CFP: The Bordering Process of Transnational Migrants in Urban Spaces with/without the pandemic of COVID-19

RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, Royal Geographical Society, London, 31 August – 3 September 2021

Photo by NEOSiAM 2021 from Pexels

CFP: The Bordering Process of Transnational Migrants in Urban Spaces with/without the pandemic of COVID-19

Co-Sponsored by the Population Geography Research Group, the Urban Geography Research Group and the Postgraduate Forum

Session Conveners: Yunting QI (Royal Holloway University of London)and Tat-in TAM (Royal Holloway University of London)

Theorising borders and bordering process has been pivotal to understand contemporary human mobility and related socio-spatial changes (Rumford, 2006). As a representation of the dichotomy of inside/outside, border could provide both constraints and opportunities for human mobilities (Sohn, 2016). (Un)skilled transnational migrants move across the nation-state borders as well as the municipal borders for personal or familial interests; meanwhile, they also establish various (in)visible borders through their everyday practices (Saint-Blancat & Cancellieri, 2014; Sidaway, 2011; Wang & Shen, 2009). Urban spaces could actively engage into the bordering process of transnational migrants through landscapes, urban infrastructures and urban governance (Smith & Guarnizo, 2009). The borders experienced by transnational migrants in urban space could be in multiple (in)tangible forms and imply distinct cultural meanings for different individuals (Qian, 2014; Rumford, 2012). Also, the borders are embedded in specific socio-cultural contexts and various capitals of transnational migrants (Egbert, 2006). This session hopes to highlight the latest theoretical/practical trend of borders/bordering related to transnational migrants in urban spaces.

This session eagerly welcomes thoughts and researches on how the pandemic of COVID-19 engages into the bordering processes in urban spaces. For example, many cities have established quarantine areas (e.g., hotels or hospitals) for transnational migrants who just finished a journey from a high risk nation. The quarantine border is not only in tangible forms of walls and gates, but also in intangible forms constituted by other urban residents’ fear and estrangement. We look forward to more insightful voices about the bordering process and the pandemic.

This session welcomes papers from, but not limited to, the following themes:

  • The shifting nature of borders in urban spaces
  • Everyday practices of transnational migrants in the city
  • Territorialisation of ethnic enclave in cities
  • Transnational migrants’ right to city
  • Empowering and disempowering of transnational migrants in the city
  • New research approaches and methodologies

The session will be in fully virtual form. We are looking for about 5 papers in this session. Each presenter will give 15 minutes for presentation and 5 minutes for discussion. Please send your paper title, abstract (250 words max.), email address and affiliation to Yunting Qi ( and Tat-in Tam ( by 1 March 2021.

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