15th EASA Biennial Conference
Staying, Moving, Settling
14-17 August, 2018
Call for Panels: 1 December 2017 to 31 January 2018
Call for Papers: 27 February to 9 April
Call for Labs: 27 February to 9 April
Call for Films: 5 February to 5 May
Conference theme: Staying, Moving, Settling
Recent times, for much of humanity but not least in Europe, have been marked by dramatic mobility. It has taken many forms: refugee streams and labour migration, but also pilgrimage, tourism, and the transnational leisure migration of retirees. It is continuously in the news. The varied forms of mobility have also drawn wide imagination for example in literary fiction, and in the movies.
Mobility has also long been a topic in anthropological research. In view of the range and importance of its current forms, mobility is a suitable main theme of the 2018 conference of EASA. We suggest that the conference should not focus narrowly on the forms of spatial movement, but should reflect the variety of its backgrounds, forms and contexts, and longer-term implications. This is mirrored in the conference title.
In many human communities, staying is obviously still the normal way of life, ‘business as usual.’ But often, it is now a matter of choice – remaining, when others are leaving. What are the consequences of staying, perhaps involving changing circumstances of life, loss in personal networks, deteriorating infrastructures, growing vulnerability, perhaps dependence on those who leave (e.g. through remittances)?
The actual acts and processes of moving are multifaceted. They may involve crises, or routines. People may move as individuals or in groups. There may be stations along the way. There may be important factors of infrastructure: airports, small ships, people smugglers, official gatekeepers, host volunteers. Some people reach their intended destinations, others do not. And these acts and processes of moving may draw little or extensive public attention.
And then beyond arrival, there is the drawn-out process of settling – among people who themselves have stayed and are more or less ‘natives,’ and among other newcomers. Relationships to those who may have remained behind need to be reconstructed, in new diaspora networks, and there are all those adaptations which are covered by the term ‘integration’ – in jobs, neighbourhoods, schools and other forms of education, health, care and other welfare institutions, the law. The processes of settling involve not only those who made the move themselves, but often one or more later generations as well.