[URBANTH-L] CFP: In Search of Solutions: Methods, Movements and Undocumented Migrants in Africa

Angela Jancius jancius at ohio.edu
Mon Nov 19 10:55:45 EST 2007

[forwarded from H-Human-Rights]

From: Joel Quirk (j.quirk at hull.ac.uk)

Call for Papers and Participation

In Search of Solutions: Methods, Movements and Undocumented 
Migrants in Africa

Research and Training Workshops, 1-4th of July, 2008
University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

The Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation,
University of Hull, and the Forced Migration Studies Programme,
University of the Witwatersrand, invite submissions for a two part
colloquium on methods and informal migration. This event is designed to
strengthen and further refine the strategies used to analyse and
understand migration patterns in Africa. Since many migrants operate
outside official channels, conventional methods and government
statistics can often be of limited value in coming to terms with this
contentious issue. In the absence of empirically reliable and
theoretically sophisticated research methods, speculation and hyperbole
have regularly filled the void. 

Researchers in this challenging field can only go so far by raising
doubts about exaggerated figures and tenuous claims. What is required is
a deeper and broader understanding of migration, incorporating both i)
improved research heuristics, methods and procedures for generating
data; and ii) the capacity to effectively and sensitively integrate
available data within larger political and sociological perspectives.
With this in mind, the colloquium brings together researchers for two
separate yet related events:

Research Workshop (3rd and 4th of July 2008)
Scholars of migration are continually refining the methods used to study
various aspects of informal migration. This workshop seeks to capitalise
upon this ongoing innovation and methodological experimentation,
providing researchers with a targeted forum to disseminate their
findings, further refine their techniques, and reflect upon the larger
relationship between methodology and informal migration in an African

Both scholars and practitioners are invited to submit paper proposals
addressing one or more of the following themes:

* The Moving Target: sampling mobile populations;
* Revealing the Illicit: corrupt immigration enforcement and
subterranean migrant economies;
* Enumeration and Extrapolation: connecting anecdotal and
case-specific evidence to larger patterns; 
* Weapons of the Weak: conceptualising and documenting resistance;
* The Vulnerable Researcher: working in threatening and insecure
field sites;
* The Past in the Present: linking historical and contemporary
* Documenting the Undocumented: ethical quandaries in migration
* Methodology and Public Policy: research, activism and political

The complete proceedings from the workshop will be edited and published
online in late 2008. Selected workshop participants will be invited to
revise their papers for submission to a special issue of a peer reviewed

Interested researchers should send abstracts of up to 300 words,
together with a current curriculum vitae [by e-mail only] by the 22nd of
February 2008. Applicants will be notified by the 10th of March whether
they have been accepted. Final papers of around 6000 words will be
expected by the 1st of June 2008. The organisers have secured funds
through the British Academy to cover travel and maintenance for eight
scholars and practitioners. Priority funding for attendance will go to
early career researchers from and/or based in Africa.

Training Workshop (1st and 2nd of July 2008)
In order to address the longer term challenges of research on
undocumented migration, we need to develop a new generation of skilled
researchers. With this in mind, the research workshop will be preceded
by a two-day training workshop focusing upon methodology and migration.
This workshop, which includes a visit to a field site in Johannesburg,
has been designed to help emerging scholars develop the specialized
strategies and skills required to conduct first-class research in this
challenging field. The training programme is designed for postgraduate
students who are currently designing research proposals, implementing
fieldwork strategies and analysing data. The main topics that will be
explored are:

* Sampling and survey design;
* Qualitative and key informant interviews;
* Freedom of information legislation and archival research;
* Participant observation procedures;
* Comparative analysis and historical context.

Interested applicants should submit an outline of around 400 words
explaining how the workshop would benefit their research plans, together
with a CV and a short reference from a supervisor - to be delivered
separately - by e-mail before the 22nd of February 2008. Applicants will
be notified by the 10th of March whether they have been accepted. In
order to prepare for the workshop, students will be asked to write a
brief paper of around 1500 words reflecting upon the influence of
methodological issues upon their research. These will be expected by the
1st of June 2008. The best papers will be published online through the
FMSP Methods and Field Notes series. Doctoral candidates are invited to
apply to attend both workshops. Ten bursaries are available to
cover/contribute to the cost of travel and accommodation for
participants from Southern Africa.

Submission Information
Please send submissions by email - with subject heading either:
'Training Workshop Submission' or 'Research Workshop Submission - to:
darshan.vigneswaran at wits.ac.za. 

Requests for additional information should be directed to Dr Joel Quirk
(j.quirk at hull.ac.uk).

The Forced Migration Studies Programme (http://migration.org.za/ ) is
Southern Africa's premier centre for the academic study of migration.
This workshop will form a part of a multi-faceted training and
dissemination agenda for 2008, including a conference on the State of
Migration in Southern Africa in March, and a Statistics Institute later
in the year.

The Wilberforce Institute (http://www.hull.ac.uk/wise/) is dedicated to
the pursuit of world class research in the areas of slavery,
emancipation, human rights, and social justice. The institute seeks to
improve academic knowledge and public understanding of both historical
practices and contemporary problems, and to inform public policy and
political activism.

This event has been made possible through a UK-Africa partnership grant
from the British Academy. The Wilberforce Institute and Forced Migration
Studies Programme have also received support for two further colloquia.
Over time, the best submissions will be compiled into an edited
collection focusing on Migration and Forced Labour in Africa.

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