CfP: Ecotones 2: Experiences of Migration and Transformations in the Ecotones, 22-24 June, 2017

Ecotones 2: Experiences of Migration and Transformations in the Ecotones

University of Poitiers (MIGRINTER), France

 22-24 June, 2017

Deadline to submit a proposal: 10 January, 2017

Notification of acceptance: 1 March, 2017

In partnership with EMMA (Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3) and Coastal Carolina University (SC)
and in collaboration with CRHIA (Université de La Rochelle) and CIELAM (Université d’Aix Marseille)
This event is the follow-up of a conference cycle on the notion of ecotones. Initially used in physical geography, an “ecotone” is a transitional area between two or more distinct ecological communities. The aim is to revisit this ecological metaphor and see how it sheds light on the transformations inherent in the social sciences such as in migration, diaspora, and settlement studies, while also investigating the hybrid cultures created in the ecotones discovered in literary studies, and explorations into the transitional spaces brought on by ecological changes.

Ecotones can be analysed through their effects on who and what occupies them, through their relations with the spaces beyond them, through the transformative processes they induce. This second conference seeks to investigate further this avenue of research by focusing on migrant subjectivities and how it intersects with ecotonic contexts.


We are more particularly, but not exclusively, interested in the following themes:

– The migration routes are places of encounter along which the migration experience takes shape and transforms the self-perception and identity of the migrant.

– Narratives of migration(s): be they spontaneous, artistic or solicited by public authorities for an asylum request or by journalists and researchers, migrants produce narratives of their own migration. They create a coherent story out of scattered memories and impressions. They rebuild an order with a view to convince, move or meet the expectations of a listener.

– The waiting spaces of migration: migration trajectories are increasingly complex. Restrictive migration policies force people to stay in places that were not their primary destination for a more or less long period of time. They may take a variety of forms: informal camps such as Calais, refugee camps managed by the UNHCR, city neighbourhoods in transit countries, among other historical spaces.

– Borders are both breaks and junctures in which migrant statuses are redefined along the lines of administrative categories and where identities and subjectivities are recomposed.

– Diasporic nodes produced by the weaving of transnational threads transform places such as urban settings, insular areas or local markets into spaces in which what and who is in the node affects and is affected by long distance linkages in other parts of diasporas.

– Migration and ecological transition: environmental migration is produced by long-term climate change effects or environmental hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis or floods. They induce mobility strategies of survival or adaptation. Ecological transition is both the cause of migration and a mechanics of transformation of home and its meaning.

– Youth and migration: migrating young adults find themselves in a dual life transition: between places of living and between life stages. How can we account for the complexity of their experience of migration?

– Old age and migration: some people migrate at a very late stage of their lives; this is not less harrowing than migrating at a young age, far from it, but it is not often focussed on.

The organizing committee welcomes papers addressing social, cultural and artistic dynamics in relation with migration and transformative ecotones. We encourage the submission of papers exploring’ subjectivities and their expression through different narrative forms (art pieces, novels, administrative narratives, or stories collected by ethnographic research). Our intent is to open a cross-feeding multidisciplinary dialogue. We welcome examinations of literature, comparisons of artistic expression, investigations of anthropological discoveries, as well as analysis within the political sciences, history and geography.

We invite scholars for a 20-minute presentation of their papers, followed by discussion time. All methodological and theoretical approaches are welcomed. Also, we embrace creative interventions suggesting fresh topics in new media multi modalities. Your proposal should include name, title of Paper/Presentation including a suggested theme, a 250-word description, and a short biography with contact information (150 words). Proposals should be uploaded to the conference website. <>


Notification of acceptance will be given by March 1, 2017. A selection of papers will be considered for publication at the conclusion of the series of Ecotones events.

Organising committee

Dr. Thomas Lacroix (Migrinter, Université de Poitiers) <>
Mélanie Pénicaud (Migrinter, Université de Poitiers)
Dr. Colette Le Petitcorps (Migrinter, Université de Poitiers)

Steering committee

Prof. Catherine Mazauric (CIELAM, Université d’Aix Marseille)
Prof. Laurent Vidal (CRHIA, Université de La Rochelle)

Co-convenors of ‘Ecotones’

Dr Thomas Lacroix (MIGRINTER, CNRS-Poitiers)
Dr Judith Misrahi-Barak (EMMA, Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3)
Prof. Maggi Morehouse (Coastal Carolina University)



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