UNCOVERING THE HUMANITARIAN DISCOURSE:
Media, Migration, and International Organizations
May 21st -22nd, 2014
Ege University, Izmir, Turkey
Migration as a complex and multi-layered phenomenon is clearly linked with global issues as well as particular local and regional ones. Increasing in volume and diversifying in content of the flows since mid-20th century, it affects the societies, no matter sending, receiving or transit. Besides, it presents challenges such as integration, discrimination, exploitation and human rights issues.
It is through the media that we learn most of what we know or believe we know about world affairs and politics, not through personal experience or contact. Immigrants, asylum seekers, refugees are often represented as victims or as a threat to the security of longer established populations: They are systematically portrayed as victims to be helped in their countries of origins or perpetrators of crime when they cross EU border. Very seldom they appear as actors of positive social change and development.
Humanitarian agencies, public movements, and community organizations are among the socio-cultural institutions that spearhead new political action and representation. Their visual and spatial iterations influence policies, practices and discourses of development and security. Media, imagery, and material culture underpin their systems of knowledge production and reception.
Humanitarian discourse and action has become an integral part of the efforts dealing with suffering and further needs of immigrants. Reasons that motive the intervention to a particular issue related to migration may range from philanthropic to political ones. Besides the motives, intervening actors are consists global networks in terms of both institutional organizations such as funding, collaboration etc. and policies and politics that are pursued.
In the context of global networks of corporations, this meeting will limit the topic to Mediterranean region. The aim is to bring together researchers and practitioners working on the intersection of migration and humanitarian issues. Focusing on instrumentalisation of humanitarian aid and imaginary, the conference aims to uncover how media and inter(national) actors are communicating with migration issue in frame of humanitarian purposes.
We invite submissions that innovatively and critically approach one or any combination of following questions: How the geography of politics of humanitarian aid is being shaped? What are the aesthetic, ethics, and political challenges of the humanitarian imaginary? What kind of relationship is there between migration management rhetoric and political practices of humanitarian intervention in the field of Mediterranean migration?
To this end, we call for papers, from any discipline, methodology, or a combination of them that address the conference themes listed below, including, but not limited to:
- Humanitarian discourse / intervention
- Migrants (in)visibility / voices
- Human rights discourse
- Imaginaries and communication
- Politics of helping the other
- Mapping the political geography of humanitarian aid
- Relationship between migration and development
- International corporation
- Global inequality
Ege University, Izmir/ Turkey
Pierluigi Musaró, Department of Sociology and Business Law, University of Bologna, Italy
Lülüfer Körükmez, Department of Sociology, Ege University, Turkey
İlkay Südaş Department of Geography, Ege University, Turkey
Please submit abstracts by email to
Abstracts should include a title, your contact details (name, affiliation, mailing address, email) and description of your conference paper (250-400 words)
Deadline for abstract submission: March, 1st 2014
Notification of Acceptance: March, 15th 2014
Conference date: May 21st - 22nd, 2014
Co-organizers are planning to develop a special issue of an academic journal or a book based on the themes of this conference. To this end, conference committee will participants to submit their unpublished full paper by June 30, 2014.
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