though please also submit abstracts in English alongside a second language in which you wish to present). A non-exhaustive list of themes we welcome you to consider include the following:


  • children, families and youth on the move
  • trafficking, smuggling and the intersection of migration law and criminal law
  • identity and religion 
  • intersections of race and migration
  • practices of border making and disruption 
  • migration and health
  • human rights and the global policy landscape on migration
  • new theories and philosophies of migration


Outputs will include a write-up and dissemination of the conference themes in written and innovative graphic forms in collaboration with the award-winning artist Majid Adin.


The conference will be free and open to external attendees via registration.


Please submit abstracts no later than February 3 to



  • February 3, 12.00pm EST. Deadline for submission of abstracts
  • February 17. Panelists will be notified.
  • March 17. Panelists submit papers.
  • March 31. Conference


About the Immigration Initiative at Harvard

The Immigration Initiative at Harvard (IIH) was created in 2018 to advance and promote interdisciplinary scholarship, original research, and intellectual exchange among stakeholders interested in immigration policy and immigrant communities. The IIH serves as a place of convening for scholars, students, and policy leaders working on issues of immigration — and a clearinghouse for rapid response, non-partisan research and usable knowledge relevant to the media, policymakers, and community practitioners.


About the Immigration Research Fellows Program

The IIH Fellows Program offers advanced-level doctoral students and post-doctoral researchers at Harvard University and beyond the opportunity to receive additional training and support for one academic year. During their time as Fellows, scholars participate in a bi-weekly colloquia series, present and receive feedback on their work, and contribute to the initiative’s other intellectual activities. The Fellows Program also provides professional development opportunities, job market support, and ongoing mentoring.