Call for Paper


Call for Papers – International Symposium

Paris, 20-21 May, 2015

From the north(s) to the south(s) :

New Issues in Mobility Research

The Emergences research program, North-South Mobility: New Migratory Mobilities from Europe to North Africa, supported by the Centre for Sociological Analysis and Intervention (CADIS) at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, is organizing an international symposium on 20-21 May 2015, in Paris, on the subject of contemporary mobilities from the North(s) toward the South(s).


Migration studies have long been dominated by the symbolic figure of the immigrant worker, whose migration was the result of a call for labour controlled by states or the result of the initiatives of migrant communities. Since the late '80s, research projects have tended to revisit this reading based on a push-pull approach, for example, by beginning to discuss women's migration as well as the transnational and diasporic ties created by migration. More recent work has renewed the debate by approaching migrants through paradigms of mobility, entrepreneurship, and circulation.


By bringing forth new themes and concentrating on new figures, recent studies have revealed profound changes in migration over the last thirty years. Changes in analytical perspective have contributed to a re-evaluation of the classical conception of immigration status in addition to reconsidering theoretical approaches. Nevertheless, while the socio-anthropological study of mobilities has since integrated transnational, circulatory or alternating dynamics, it has continued to focus on South-North and more recently South-South movements.


It is clear that migrations from the North to the South are generally neglected, although they are becoming increasingly widespread, as shown by “tourist studies,” which have incorporated the dynamics of “multiple residences.” While some tourist mobilities can be considered as migratory mobilities (retirees, multiple residence-owners), the flow of nationals from the North in the South (Europeans to North Africa, for example) now takes increasingly diverse forms as it is embodied in a wider variety of figures. Thus, the traditional categories used to understand these flows—such as expatriation, tourism, or returning home—are no longer able to render the complexity of these trajectories and the variation between the different profiles.


The interdisciplinary symposium "From the North(s) to the South(s): The Current State of Research on Contemporary Mobilities" is attentive to these "new" phenomena of mobility and aims to contribute new thinking to situations of migration by reversing the canonical distinction in which the North is understood as composed of countries of immigration and the South of countries of emigration. By considering North-South flows to be as migratory in nature as others, this symposium proposes to question analytical categories mobilized thus far to define these movements. This symposium provides an opportunity to take stock of research on North-South mobilities and to promote links and exchanges between different traditions of thought by encouraging dialogue between researchers from different disciplines (history, sociology, anthropology, political science, geography, law, tourist studies).


The symposium is organized around five main themes, which are non-exclusive: figures, trajectories, networks, and practices of North-South mobility; the impacts of North-South mobility; representations; historical ruptures and continuities; theoretical perspectives.


In a transversal manner, particular attention will be paid to notions of  "North(s)” and “South(s)" as well as to dimensions of gender and age group.


- Figures, pathways, networks, and practices of mobility

Without attempting to be exhaustive, this thematic axis seeks to identify figures of North-South mobility in the Mediterranean, as well as describing trajectories and practices of mobility. What factors contribute to movement towards the South? How do actors position themselves in local, national and global contexts? What are their mobility narratives? What are their logics? What relationships do they build amongst themselves and with local societies?


- Impacts of North-South mobility

Like any social phenomenon, mobility from the North affects the social fabric as well as the internal and transnational relations of the societies concerned. This thematic axe questions social, territorial, professional, cultural, and family transformations produced by migration.


- Representations and imaginary

This third theme concerns imaginaries associated with North-South mobility and tourism—their production and circulation. How do sending countries, receiving countries and actors themselves represent mobility? Do they encourage such mobilities, and if so, by what means? What "marketing strategies" are used to promote travel to the other side of the Mediterranean? What roles are played by these touristic imaginaries in North-South mobilities?


- Ruptures and historical continuities

One common assumption is to consider mobility from North to South as a continuation of the colonial phenomenon. What continuities and ruptures do contemporary migrations articulate with regard to this historical context? How do social actors in these new migrations contribute to this history—through distance, amnesia, critique, extension?


- Theoretical Perspectives

The study of North(s)/South(s) mobilities may contribute to theoretical perspectives on the subject of migrations as well as more general reflections on the borders, the nation-state, the construction of new social spaces (e.g. the Mediterranean) as well as transnationalism. This symposium intends to pay particular attention to such perspectives.



Conditions of Submission:


Presentations should be situated within at least one of the thematic axes described above, at the intersection of several disciplines, presenting advanced or ongoing research on North(s)/South(s) mobilities. Proposals should not exceed 600 words and should include the following elements:

- Title and abstract of the paper

- Author

- Institutional Affiliation


Paper abstracts in French or English should be submitted before 30th of November 2014. The Scientific Committee will select papers to be included in the symposium by the end of mid-February 2015.



Giulia Fabbiano (CADIS / EHESS)

Michel Peraldi (CADIS / EHESS)

Alexandra Poli (CADIS / EHESS)

Liza Terrazzoni (CADIS / EHESS)


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