Project

GenSeM: IMISCOE Standing Committee on Gender and Sexuality in Migration Research

Goal: Coordinators:
Dr Sarah Scuzzarello (University of Sussex)
Dr Laura Morosanu (University of Sussex)

The new Standing Committee “Gender and Sexuality in Migration Research” (GenSeM) brings together and supports IMISCOE-affiliated scholars whose research focuses on the areas of gender, sexuality and migration. GenSeM wants to create an infrastructure that can give voice and visibility to the needs of academics studying in these fields; support relevant publications; promote communication among specialists; and organise expert meetings.

GenSeM has the following objectives:

- To become a leading international forum for the development and promotion of academic research on issues relating to the study of gender, sexuality and migration

- To provide a platform for knowledge-exchange and information-sharing focussing on teaching gender, sexuality and migration

- To create a supportive infrastructure for Early Career Researchers working on these issues

- To contribute to national, regional and local debates about gender, sexuality and migration, and to increase the visibility of how gender and sexuality impact on migrants’ economic, legal, social or political experiences

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Please join us at our next Migration Dialogue on Wednesday, 8 December, 1 pm (UK time) via Zoom.
We are delighted to welcome Dr Maja Cederberg (University of Gothenburg), who will give a talk on the professional trajectories of highly educated migrant women, and Professor Louise Ryan (London Metropolian University), who will act as discussant.
The meeting details will be sent to registered participants the day before the event. Further details are included below, and the registration link is available here:
GenSeM Migration Dialogue, 8 December, 1pm (UK time), online
Invited speaker: Dr Maja Cederberg (University of Gothenburg)
Understanding the professional trajectories of highly educated migrant women: How gender and class intersect to shape experiences, aspirations and strategies around employment and career
The aim of this paper is to make sense of the professional trajectories of highly educated migrant women. The paper considers different professional aspirations and strategies, explores the multiple meanings women attach to employment and career, and analyses different factors that impact on shaping professional trajectories following migration. The experience and position of highly educated migrant women has been comparatively under-researched, as research on high-skilled mobility has tended to focus on male-dominated sectors of the labour market, while research on migrant women has paid more attention to less skilled labour market sectors. This paper aims to contribute to the now growing literature in this area by considering the experiences of a number of highly educated women from the Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) living and working in the UK. Findings from the research on which the paper builds suggests that migration can involve career progression as well as blocked career opportunities and deskilling, and the paper analyses the factors that contribute to shaping the migrant women’s trajectories in different directions. In particular, it puts focus on how gendered factors intersect with class-based resources (economic, social and cultural) to produce different obstacles and opportunities for different individuals, but also to shaping their professional aspirations and strategies in particular ways. Furthermore, the paper considers the women’s experiences of (re)building their career in the UK, analysing the different ways in which they negotiate obstacles and adjust to the local context.
Discussant: Professor Louise Ryan (London Metropolitan University)
Sarah Scuzzarello and I look forward to seeing many of you there! Please also circulate via your networks.
 
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GenSeM online symposium Sarah Scuzzarello Vítor Lopes Andrade
About this event
Over two days, we will discuss the gendered nature of social boundaries, ways individuals of migrant backgrounds have challenged them, and how art can become a way to express belonging and to analyse & share migration experiences.
PROGRAMME
Sept 22: Challenging gender and sexual social boundaries in migration studies
12.00 Keynote, Professor Gökce Yurdakul (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) Beyond "BioNtech": Gendered Racialization and Germany's Post-Migrant Role Models
1.15 Roundtable: Queer migrants & asylum seekers - Everyday bordering and negotiating belonging.
Dr Nina Held, University of Sussex; Moud Goba, Micro Rainbow; Dr Łukasz Szulc, University of Sheffield; Dr Francesca Stella, University of Glasgow.
Moderator: Vitor Lopes-Andrade University of Sussex
Sept 23: Reflections on gender, migration, and the power of art
12.00 Keynote, Dr Sandrine Colard (Rutgers University) From 1960s vernacular photography to the contemporary : Afropolitanism, gender and race in African arts.
1.15 Round table: Where do art, gender, and migration meet?
Professor Umut Erel, Open University; Lily Parrott & Laura Stahnke, Migration Collective; Dr Federica Mazzara, University of Westminster
Moderator: Carolina Triana-Cuéllar, University of Sussex
On both days, delegates will be able to access the free online exhibition “The Strength of Friendship”, exhibiting original photographs by Fotonomads A Photo Collective with members from diverse countries based in London
The Zoom links to the symposium will be shared with delegates on September 21st.
Please register here:
 
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The Gender and Sexuality in Migration Research (GenSeM) at IMISCOE is pleased to announce its second Migration Dialogue On December 8, 10.00-11.30
Migration and the pandemic - gender, race, and diasporic connections 
In this second Migration Dialogue, we discuss the gendered and racialised implication of the COVID-19 pandemic for migrants and the diaspora. 
We are joined by:  
Dr Bashair Ahmed, executive director of Shabaka - a consultancy enterprise focussing on diasporas & migrants’ engagement in development and humanitarian action 
Dr Maggi Leung, Associate Professor at Utrecht University, who is currently leading the research project [COVID] Countering the Virus: Discrimination and protestation in multicultural Europe.
Mary Grace Labasan, trade union activist originally from the Philippines who has been an irregular migrant in The Netherlands for eight years but is currently in the process of obtaining a legal status.
Dr Sarah Scuzzarello, Lecturer at Sussex University, specialising on gender, transnational migration and inter-group relations.
Register here https://migrationdialogue_2.eventbrite.co.uk The event, free of charge, will be online, on Zoom. Links to join the session will be sent to attendees the day before the event.
Please share among your networks, all welcome - posters attached if of interest.
We look forward to seeing you there!
 
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22 October 2020
In setting up GenSeM, we listed a number of activities that we wanted to organise. Among those was to create a constructive and committed space where members could present their work done in the field of Migration, Gender and Sexuality. In this spirit, we launched the GenSeM Migration Dialogues on October 21st, 2020.
In this highly successful first Dialogue, Professor Eleonore Kofman and Dr Tanja Bastia discussed how we can decolonise gender and migration. Taking Eleonore’s latest work, recently published in Comparative Migration Studies, on decolonizing the field of gender and migration as a starting point, we discussed what it may mean, how it could be done, by whom, and for whom.
We were joined by over 100 people and colleagues could join us from Japan, Pakistan, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, the UK, among others. We engaged in a conversation about who produces knowledge about gender and migration, how that knowledge is circulated, what we are missing out (unwittingly, perhaps) in using Western understandings of gender and intersectionality, what types of migration are deemed worthy of study.
One of the key questions we discussed at length was how can we unsettle the current status quo in gender and migration research? Many suggestions were made by the presenters and the audience. Among those, to look at the early works in the field, which gave more prominence to theoretical and empirical scholarship outside Europe and North America, to incorporate more proactively research written in other languages than English, and to establish more horizontal, small-scale collaborations with non-Western colleagues.
We all agree that how to decolonialise the field of gender and migration is not a task that will be addressed in one seminar and we are keen on keeping the momentum going. Therefore, we will organise other activities around this theme in the near future. In the meantime, both Eleonore and Tanja have kindly shared the readings and names of organisations they referred to in their presentations. These can be found here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1zCjJSgtEpjCmeA_vv_NXnXeMrP9oy6nUwnwOF0FvtjY/edit
If you would like to join us in this conversation, join our email list by contacting us at gensem.imiscoe@gmail.com and follow us on Twitter @GenSeM3
In the meantime, a wholehearted thank you to Tanja and Eleonore for sharing their thoughts, and to the audience for their insightful comments.
 
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Writing in community: GenSeM first online writing retreat (Organisers: Nicola Chanamuto and Marianela Barrios Aquino)
GenSeM PhD/ECR representatives Marianela and Nicola will hold an online writing retreat day on Thursday 20 August to support PhD researchers and Early Career Researchers particularly, although scholars at any level are welcome to attend.
Why are writing retreats so valuable to academics? 
Research has shown that structured writing retreats are essential to develop our writing skills while paying attention to the wider context within the writing process takes place. This awareness of the writing process is essential for academics but can be difficult to cultivate regular writing habits, particularly in the current climate.
There is empirical evidence that structured writing retreats can help us manage our work-life balance better because they increase our productivity, reduce stress and anxiety levels. Writing retreats can also provide a creative, caring and motivational space for us to take our writing responsibilities seriously and find space for them in our careers.
This is essential for academics who have to balance caring responsibilities on top of their careers but is also key for colleagues who see their professional writing pushed into their own time, because the responsibilities of full-time positions (marking, student support, course preparation, etc.) take all the available time.
Here are some tips that we will be applying to our one-day online writing retreat. We hope you will be able to also implement these habits in your own time and amongst your existing networks:
  • Structure your writing sessions, with planned breaks and writing blocks;
  • Write with somebody: this is important to share goals, create a minimal sense of accountability and to feel accompanied;
  • Prepare. Read about the writing process, not only about what you need to write about (see end of text for additional references).
We invite in particular PhD researchers and Early Career Researchers working in the field of gender, sexuality and/or migration to participate in the first GenSeM writing retreat  on Thursday 20 August 2020 so that we can:
  • Help create imaginative spaces where writing collectively can become a pleasurable experience as well as a productive one;
  • Provide a dedicated time to motivate each other to write and through that motivation, develop our identities as writers;
  • Provide the opportunity to be part of a community of writers who share a common purpose and can work together to overcome common challenges;
  • Help each other to address anxieties around writing and authorship.
Although these goals are ambitious, the GenSeM committee is keen to start small and build up from there. Feedback following our first writing event will help shape future events to come.
On August 20 we will start at 09.30 (GMT) with introductions from the facilitators and participants and a brief reminder of the guidelines for the day. There will be 3 writing blocks and some breaks in between with opportunities to share progress with other participants. The retreat will last until 17.00 (GMT) and will be held on Zoom. You will receive more information about the structure before the date.
To sign up, or for more information, please email us your name and institution at gensem.imiscoe@gmail.com before the 18th August 2020.
Help us promote the idea that academia can involve communities of academics working together to overcome similar challenges and celebrate successes. Together we can learn new strategies and work together to set up structures that will make room for us to develop our writing skills and productivity.
Further readings
Grant, B., & Knowles, S., 2000. Flights of imagination: Academic writers be(com)ing writers, International Journal for Academic Development, 5(1), 6–19. https://doi-org.ezproxy.sussex.ac.uk/10.1080/136014400410060
Grant, B., 2006. Writing in the company of other women: Exceeding the boundaries, Studies in Higher Education, 31(4), 483–495. https://doi-org.ezproxy.sussex.ac.uk/10.1080/03075070600800624
Moore, S., 2003. Writers’ retreats for academics: Exploring and increasing the motivation to write. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 27(3), 333–342. https://doi-org.ezproxy.sussex.ac.uk/10.1080/0309877032000098734
Murray, R., & Newton, M., 2009. Writing retreat as structured intervention: margin or mainstream?, Higher Education Research & Development, 28:5, 541-553. https://doi-org.ezproxy.sussex.ac.uk/10.1080/07294360903154126
 
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On July 1st and 2nd, researchers working on and interested on how migration and integration are shaped by gender and sexuality met at the 2020 IMISCOE conference. After launching the Standing Committee on Gender and Sexuality in Migration Research (GenSeM) in 2019, we took the opportunity at the IMISCOE 2020 virtual conference to create a space where we could get to know each other better and discuss how the standing committee can best serve its members in the near future. In addition to presenting research at four GenSeM panels, we also held the first GenSeM general meeting and PhD/ECR meeting.
The discussions in the meetings highlighted two points. First, the desire to establish a non-hierarchical, committed, and collaborative space to discuss our research. And second, the need to have a platform that can showcase our research and facilitate networking.
To address the first point, GenSeM will kick-off a series of “Migration Dialogues” in Autumn 2020. We will organize meetings (virtual ones for the time being) to present members’ work done in the field of Migration, Gender and Sexuality. The idea is to create a constructive and committed space where we can e.g. discuss work in progress (papers, chapters, project proposals…); have book symposiums; or discuss specific topics. The Migration Dialogues will also serve to meet the call from our PhD/ECR community for conversations about their research and especially about methods and recruitment issues. These regular meetings will be open to all. More details on this will follow in the coming weeks.
With regards to creating a platform for members’ research, we have created a project profile on ResearchGate where we plan to publicise our activities. Please, do follow us there! Members also expressed the desire to have a channel where GenSeM members could connect with each other and find opportunities for collaborative work. After exploring a few possibilities, we find that the most suitable platform is the Migration Research Hub by IMISCOE. We would strongly recommend members to add their profile and publications there with the taxonomy associations to gender/sexuality (if appropriate), if they have not already done so.
 We are incredibly happy of how this new standing committee is developing, and look forward to further collaborations (and to meeting our members in person!). In the meantime, follow us here and on Twitter (@Gensem3) – and you can contact us directly at gensem.imiscoe@gmail.com
Wishing you all a good summer!
The GenSeM steering group
Sarah, Laura, Anastasia, Maggi, Nicola and Marianela
 
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Coordinators:
Dr Sarah Scuzzarello (University of Sussex)
Dr Laura Morosanu (University of Sussex)
The new Standing Committee “Gender and Sexuality in Migration Research” (GenSeM) brings together and supports IMISCOE-affiliated scholars whose research focuses on the areas of gender, sexuality and migration. GenSeM wants to create an infrastructure that can give voice and visibility to the needs of academics studying in these fields; support relevant publications; promote communication among specialists; and organise expert meetings.
GenSeM has the following objectives:
- To become a leading international forum for the development and promotion of academic research on issues relating to the study of gender, sexuality and migration
- To provide a platform for knowledge-exchange and information-sharing focussing on teaching gender, sexuality and migration
- To create a supportive infrastructure for Early Career Researchers working on these issues
- To contribute to national, regional and local debates about gender, sexuality and migration, and to increase the visibility of how gender and sexuality impact on migrants’ economic, legal, social or political experiences