Call for Papers: Frontiers, Barriers, Horizons. Re-examining the History and Memories of Migration

Posted on 2009/11/15


Frontiers, Barriers, Horizons. Re-examining the History and Memories of Migration. Call for Papers Issue directed by Maria Neagu and Olivier Côté, Ph.D candidates in History at Laval University, Quebec City, Canada.

Evolving between a ‘here’ and an ‘elsewhere’, the migrant integrates into his experience the sensibilities of the society he left and those of the society which welcomes him. He can behave as an agent in his own life, as an observer or as a mediator, stuck between his point of departure and his final destination. As the product of diverse and complex experiences, the migrant is fascinated, inquisitive or very critical of his own perceptions, of his own boundaries, to the point of either idealizing or being violent towards the Other and the Self. For this reason, migrant memories and identities are reengineering the map of human exchanges.
Rethinking the migrant experience in terms of frontiers, barriers and horizons, memory and history is part of an effort to better understand and renew a questioning, a problematization which has its roots in current events.
With its interdisciplinary approach, this issue will examine human migrations in their complex historical trajectories, their social and economical implications, their identity, agency, and memorialization. Papers addressing the challenges of integration, identity markers and the migrant figure, the memory and the imagining of the migration process, as well as those focused on cross-cultural dialogues are strongly encouraged.
We especially encourage scholars to submit papers that examine the dimension of memory in migrant stories (life stories, diaries, biographies), the construction of narrative identities (symbolic representations, images of Self and the Other), and the formation of sites of migrant identity or agency (ethnic streets and neighborhoods, cultural centers, commemorations, etc).
This issue provides a unique forum for young scholars interested in topics related to migration. Scholars may draw inspiration from the following non-exhaustive, thematic list of topics, according to a synthetic, historicizing, sociocritic, microhistory, or «life story» perspective, in conjunction with any geographical areas:
· Theoretical reflections on models of integration and «collectivity togetherness»;
· History and historicity of migration;
· Migration and human civilizations;
· Causes, premises and reasons of migration;
· Actors of migration (individuals, institutions, states);
· The migration patterns (individual, economical and professional migration; family or chain migration, etc.);
· Migratory systems, spaces, vectors and trajectories;
· Migration as a cross-cultural dialogue between new opportunities and prevailing prejudices;
· Memory markers in migrant groups;
· «Places of origins» and «host societies»: migrant identity references;
· Memory representations of the migrant and his past as a tool for coexistence or intolerance;
· Sites of migrant identity or agency;
· The role of institutions in integration and immigration policy;
· Social representations of migration;
· Migration as a catalyst for demographic changes and ethnic mixing;
· The economics and geopolitics of migration;
· Migration as a vehicle of development and social transformation;
· Migration and Human Rights.

Conserveries mémorielles is a peer reviewed e-journal, soon to be hosted by

We invite authors to submit proposals (250-words) and a short resume by December 1st 2009 to : Contributions will be accepted in French or English, should not exceed 10,000 words and should be sent before March 1st 2009.

For more information, please visit the following website (in French):