February 23, 2015

Book project "Mapping Migration, Identity, and Space"

Call for Chapters - Abstracts due May 15, 2015

This interdisciplinary collection of essays focuses on the ways in which movements of people across natural, political, and cultural boundaries shape identities that are inexorably linked to actual and imagined space that individuals on the move cross, inhabit, and leave behind. As conflicts over identities and space continue to erupt on a regular basis, and while those from previous eras are far from resolved, this book provides readings of the relationship between migration, identity, and space from a fresh and innovative perspective.

A focus on space and place makes it possible to integrate field-specific research methods and formulate questions that are relevant and timely in different geographical contexts and historical periods. While the term mapping is often used as a metaphor for analyses that do not necessarily consider geographical space as a variable, this volume maps migration and identity. The essays showcase not only conceptual studies, but also include actual maps. The inclusion of graphic depictions of, for instance, the relevant landscapes allows the authors to evaluate the benefits and the shortcomings of adapting questions and findings into abstract or positivist representations of the world. While maps make it possible to analyze and visualize the ways in which migration, identity, and space are inherently connected, maps also may reduce the complexity and ambiguity of the persistent problems addressed in the essays.

This volume will be of interest to scholars and students of migration and identity working in a variety of fields. In particular, it will speak to scholars who are looking to enhance their field- specific research methodologies, drawing, for instance, on the theories and methodologies relevant for (and within) Spatial Humanities. The essays will be relevant for specialists in various areas of the world and disciplines, as contributors develop case studies on Africa, Europe, Australia, and the Americas, and hail from Anthropology, History, and Literature, among others.

The book’s introduction makes the case for research methods that utilize spatial analysis for the study of migration and identities. The introduction is followed by a series of case studies that map the dynamic interaction between migration, identity, and space. Focusing on specific places, such as cities, neighborhoods, landscapes, or borders, the essays in this book cover multifaceted experiences and perceptions of migration. At this point we are looking for 2-3 additional essays that showcase innovative perspectives and new approaches. We are particularly interested in interdisciplinary studies that focus not only on how and why individuals cross boundaries, but that also center on the mechanisms that make mobility possible (modes of transportation, documentation etc.) and impossible-- or at least difficult and dangerous (walls, fences, forms of surveillance etc.).

We welcome submission proposals for unpublished articles (9,000-12,000 words, including notes and bibliography). Initially, only abstracts (400 words), indicating the working title of the article, should be sent to tlinhard@wustl.edu by May 15, 2015. Completed articles will be due September 15, 2015.