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The Power of Love: Migration, Mobility and other Affective Moves

MIAU – Centre for Migration and Integration Research, Aarhus University Sandbjerg Seminar, December 9th-10th, 2020

2020.01.29 | Christian Buono Kolborg

Date Wed 09 Dec Thu 10 Dec
Time 08:00    08:00
Location Sandbjerg Gods

For obvious reasons much migration research focus on borders, fences, margins, (in)security, risk and death. However, at the MIAU Sandbjerg-seminar 2020, we suggest to take a more positive starting point, and explore the role that something as common, yet arousing and beautiful as ‘love’ may play in processes of migration and mobility.

According to The Webster Dictionary ‘love’ as a noun refers to 1) an affection arousing from personal, kinship-based feelings, 2) an attraction based on sexual desires or 3) an affection related to admiration, benevolence, or common interests. As a verb love also refers to hold someone or something dear, to cherish and caress it, him or her, that or them. Love can be selfish, but also unselfish and it can have many directions. It can be directed towards ‘others’ in the guise of children, sexual partners, kin, places, nations or religious idols. Love is relational and will always encapsulate an opposite: feelings of hatred, jealousy or hostility.

Bringing together researchers from across the humanities this MIAU seminar will use ‘love,’ in its broadest sense, as a prism for exploring new dimensions of migration and mobility processes. The seminar, thus, encourages an interdisciplinary debate of the relationship between love, migration and (im-)mobility as it appears in, for example, social life, personal narratives, political discourse, literature, media, or religious traditions. Themes to be explored can be, but are not restricted to:

  • Romantic love: how does romantic love work as a driving force in different types of geographical mobility (elopement, marriage migration, returns etc.) and what are the implications of broken relations for for settlement, resettlement and onwards migration?
  • Intergenerational care: how does obligations, gifts or sacrifices form relationship between generations? How may love contribute to maintain or alter social and/or gendered hierarchies?
  • Pilgrimage, wandering souls and religious mobility: how does love to God (or Gods) shape different routes and migratory networks and motivate mobility (of various kinds).
  • Popular culture and literature are filled with images, tropes and stories of love: how does this influence and motivate migration at different scales? What role might social media have in connecting people and creating new intimate relationships?
  • Love for the homeland, nation or local community may lead to different kinds of hostility and / or goodwill towards migrants: How does emerging forms of nationalism, patriotism, or regionalism shape processes of migration?
  • The dark site of love is just as arousing feelings of hate, envy, jealousy or hostility: What is the relationship between love and hate in processes of migration and mobility.

Deadline for submitting an abstract: 6 March, 2020

Please use the webshop: https://events.au.dk/thepoweroflove2020/event.html

Title and a short abstract are required for the registration. Researchers from Faculty of Arts can also participate without giving a paper.

The idea is to have a (quite informal) seminar where we can learn more about the migration research conducted at Faculty of Arts. The seminar will consist of paper presentations and different workshops discussing future activities and collaborations in MIAU.

We might work towards a MIAU-publication in a special issue or edited volume.

For more information, please contact the organizers:

Mikkel Rytter: mikkel.rytter@cas.au.dk  Karen Valentin:  kava@edu.au.dk 

Arts, Antropologi, Globale Studier, Education, learning and philosophy, Art, culture and media