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New Publication: Doing Digital Migration Studies

The edited volume Doing Digital Migration Studies: Theory and Practices of the Everyday is now out.

Title: Doing Digital Migration: Theory and Practices of the Everyday

Editors: Koen Leurs and Sandra Ponzanesi

Publisher: Amsterdam University Press

Available here (open-access publication).

Doing Digital Migration present a comprehensive entry point to the variety of theoretical debates, methodological interventions, political discussions and ethical debates around migrant forms of belonging as articulated through digital practices.
Digital technologies impact upon everyday migrant lives, while vice versa migrants play a key role in technological developments – be it when negotiating the communicative affordances of platforms and devices, as consumers of particular commercial services such as sending remittances, as platform gig workers or test cases for new advanced surveillance technologies. With its international scope, this anthology invites scholars to pluralize understandings of ‘the migrant’ and ‘the digital’.
The anthology is organized in five different sections: Creative Practices; Digital Diasporas and Placemaking; Affect and Belonging; Visuality and digital media and Datafication, Infrastructuring, and Securitization. These sections are dedicated to emerging key topics and debates in digital migration studies, and sections are each introduced by international experts.

Special Issue ‘Digital Migration Practices and the Everyday’ out now!

The Special Issue on ‘Digital Migration Practices and the Everyday’ for the Communication, Culture & Critique is now out.

Title: Digital Migration Practices and the Everyday
Guest editors: Sandra Ponzanesi and Koen Leurs
Special Issue: Communication, Culture & Critique, 15(2), 2022: 103-298.
Available: here.

This special issue explores the role that digital technology plays in the lives of migrants. It does so by paying close attention to governmental and supranational organizations as well as to subjective and affective dimensions of the everyday. Digital migration practices emerge as complex negotiations in the digital media sphere between infrastructural bias and agential opportunities, contesting racial practices as well as enabling digitally mediated bonds of solidarity and intimacy. The issue offers nuanced critical perspectives ranging from surveillance capitalism, extractive humanitarianism, datafication, and border regimes to choreographies of care and intimacy in transnational settings, among other aspects. Renowned international scholars reflect on these issues from different vantage points. The closing forum section provides state-of-the-art commentaries on digital diaspora, affect and belonging, voice and visibility in the digital media sphere, queer migrant interventions in non-academic settings, and datafication and media infrastructures in “deep time.”

The special issue draws from the conference “Migrant Belongings: Digital Practices and the Everyday” which took place online on April 21–23, 2021. The conference was part of the ERC project CONNECTINGEUROPE (Digital Crossings in Europe: Gender, Diaspora and Belonging), led by Sandra Ponzanesi and jointly organized in collaboration with the DMM section (Diaspora, Migration and the Media) of ECREA (European Communication Research and Education) chaired by Koen Leurs. In this event, over 200 speakers presented contributions covering a wide diversity of topics ranging from digital connectivity, to creative practices, digital diaspora and place-making, affect and belonging, visuality and social media, datafication, securitization and infrastructuring, among others.


The special issue includes contributions by:

Sandra Ponzanesi & Koen Leurs (UU), Paul Gilroy, Nicholas de Genova, Saskia Witteborn, Roopika Risam, Martina Tazzioli, Christine Quinan & Mina Hunt, Larissa Hjorth, Earvin Cabalquinto, Laura Candidatu & Sandra Ponzanesi (UU), Myria Georgiou, Łukasz Szulc, Raelene Wilding & Monica Winarnita, Koen Leurs (UU) and Philipp Seuferling


For more information, see here.

PhD Defence Claudia Minchilli: Localizing Digital Diasporas

On 19 November, Claudia Minchilli defended her dissertation titled Localizing Digital Diasporas. Diasporic digital networking among Somali, Romanian and Turkish women in Rome through the lens of social class.

Diasporic digital practices

In her dissertation, Minchilli investigated the diasporic digital practices of Somali, Romanian and Turkish migrant women living in Rome. Her research had a particular focus on the interrelation with social class dynamics and forms of social stratification from a gender perspective. With this research, she showed how looking at digital practices from an intersectional and local perspective that is sensitive to social class dynamics provides a vantage point for understanding the emergence and articulation of specific forms of digitally-led diasporic sociality on a local level.

Contextual power relations

Minchilli’s epistemological approach to the study of digital diasporas was influenced by feminist and postcolonial theories on migration and diaspora studies, and sensitive to the analysis of contextual power dynamics as they act within the field of diaspora space. She showed how contextual power relations – and migrants’ positioning in relation to them – are implicated along the online–offline continuum in the process of migrants’ identity formation and community-making, and in the articulation of a sense of belonging in a context of displacement.

This PhD defence took place on 19 November 2021 at Utrecht University. The PhD supervisors were Prof. Sandra Ponzanesi and Prof. Radhika Gajjala. The co-supervisor was Dr. Domitilla Olivieri. For more information, see here

Publication out now: Special issue of Journal of Global Diaspora and Media, 2(1), 2021

The Special Issue on ‘Somali Diaspora and Digital Practices: Gender, Media and Belonging’ for the Journal of Journal of Global Diaspora & Media is now out (2/1, 2021) open access.

Title: Somali Diaspora and Digital Practices: Gender, Media and Belonging.
Special Issue: Journal of Global Diaspora and Media, 2(1), 2021: 1-97.
Available open access: https://tinyurl.com/58ckvz59

The different contributions explore how digital co-presence, enabled by new social media platforms and apps, allows people to establish multi-sited forms of belonging that cut across national, ethnic and ‘clan’ boundaries and reshape the sense of diasporic belonging and nostalgia for the troubled homeland that has undergone enormous conflicts and strife. The close analysis of empirical findings across different sites in Europe shows multi-sitedness, generation and urban belonging as central features. The special issue is an output of the ERC project CONNECTINGEUROPE: Digital Crossings in Europe: Gender, Diaspora and Belonging. This special issue is guest edited by Sandra Ponzanesi.


This special issue includes:

For more information, see here.

Video “In Conversation with CONNECTINGEUROPE” included in European R&D Exhibition in the Humanities

The video “In Conversation with CONNECTINGEUROPE” has been included in the exhibition room European R&D Exhibition in the Humanities, as part of the European Humanities Conference.


In this video interview, the CONNECTINGEUROPE team reflect on their research project and share the most memorable experiences in their research. The video can be watched in the digital exhibition room here.

Watch the other videos of the European R&D Exhibition in the Humanities here

Recordings Keynotes ‘Migrant Belongings: Digital Practices and the Everyday’ available to watch

The ERC conference ‘Migrant Belongings: Digital Practices and the Everyday’ took place on 21, 22 and 23 April . Several recordings of keynote lectures are now available to watch back here.


The following keynotes are now available to watch back:


For more information on the conference and regular updates of released recordings, see the conference website here

Video interview ‘In Conversation with CONNECTINGEUROPE Research Team’

For Media Innovation Centre at Aga Khan University (Nairobi, Kenya) community manager Benson Githaiga interviewed the CONNECTINGEUROPE research team about the project ‘Digital Crossings in Europe: Gender, Diaspora and Belonging’.

In their conversation, principal investigator Prof. Sandra Ponzanesi and researchers Laura Candidatu, Claudia Minchilli and Malis Mevsimler discuss the CONNECTINGEUROPE research project and reflect on their most memorable experiences during their research.



The video can be watched here. For more information on the Media Innovation Centre, see here.

Conference Program ‘Migrant Belongings: Digital Practices and the Everyday’ available now!

The final, full program for the conference ‘Migrant Belongings: Digital practices and the Everyday’ is available now.

The final program can be read below or can be downloaded via the conference website here. The book of abstracts can be downloaded via this link. The program, and the book of abstracts and biographies will be sent to all registered speakers and general audience members shortly via email.



The conference will run from the late afternoon of April 21, and the full days of 22 and 23 of April. The conference will take place digitally. For more information and updates, see here.

The Sex and Gender dimension in Frontier Research (The European Council Magazine)

On International Women’s Day, the European Research Council looks  back on the conference on ‘Sex and Gender Dimensions in Frontier Research’ that took place in November 2020, and reflects on the importance of incorporating relevant sex and gender dimensions in all research. During the conference, Sandra Ponzanesi presented on “Migration, Digital Media and Emotions’ as part of CONNECTINGEUROPE.

The ERC examines how “overcoming bias and striving for gender equality can ultimately improve both women researchers’ careers and the quality of research produced by all”. In doing so, the article ‘Sex and Gender Dimensions in Frontier Research’ reflects on the ways in which the ERC ensures fair treatment of applicants for ERC research grants. Because of the gender disparity in funding proposal submission rates, the ERC remains active in the area and organized the conference ‘Sex and Gender Dimensions in Frontier Research’ in November 2020. The aim of the conference was to create a platform to discuss new approaches for gender unbiased research.

Representing the ERC project CONNECTINGEUROPE, Sandra Ponzanesi presented ‘Migration, Digital Media and Emotions’ as part of a series of presentations around “Gender and Fairness in the Digital Society”.


For the full ERC Magazine article, published online 8 March 2021, see here.



Online Lecture “Digital Belongings. Migration, Digital Practices and the Everyday” with Sandra Ponzanesi (25 February 2021)

On 25 February 2021, Sandra Ponzanesi gave an online lecture titled “Digital Belongings. Migration, Digital Practices and the Everyday”. The lecture was the second in NECS online lecture series “Media and Migration”.

The NECS online lecture series consists in five lectures held by scholars working on the topic of media and migration, scheduled on a monthly basis, starting late January 2021. The Online Lecture Series is open to all and is also intended to involve graduate students and early-career researchers in the scientific conversation about media and migration through the prism of methodology and knowledge production. A specific focus on methodology will be common to all lectures and will be articulated in connection to fields as varied as ethnic media, diaspora, migrant audiences, digital technologies and border regimes, as well as postcolonialism and gender. Unlike most current analyses of the relationship between media and migration, this Online Lecture Series will propose a shift from media narratives and the politics of representation to the methodological and epistemic issues related to the study of mediated migration.

Digital Belongings. Migration, Digital Practices and the Everyday

In the second lecture in the series, Sandra Ponzanesi presented “Digital Belongings. Migration, Digital Practices and the Everyday”: “While images of migration and destitution have consistently been spectacularized in the mainstream media, the voices, representations and practices of migrant themselves have often been relegated to alternative channels and reporting outlets, from the press to photography, cinema and social media. At the height of the so-called ‘refugee crisis’, the digital passage to Europe  has highlighted the savviness and skills of migrants, often digital natives themselves, in resorting to digital media to manage their journey by retrieving information, accessing GPS and routing data, contacting smugglers, carrying out economic transactions, integrating into new forms of governance (Latonero and Kift, 2018; Gillespie et al., 2018; Smets and Leurs, 2018; Paz Alencar, 2018; Georgiou 2019).

However, less attention has been paid to the ‘banal’ ways in which migrants use digital technologies to keep in touch and stay connected with their peers and loved ones, through co-presence and diasporic affiliations that sustain bonds and forms of belonging across space and time (Madianou and Miller, 2012; Boccagni and Baldassar, 2015; Alinjead and Ponzanesi, 2020). Going beyond “high tech orientalism” (Chun, 2006) and “symbolic bordering” (Chouliaraki, 2017), this lecture will focus on the ways in which migrants appropriate and integrate digital technologies in their everyday lives in order to manage their local and transnational networks of belonging as media users, participants and content makers. What kinds of methods and tools would be useful to investigate these practices, keeping in mind affective, ethical and technological dimensions? Why foreground the everyday rather than the newsworthy and the state of exception? What kinds of affordances and platforms do we focus on and how do we facilitate articulation in preference to representation? What kinds of collaborative, creative or mixed methodologies do we review or develop before engaging with research on media and migration?

Drawing from gender, postcolonial studies, digital media and migration this lecture focuses on the various forms of cosmopolitan belongings that cut across borders and media platforms.”

The lecture can be watched back here or accessed here. More information on the NECS Online Lecture Series and the speakers can be found here.

Vacancy: ERC Research Assistant CONNECTINGEUROPE

ERC CONNECTINGEUROPE is hiring a part-time research assistant for six months. Start date: February 2021.


You will be assisting in the ERC project CONNECTINGEUROPE. Your tasks will be to support the Principal Investigator (PI), Prof. Sandra Ponzanesi (Media and Culture Studies, Utrecht University) in the various activities, programming and execution.


  • Assist with the regular EU project administration tasks.
  • Assist with the final online conference, planned in April 2021.
  • Take care of the communication for social media and online events.
  • Assist with academic research.
  • Assist with the editing and preparation of manuscripts.
  • Assist with duties related to the production of academic journal articles.
  • Meet regularly with the supervisor to discuss research assignments.
  • Prepare literatre reviews.
  • Gather and analyse data.
  • Prepare documentation for submission to agencies and foundations that fund research.
  • Manage and reply to project-related correspondence.
  • Organize, maintain and update website content.
  • Prepare other articles, reports and presentations.


MA or higher in a relevant field
Proficiency in English, both spoken and written
Preferably proficiency in Dutch
Flexibility and proactive approach

Research Assistant: key skills & proficiencies: 

  • Communication
  • Attention to detail
  • Critical thinking
  • Technical skills
  • Digital skills (WordPress, social media platforms, online conferencing and webinars)
  • Planning and scheduling
  • Graphic design abilities
  • Video recording and photography skills
The job will be for 1 or 2 days a week for 6 months. Salary scale to be negotiated according to skills and expertise. For more information, please contact s.ponzanesi@uu.nl. Submit your CV, short motivation (500 words) and relevant information here by 31 January 2021. 

New Publication by Donya Alinejad: “Techno-emotional mediations of transnational intimacy: social media and care relations in long-distance Romanian families”

On 23 November 2020, Donya Alinejad published the article “Techno-emotional mediations of transnational intimacy: social media and care relations in long-distance Romanian families” in Media, Culture & Society (2020).

The paper focuses on ‘left-behind’ family members of Romanian economic migrants and investigates how the use of mobile devices and social media apps helps people stay in touch with their loved ones. The paper’s full abstract is:

The transnational circulation of intimate care is increasingly mediated by digital communications. Research conceptualizing long-distance emotional intimacy in terms of ‘care chains’ has been influential in understanding international care economies. Yet, this framework has limitations for theorizing the role of media in communications of care. With a focus on the ‘left-behind’ family members of Romanian economic migrants, this paper investigates how the use of social media apps and mobile devices within the context of a major intra-EU labor migration phenomenon helps people stay in touch with their transnationally mobile loved ones. It draws on interview material elicited among the close family members of Romanian labor migrants living in Bucharest and surrounding areas. The analysis focuses on the sensory role of social media platforms and the materiality of smartphones in shaping relations of long-distance emotional care. Showing how video calling and photo sharing practices produce emotional experiences that are specific to contemporary combinations of platform-device technicity and social sensitization, the paper argues for conceptualizing transnational care as a mediated emotional experience. By theorizing the role of media in how care is not merely transferred but felt through mediation, the paper demonstrates how media practices produce a techno-emotional mediation of transnational care.

The paper is published open access and is available here.


Conference ‘Migrant Belongings: Digital Practices and the Everyday’ to take place fully online

The ERC Conference ‘Migrant Belongings: Digital Practices and the Everyday’ will be held fully online. The conference takes place on 22, 23 and 24 April 2021 and will be entirely virtual. Updates and details will be posted regularly here.


The full call for papers can be found here. Submissions for panels can be submitted until 31 January 2021. The deadline for the online submission of abstracts is 15 February 2021. For further questions, contact migrantbelongings@uu.nl.

Presentation “Migration, Digital Media and Emotions” (CONNECTINGEUROPE) with Sandra Ponzanesi (European Research Council workshop, 16 November 2020)

On 16 November 2020, Sandra Ponzanesi presents “Migration, Digital Media and Emotions” as part of CONNECTINGEUROPE at the European Research Council workshop “Sex and Gender Dimension in Frontier Research.”

This workshop aims to create a platform to showcase and discuss innovative approaches to address gender dimensions in research. Considering gender differences may add more value to research in some fields. The ultimate goal of the workshop is to raise awareness on how gender dimension, in the way research is designed, conducted and administered, influences the quality and usefulness of the results.

The presentation “Migration, Digital Media and Emotions” was part of a series of presentations around “Gender and Fairness in the Digital Society”.


For an overview of the full workshop program, see here.

Publication “Understanding how migrants connect is key to fostering understanding” on EU Cordis (27 October 2020)

The article and short interview “Understanding how migrants connect is key to foster understanding” on the ERC Project CONNECTINGEUROPE is now available on the EU Cordis website.

CONNECTINGEUROPE illuminates how social media connect migrant groups and provide tools for emancipation and participation. The article shows a brief overview of CONNECTINGEUROPE’s aims and successes, such as the project’s emphasis on the emotional aspect of migration and the kinds of connectivity digital media ensure, in addition to the political and economic factors. The publication of the article is part of the CORDIS Results Pack “How frontier research advances innovative ideas and perspectives on gender”. This Results Pack showcases a variety of recent frontier research on issues relating to gender, funded by the European Research Council. It features work of ERC grantees whose projects are working either within – or in several cases across – a multitude of academic fields within the humanities and social sciences.

The full article can be read here.


Publication Special Issue Migration, Digital Media and Emotion | International Journal of Cultural Studies (September 2020)

The Special Issue “Migration, Digital Media and Emotion” of the International Journal of Cultural Studies was published by Sage Journals. This Special Issue was guest edited by Donya Alinejad and Sandra Ponzanesi.

Contributions include:

  • Donya Alinejad, Sandra Ponzanesi. “Migrancy and digital mediations of emotion.” (pp. 621-638)
  • Raelene Wilding, Loretta Baldassar, Shashini Gamage, Shane Worrell, Samiro Mohamud. “Digital media and the affective economies of transnational families.” (pp. 639-655)
  • Celine Meyers, Pragna Rugunanan. “Mobile-mediated mothering from a distance: A case study of Somali mothers in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.” (pp. 656-673)
  • Jolynna Sinanan, Catherine Gomes. ” ‘Everybody needs friends’: Emotions, social networks and digital media in the friendships of international students.” (pp. 674-691)
  • Haili Li. “Transnational togetherness through Rela: Chinese queer women’s practices for maintaining ties with the homeland.” (pp. 692-708)
  • Mine Gencel Bek, Patricia Prieto Blanco. “(Be)Longing through visual narrative: Mediation of (dis)affect and formation of politics through photographs and narratives of migration at DiasporaTürk.” (pp. 709-727)
  • Silvia Almenara-Niebla. “Making digital ‘home-camps’: Mediating emotions among the Sahrawi refugee diaspora.” (pp. 728-744)
  • Marloes Annette Geboers, Chad Thomas Van De Wiele. “Regimes of visibility and the affective affordances of Twitter.” (pp. 745-765)
  • Annamária Neag, Markéta Supa. “Emotional practices of unaccompanied refugee youth on social media.” (pp. 766-786)
  • Earvin Charles Cabalquinto, Guy Wood-Bradley. “Migrant platformed subjectivity: rethinking the mediation of transnational affective economies via digital connectivity services.” (pp. 787-802)
  • Beatrice Zani. “WeChat, we sell, we feel: Chinese women’s emotional petit capitalism. (pp. 803-820)


Special Issue “Migration, Digital Media and Emotion”. Guest edited by Donya Alinejad and Sandra Ponzanesi. Vol. 23(5), 2020: 621-820. For more information and access, see here.

CFP Migrant Belongings: Digital Practices and the Everyday, Spring 2021, Utrecht University


Submission deadline for panels: 31 January 2021
Submission deadlines for abstracts: 15 February 2021

Confirmed keynotes: 
  • Paul Gilroy (University College London)
  • Engin Isin (Queen Mary, University of London)
  • Nicholas de Genova (University of Houston)
  • Larissa Hjorth (RMIT University, Melbourne)
  • Saskia Witteborn (Chinese University of Hong Kong)

Migrant belonging through digital connectivity refers to a way of being in the world that cuts across national borders, shaping new forms of diasporic affiliations and transnational intimacy. This happens in ways that are different from the ways enabled by the communication technologies of the past. Scholarly attention has intensified around the question of how various new technical affordances of platforms and apps are shaping the transnationally connected, and locally situated, social worlds in which migrants live their everyday lives.

This international conference focuses on the connection between the media and migration from different disciplinary vantage points. Connecting with friends, peers and family, sharing memories and personally identifying information, navigating spaces and reshaping the local and the global in the process is but one side of the coin of migrant-related technology use: this Janus-faced development also subjects individual as well as groups to increased datafied migration management, algorithmic control and biometric classification as well as forms of transnational authoritarianism and networked repression.

This conference pays particular attention to the everyday use of digital media for the support of transnational lives, emotional bonds and cosmopolitan affiliations, focusing also on the the role digital media play in shaping local/urban and national diasporic formations. This is because it becomes increasingly important to give everyday digital media usage a central role in investigations of transnational belonging, digital intimacy, diasporic community (re)production, migrant subject formation, long-distance political participation, urban social integration and local/national self-organization.

Therefore we need to examine individual and collective user practices within the wider historical and cultural contexts of media studies, cultural studies and postcolonial cultural studies scholarship, attuned to issues of politics and power, identity, geographies and the everyday. This also creates new challenges for cross-disciplinary dialogues that require an integration of ethnography with digital methods and critical data studies in order to look at the formation of identity and experience, representation, community building, and creating spaces of belongingness.

Contributions are welcome from any field of study that engages with questions about how technology and social media usages mediate contemporary migration experiences, not only within media and communication studies, or digital and internet studies but also in neighbouring disciplines such as anthropology, postcolonial studies, gender studies, race studies, psychology, law, visual studies, conflict studies, criminology, sociology, critical theory, political theory and international relations.
Contributions that explore non-media-centric entry points by focusing on users’ digital practices and foregrounding ethnographic exploration as a uniting framework are especially welcome.

The conference is part of the ERC project CONNECTINGEUROPE, Digital Crossings in Europe: Gender, Diaspora and Belonging. 

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Affective digital practices and the politics of emotion
  • Digital diaspora
  • Cosmopolitanism
  • Cities and urban belonging
  • Translocality and translationalism
  • Co-presence and togetherness
  • Cultural capital
  • Migrant visualization
  • Appification of migration
  • Platformization of migrant lives
  • Gender and critical race
  • The migration industry of connectivity
  • Digital ethnography
  • Transnational authoritarianism
  • Networked conflicts
  • Datafication and surveillance


Submissions for panels should be submitted via e-mail to ERC2020@uu.nl by 31 January 2021.

  • Submission for panels should include a chairperson, a rationale for the panel (250 words), and the names of four speakers including their abstract (250 words) and biographical note (150 words.

Abstracts should be submitted electronically, using the online submission system by 15 February 2021.

  • Submissions for papers should include an abstract (max 300 words) and short biographical note (150 words) about the author including her/his current position and interest in the field of digital media and migration.

For further questions please contact: ERC2020@uu.nl

Click here to download a pdf version of the call for papers.

Keynote on ‘Strangers in Paradise. Migrant Figurations in Media Culture’ with Sandra Ponzanesi (13 December, Amsterdam)

Sandra Ponzanesi gave a keynote on ‘Strangers in Paradise. Migrant Figurations in Media Culture’ for the NIAS/OSL International Conference ‘Stranger Things: Rethinking Defamiliarization in Literature and Visual Culture’. The conference was organized by Nilgun Bayraktar and Alberto Gladiolo, and took place in Amsterdam.

Defamiliarizing practices today play a key role in contemporary artworks engaging with highly topical issues, such as migration, climate change or the rise of right-wing populist discourses. Whether we are dealing with retro-futuristic dystopias, films breaking the fourth wall, or darkly humorous cartoons, defamiliarization can be an effective tool for political activation – one based on formal innovation, rather than on content or on superficial emotional engagement.


For more information, see here.

Presentation on “Phantoms of Europe: Intellectual Legacies and Cultural Transitions in Postcolonial Europe” with Sandra Ponzanesi (2 november, University of Kent)

During the symposium “Re-thinking Europe”, Sandra Ponzanesi presented “Phantoms of Europe: Intellectual Legacies and Cultural Transitions in Postcolonial Europe. The symposium was organized by the ‘Postcolonial Europe Group’ and took place at the University of Kent in Canterbury.

At a time when Europe is being questioned culturally and politically, there is a need to re-think its significance. Adopting a postcolonial lens, the symposium and network have brought into the spotlight a different map of Europe that is not solely shaped by its colonial legacy but also by different dynamics of subalternity, conditions of un/belonging, cultural, economic and geographical displacement.

The event has brought together scholars, activists and artists from across disciplines and fields to re-think critically and creatively the significance of Europe. It has focus particularly on a number of contested conjunctural spaces: from Europe’s Southern frontiers to its inner cities.

Other speakers included:

  • Prof. Lars Jensen (Roskilde University) on ‘Writing Postcolonial Europe’
  • Dr. Norbert Bugeja (University of Malta) on ‘The Edge(s) of Memoir in Ageing Europe: Postcolonial Notes’
  • Prof. Miguel Mellino (Università degli Studi di Napoli L’Orientale) on ‘Policing the Refugee Crisis: Neoliberalism between Biopolitics and Necropolitcs’
  • Dr. Paula McCloskey (University of Derby) and dr. Sam Vardy (Sheffield Hallam University) on ‘The Eile Project; a place, of their own’
  • Dr. Maria Ridda (University of Kent) on ‘Remaking Europe from its Lawless Frontiers’
  • Agnes Purgatorio (artist, Podbiesky Contemporary, Milan) on ‘The Immobile Nomad’

For more information and the full symposium programma, see here.


Presentation at ECREA Conference with ERC ConnectingEurope Team (30-31 October, Brussels)

During the ECREA Conference ‘Digital Fortress Europe’ in Brussels, the ERC ConnectingEurope team presented the panel ‘European Mobilities, Diasporic Digitalities and the Ethnographic Turn’.

About the conference

The two-day conference ‘Digital Fortress Europe’ took place in Brussels in October 2019 and was organized by ECREA in collaboration with various partners. The conference intended to be a forum to reflect on the relation between media, migration, and technology. Keynote speakers included Prof. dr. Huub Dijstelbloem (University of Amsterdam), prof. dr. Payal Arora (Erasmus University Rotterdam) and prof. dr. Myria Georgiou (London School of Economics and Science).

About the panel

The panel engaged with new definitions of digital diaspora, as strongly embedded in everyday practices, avoiding mediacentric reasoning in favour of more grounded and ethnographic approaches that allowed us to detect, articulate and bring out the particularities of diasporic digitality across a wide spectrum of practices and contexts.

Sandra Ponzanesi


  • Donya Alinejad on Techno-emotional Mediations of Migrant Intimacy
  • Laura Candidatu on The Formation of Higher Educated, Digitally Mediated Turkish Diaspora. The Interplay of Class, Motherhood, and Ethnicity. 
  • Melis Mevsimler on “Returning to the Culture” OR Looking FORWARD? Second-generation British-Somali Women in Londen
  • Claudio Minchilli on Understanding Digital Diaspora. Migrant Social Capital and Digital Practices of Romanian Women Living in Rome

For more information about the conference programme and abstracts, see here.

International Workshop on ‘Decoloniality and the Digital Turn in Media Anthropology’ with Sandra Ponzanesi (October 11, LMU Munich)

Sandra Ponzanesi participated in the workshop on ‘Decoloniality and the Digital Turn in Media Anthropology’ at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität LMU Munich on 11 October 2019.

The international workshop was organized and hosted by the Media Anthropology Network, European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA), ERC Project ForDigitalDignity (ONLINERPOL), and Sahana Udupa, Elisabetta Costa and Philipp Budka (LMU Munich).

The workshop critically explored “the digital turn” in the anthropological study of media, and aimed to push further ethnographic knowledge into the role that digital technologies play in people’s everyday life and broader sociopolitical transformations. In so doing, this workshop contributed to the reassessment of media anthropology in digital times, and raised critical questions on how digital media have posed new epistemological challenges, inspired methodological innovations, and offered opportunities for political activism for media anthropologists.

Key questions of the workshop were whether the digital turn has reconfigured the classic distinction between “home” and “field” through temporally intensified “horizontal” networks on a global scale; have these connections – culturally translated across different societies – collapsed the distinction between “home” and “field”? As users and researchers of digital media, how do we rework anthropology’s classic conundrum of home-field, distance-nearness and us-other in radically progressive ways? What does the “digital turn” entail in terms of how we engage research participants, and how do we use these new pathways to critique the multidirectional “colonial matrix of power” that is riding on the very infrastructure of contemporary digital media?

The full workshop program is available here.