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Call for paper for a symposium in Bristol and Call for contributions for the special issue of Gender and History review (November 2019): Migration, Institutions, and Intimate Lives: New agendas in the history of migration and gender. Edited by Manuela Martini (Université Lyon 2) and Sumita Mukherjee (University of Bristol)


Bristol, UK. 13 and 14 April 2018 (to be confirmed).


The issue of migration has spread in social sciences since the seventies and has been gendered quite quickly thanks to pioneering works. Historians have played a crucial role in the field as well as sociologists and anthropologists. Forty years later, it is clear that the ‘gender turn’ in migration history has lifted women from the backroom to the centre stage of short- and long-distance migrations, and elicited new approaches. New theoretical and methodological views of gendered paths in migration have challenged the classical view of migration as emancipation, insisting on the importance of care and domestic roles in migration.

In combination with the ‘gender turn’, the recent transnational turn in history has opened new research agendas to the study of migration and mobility. At its heart, the history of migration and mobility has always been interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary, whether engaging with the literature of travel narratives, the sociology and philosophy of terms like diaspora and migration, and/or the geography of mobility and exchange. Here too, gender construction, representation, and identity have informed much of the writing and debates on these topics, which have engaged across historical disciplines of social, cultural, economic, religious, political and environmental history.

A flourishing field of studies on international migration regimes and global migrant institutions has developed in relation with the transnational turn. The issue of migration policies and institutional infrastructures currently engages politicians and media agencies, but it is a theme that has long interested historians of all periods. Indeed, one of the main topics in histories of migrations has been the study of institutional frames and their evolutions. While some of these works have recently demonstrated awareness of the importance of the intimate life of migrants, it is rarer to find studies which consider how states and their institutions, legislations and policies affected everyday life and migrants’ experiences at local, regional, national, transnational and global levels.

We welcome proposals that present ethnic, local, regional, national, transnational and global approaches, as well as those that address gender intersectionally in connection with other categories of difference and power including but not limited to race, gender identity, class, sexuality, religion, ethnicity and ability. As Gender & History is a journal that publishes articles across time and space, we welcome proposals that consider migration in all eras, from antiquity, to the early modern, to the contemporary. We encourage both historical and interdisciplinary approaches. We would like to explore the history of migrants through a gendered lens in a number of ways. We would like to consider:

  • the range of approaches to the history of migration that have engaged with state (or other levels of government) policies and institutions, including the social, cultural and economic ones
  • local and internal migration, and the public administration of migrants’ private lives.
  • the intermediaries – the brokers of migration and gender: the go-betweens, the institutions, charities, NGOs, state institutions, associations, merchants, and ship-owners, who facilitate (or prohibit) migration.
  • notions of association, familiarity and intimacy, for example, papers that engage with themes such as marriage, families (including transnational families), long-distance motherhood and fatherhood, sex and sexuality, both in the sending and the receiving areas.
  • the adaptation of heritage and community practices.

We would also like to take stock of the range of approaches to the history of migration that have dealt with gender, and reflect upon the methodology that informs this work, especially as related to intimacy. Thus, we invite papers that

  • engage with the definitions, terminology and lexicon on migrants in historical perspective
  • engage with the themes of local, transnational and global history
  • reflect on the sources such as travel writing; material history; literature; economic data; oral history
  • consider the class and gendered aspects of migrant communities
  • discuss differences in migrations paths and the intermediaries of migration
  • that consider the issues of conflict, cohesion and multiculturalism; among others.

Deadline is 30 September 2017. The production of the special issue will follow a symposium, to be held at the University of Bristol, UK, on 13 and 14 April 2018 (dates subject to change), whose participants will be selected on the basis of the abstracts submitted. Please submit 1-2 page abstracts in English (500 words maximum) to by , with ‘GENDER & MIGRATION’ in the subject line. (Limited funds for the translation of articles written in other languages might be available).
Invitations to present at the symposium will be issued in November 2017. (We will have limited funds to assist with travel funds for those who need them). Papers must be submitted for pre-circulation to the editors by 23 March 2018.
After the symposium the editors will select papers to be considered for publication, and revised versions of selected papers must be received by 1 September 2018 (word count tbc). Manuscripts will then immediately enter the peer-review process so that the editors can produce the issue by May 2019 for publication in November 2019.

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