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FRIAS Junior Researcher Conference - Translocal Spatial Practices, Urban Transformations: Migration and Mobile Urbanism in South and South-East Asia

When Jan 14, 2015 05:30 PM to
Jan 16, 2015 06:00 PM
Where FRIAS, Albertstr. 19, ground floor, large room
Contact Name
Contact Phone 0761 203 97362
Attendees - Registration closed -
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International migration and the experience of translocality have a considerable influence on spatial practices and spatial transformations in (urban) localities around the globe. Three observations emerge at the juncture of these topics: First, cities and urban spaces are undergoing transformations, not only triggered by local dynamics but equally so by global ones. International migration as a global process contributes to the emergence of diverse and fragmented urban spaces and the emergence of new spatial practices on multiple scales. Second, along with the recognition that urban theory for too long has prioritized ‘Western models’ and neglected the contribution of other cities around the globe came a reorientation of cities in the Global South towards models that are less ‘distant’. Third, in recent years, translocality has become an important conceptual approach for investigating the interaction and interconnectedness between places, institutions, actors and concepts across (multiple forms of) borders.

Our understanding of translocality as a research perspective moves beyond analysing mobility and flows of actors, goods, ideas and symbols and additionally emphasises “situatedness during mobility”. As such translocality offers much for the investigation of the production of space in specific localities as it implies the transgression of a fixed understanding of place. This stands in marked contrast to the notion that increasing migration leads to the “deterritorialization” of nation-states – “place matters” in the transnational social and political spaces created by migrants. Translocality thus promises to enrich research perspectives on new fields of social, cultural and political action emerging from international migration and the associated mobilities.

Based on these observations, the aim of the interdisciplinary workshop is to explore the nexus of international migration, spatial practices and urban transformations. Furthermore, we seek to explore what translocality as a research approach offers for embedding global mobilities into the analysis of local spatial practices and urban transformations.

The following leading questions will guide us through the workshop:

-          How does international migration impact on fields of action and spatial practices of mobile actors?

-          How do the experiences of international migrants and related changes in their practices influence the transformation of (urban) space and multi-scalar socio-spatial structures and processes in the cities?

-          How does this transform social and political spaces and institutional landscapes in particular? What is the political dimension of these dynamic alignments and dealignments on the local level, where globally entangled spaces are negotiated in local governance arrangements?

-          What does the concept of translocality as an approach offer for embedding global mobilities into the analysis of local spatial practices and urban transformations?


Dr. Kirsten Hackenbroch (University of Freiburg), Dr. Stefan Rother (University of Freiburg), Dr. Tabea Bork-Hüffer (National University of Singapore)

Cooperation partners

The workshop will be convened in cooperation with FREINEM (Freiburger Netzwerk für Migrationsforschung), with the Freiburg Center for Transcultural Asian Studies (CETRAS) and with the FRIAS research priority area “Dynamic alignments and dealignments in global Southeast Asia”.

The conference fee is 75 Euro.