Posted on: 12 July, 2019
Application deadline: August 31, 2019

Call for Papers: New and old migrations and diversities in UK and Japan symposium, Waseda University, Tokyo, 2-4th December 2019

New and Old Diversity Exchange (NODE) UK-Japan network

Call for papers

Migration, and resultant diversity, is a key part of many societies around the world. Countries such as the UK and Japan have long histories of population movements – both immigration and emigration, international and internal. Not only has mobility increased in both countries, but it comes from a wider range of countries and is managed through more complex immigration regimes that produce differential entitlements and rights. Albeit at different scales, both countries are currently experiencing a process of diversification. Although immigration-induced diversity is a global phenomenon it reflects particular geopolitical conditions and is rooted in national, regional and local histories and power dynamics. Cities and neighbourhoods provide the main terrain where processes of diversification take place. Interactions between migrants, their descendants, established populations, employers and the state have tended to use the binary language of majority/minority, foreigners/natives, rural/urban, them/us which does not enable adequate analysis of socio-cultural and demographic complexity which shape patterns of racism, harassment, discrimination and inequality, as well as conviviality and cosmopolitanism. Conceptual frameworks and methods for researching migration and diversity are being developed in both Europe and Asia but as yet there has been little engagement and cross-fertilisation between them. The New and Old Diversity Exchange (NODE) UK|Japan network connects UK and Japan scholars from across multiple disciplines to redress this imbalance and bring new thinking about migration and superdiversity.

Funded by the UK’s ESRC and AHRC and Japan’s SSH and the Japan Foundation, the NODE UK|Japan network is working to create a sustainable network of academics to undertake comparative research exploring old and new migrations and diversifications in UK and Japan. This international symposium is the first step in supporting the collaboration of UK/Japan academics and will be followed by opportunities for fully funded exchanges.

This is an open call for papers for the New and old migrations and diversities in UK and Japan symposium to be held at Waseda University, Tokyo.  We invite submissions that engage with the following questions, comparative perspectives on UK and Japan are particularly welcome:

  • In what ways have colonial and imperial pasts shaped immigration presents?
  • What kinds of policy and practice shape integration and resettlement?
  • How are migration and diversity discussed or represented in political and media debate and discourses
  • How is immigration governed at local and national levels? How do these levels interact?
  • How do processes of superdiversification play out at local level for people, businesses and social-cultural life?
  • What is the impact of the internationalisation of education on schools, campuses and communities?
  • What is the impact of labour market shortages on immigration patterns and processes?
  • Are migrant workers more likely to perform particular occupations? Do they work in higher risk industries more than do non-migrant workers?
  • To what extent can immigration be replaced by automation and outsourcing?
  • How is irregularity produced and maintained? What shapes migrant precarity and how do irregular migrants negotiate everyday life below the radar?
  • How does immigration transform family life and intimate relationships and to what extent do intimate relationships shape migration behaviours and practices?
  • What specific outcomes does entrepreneurship yield for immigrants and their countries of origin?
  • How are migrants and immigration policies reconstituting urban spaces?
  • What effect does being the children of migrants have on their social, economic and cultural outcomes and identity?
  • How are migrant lives represented in art and literature? What can engaging with such narratives tell us about migrant experiences, belonging and identity?

How to apply

The aim of the symposium is to bring UK and Japan-based academics together to develop some comparative papers around the above themes. Applicants should be aware that only papers focusing on the UK and/or Japan will be considered. In order to apply, submit an abstract of 300-500 words summarising argument, methods and empirical basis. We welcome submissions from across the social sciences, arts and humanities. All applications must be submitted by 31 August 2019.

  • English language abstract of 300-500 words
  • 1 page CV

Presenters will be encouraged to identify counterparts at the symposium with whom they can work on a joint paper for a special issue focusing on old and new diversities in UK/Japan in a major academic journal. Applications are encouraged from academics at all stages of their careers and particularly

Early Career Researchers.

NODE UK|Japan is led by the University of Birmingham’s Institute for Research into Superdiversity (IRiS), and the Institute for Asian Migrations (IAM) at Waseda University.

For more details see

Funding opportunities

Fully funded places in the above symposium are available for UK-based researchers. Costs of international transport, five nights accommodation and subsistence will be covered in full. If you wish to apply for these funds, please add a one-page cover letter setting out your reasons for wishing to attend and what you hope to achieve through attendance. Successful candidates will be expected to remain until the end of the 6th December and participate in collaboration and networking activities.

Subsequent to the event funds will also be available to selected symposium delegates for a UK/Japan exchange for a period of up to 3 weeks to enable them to collaborate on a paper and as appropriate a proposal for further funds to support primary research.

Submit all application materials to Ann Bolstridge

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