Notes from the Migration Mini-Conference

May 23, 2014

The Transnational Studies Initiative at Harvard University hosted 18 SSRC Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship (DPDF) program alumni from universities across the U.S. and France for a mini-conference on Pushing the Boundaries of Migration Studies on May 5th and 6th. Boston area students and faculty joined DPDF Alumni to discuss emergent paradigms in the U.S. and French Migration Studies traditions.

Presentations, roundtable discussions, and writing workshops explored new concepts in Migration Studies such as migratory circulation and global social protection, and proposed new formulations of classic paradigms such as immigrant assimilation and migrant networks. Students offered theoretical explorations and re-constructions of these concepts through empirically grounded research from diverse historical and geographical contexts. Along with the gracious support of many Boston area Migration Studies academic experts, academic advisors and hosts to the project Peggy Levitt and Thomas LaCroix (MIGRINTER, University of Poitiers) worked with students to identify how their research may contribute to advancing these and other conceptual turns in the Migration Studies field. This event helped to identify bases for future comparative and collaborative work for French and U.S. migration researchers. It also strengthened and expanded the trans-Atlantic network of junior scholars in Migration Studies that was established by the DPDF program.