Call for Applications: “Migration Matters: Ethnicity, Race, Labor and Politics across Borders” at Boston University

Department of Anthropology
Boston University
Call for Applications
An Emerging Scholars Program on:
Migration Matters: Ethnicity, Race, Labor and Politics across Borders

Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels

The Department of Anthropology at Boston University invites applications from junior scholars in Anthropology, Sociology, Political Science, Critical Race Studies, Ethnicity Studies, Gender Studies and related fields for a workshop on “Migration Matters: Ethnicity, Race, Labor and Politics across Borders.”


Selected participants will be invited to the BU campus in Spring 2021 for a two day-long event, featuring a public keynote lecture by Professor Miriam Ticktin of the New School for Social Research, two panel sessions that will showcase the work of the participating emerging scholars, a graduate student workshop, and an open roundtable discussion. Selected scholars will also participate as a guest lecturer for one session via Zoom in Fall 2020 in the graduate seminar on
“Migration, (Im)mobilities and Precarity,” where they will meet the graduate students who will subsequently attend the workshop in the Spring.

The goal of the program is to bring together some of the most promising scholars from groups that have historically been underrepresented in the academy in order to provide a platform for close engagement between these young scholars, our diverse graduate student body as well as BU faculty working on related issues in Anthropology and other cognate programs.


We are soliciting applications from historically underrepresented, emerging scholars who pursue cutting edge forms of inquiry in the field of migration, border studies, citizenship, critical race studies, and indigenous studies on topics including but not limited to: practices of inclusive exclusion; racialization and displacement; precarious labor; containment at the border;
technologies and archaeologies of the border; re-imaginations of the border by migrants, scholars and activists; and changing notions of territoriality and boundary-making.

Some of the questions we are especially interested in pursuing together are: How can we produce nuanced ethnographies of those spaces between privilege and precarity, between movement and immobility, between subjection and subjectivity and between the “West” and the “Global South”? How do the interconnections between legal status, economic precarity, and racial marginalization impact practices of differentiated citizenship as well as political mobilization? How do ethnic and religious identifications regulate and redefine borders? How might we capture the changing dynamics of an increasingly albeit unevenly connected world without falling into the trap of presentism, exceptionalism or the often sensationalist discourses of crisis?
What are the ethical, methodological and political challenges peculiar to the study of movement across militarized and heavily policed borders as well as the racialized borders and boundaries of settler states? In what ways do we need to reconsider the links between methodology and epistemology and between empirical and engaged scholarship in the study of migration and borders?

Early career Assistant Professors, postdocs and ABDs who will be completing their PhD by June 2022 are eligible to apply. Invited junior scholars will be guests of the Department of Anthropology in Spring 2022 from Friday April 16th through the morning of Sunday, April 18th. All travel expenses will be covered by Boston University. The symposium will commence on April 16th with a keynote lecture by Dr. Miriam Ticktin, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the New School for Social Research and former codirector
of the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility, followed by a general reception.


Participants will present their research on April 17th. Each morning session will feature three invited scholars and one discussant from BU faculty. After a luncheon with graduate students, the symposium will reconvene with a roundtable workshop. Graduate students in Anthropology and related fields will workshop their research projects and have the invited scholars comment on their work. The symposium will conclude with an open discussion highlighting new directions in the field of migration, border studies and critical race studies.

To apply, please submit:
§ A 300-word abstract describing your proposed research presentation
§ A cover letter that summarizes research interests and professional goals. Please include a discussion of how the abstract is connected to your broader research agenda and how participation in the program would enhance your career trajectory and contribute to making the academy a more inclusive environment.
§ Current CV


Materials should be submitted to Veronica Little (email) by August 10, 2020. Participants will be notified of acceptance in early September, 2021. Questions may be addressed to Dr. Ayşe Parla (parlaa@bu.edu)

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