Seminar Series on Forced Migration

The Seminar Series on Forced Migration is part of Europe-Asia Research Platform on Forced Migration at the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen (IWM) and Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group (CRG); and is hosted at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Vienna.

Europe-Asia Research Platform on Forced Migration advances the cooperation between European and South Asian institutions and academics while working toward creating a joint research platform for innovative knowledge production on forced migration and border regimes. Bringing together scholars, policy makers and practitioners from different disciplines and regions, the Seminar Series aspires to decentering Europe-focused scholarship, debates, and policies on forced migration.

The Seminar Series, as part of Europe-Asia Research Platform on Forced Migration, benefits from the research platform The Challenge of Urban Futures at the University of Vienna and Cities and Human Mobility Collaborative at the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility at the New School for Social Research.

For more information, publications, upcoming events, and much more at Europe-Asia Research Platform on Forced Migration click here.

Upcoming Seminar

December 16, 2020 at 5:30pm CET

For more than 40 years, groups of Canadians have raised funds and offered their time to support over 325,000 refugee newcomers through the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program (PSRP). In 2020, planned numbers for private refugee sponsorship (20,000) in Canada were double the number of government-assisted refugees to be resettled. Based on an original qualitative study, this paper probes how voluntary sponsorship – as a kind of civil society mobilisation – has been sustained over decades. Refugee newcomers who land in Canada as permanent residents become part of the communities and society in which they stay. Many have left family members behind in refugee camps and sanctuary cities without permanent status, and so become sponsors themselves with a view to reuniting in Canada. This phenomenon of ‘family-linked’ sponsorship is a unique, defining and sustaining feature of the program by motivating family members in Canada to team up with experienced sponsors to ‘do more’. Our data show that sponsorship is a community practice that occurs across scales – linking local sites in Canada to countries where human atrocities are common and neighbouring states that host those who flee. Sponsorship connects people in various communities across the world, and these transnational links are important to understanding the sustainability of sponsorship over time in Canada.

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Previous Seminars

November 11, 2020

In this presentation, I discuss the relationship among migration, borders and technologies by examining the role of mobile digital devices in the everyday lives of migrants in transit and their encounters with state agents, humanitarian actors and activists at the border. The concept techno-borderscapes is introduced to rethink transit zones as sites of embodied and virtual interactions that highlight the connections among digital securitisation, humanitarianism and activism. Confronted with increased border securitisation, migrants use mobile technologies to bypass borders, create new forms of migrant-to-migrant protection and assistance, and articulate their political voice. Border spaces are not just ‘in-between’ zones along a unidirectional migratory trajectory but rather transformative and transforming techno-borderscapes.

The full lecture recording is available here.

Seminar Series on Forced Migration Team

  • Ayse Çağlar, Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna, Permanent Fellow, IWM
  • Ana Ćuković, PhD Student, Coordinator of Europe-Asia Research Platform on Forced Migration and Seminar Series at University of Vienna
  • Clemens Schmid, Technical Support

For any inquiries or questions, please contact Ana Ćuković (