UCL European Institute


Queer migration, diaspora and asylum in Europe - Call for Papers

29 August 2017



On Saturday 9 December 2017 the LGBTQ Migration and Asylum project will host the Queer Migration conference at UCL. Project leader Dr Richard Mole invites paper proposals for the international conference.

Until recently, the academic study of migration did not explicitly deal with sexual difference, implicitly assuming the typical migrant to be heterosexual. These assumptions have been challenged by scholars of queer migration and asylum, who have produced a small but growing literature on the migration experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and queer (LGBTQ) subjects. Indeed,  the very idea of 'queer' was to a significant extent brought about by migration in that the mass movement of people to the West from various non-Western cultures brought into sharp relief the numerous 'sexual identity categories and practices that [did] not depend on Western conceptions of selfhood and community', thereby producing a range of queer identities and subjectivities (Manalansan, 2006).

In geographical terms, most work on queer migration, diaspora and asylum has focused primarily on the United States, with some attention also paid to Asian and Latin American societies as sending countries. Far less research has been conducted on migration and asylum by LGBTQ individuals to or in Europe. This is surprising given the disparities in attitudes towards and the degree of legal protection for LGBTQ people across Europe and thus the extent to which differences in said attitudes and rights could potentially act as push or pull factors in sending and receiving states, respectively, or as grounds for claiming asylum. 

Funded by the Jean Monnet Programme at the UCL European Institute, the aim of this one-day conference is thus to engage with these issues and seek to capture the specificities of LGBTQ migrants and asylum-seekers in Europe, identifying specific challenges facing - or potential benefits enjoyed by - queer migrants. We encourage submissions focusing on any aspect of queer migration, diaspora and asylum, including but not limited to the following range of topics:

• theoretical analyses of the relationship between migration and sexuality

• queer rural-to-urban domestic migration

• the (re)construction of sexual identities following migration

• the emergence and lived experience of queer diasporas

• queer migrants and transnationalism

• long-distance queer activism

• queer asylum-seekers and refugees

Abstracts of no more than 300 words and a short author biography should be sent to r.mole@ucl.ac.uk by no later than the 30 September 2017. The cost of travel from within Europe and two nights' accommodation in London will be covered.

Abstracts are no longer being accepted. See the programme of the upcoming conference here.