By: Ka-Kin Cheuk, D.Phil Student, COMPAS and President, Oxford Migration Studies Society
Launched in 2008, The Oxford Migration Studies Society (OMSS) is a student-run organisation that aims to create an Oxford-wide community through promoting interdisciplinary scholarship and interest in migration studies in its broadest sense. Over the past few years, the society has worked closely with students and lecturers of the Master’s programmes in Migration Studies (MS) and Refugee Studies (RS) as well as DPhil students at COMPAS in organising various social events, seminar series and academic field trips – events that have been very well-received by these cohorts. Building upon these achievements, this year’s OMSS is forging new initiatives to create greater impact on our field. One such initiative of the society is the convening of its first international conference in migration studies.
The OMSS Inaugural Annual Conference, Migration: Theory and Practice, will take place in Oxford on 4 May, 2013 in the Manor Road Building. With the generous sponsorship and invaluable support from COMPAS, the International Migration Institute (IMI), the Refugee Studies Centre (RSC), the Department of International Development (ODID), the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography (SAME) and the Department of Politics and International Relations (DPIR), graduate students and emerging scholars from Europe, America and Asia have been invited to present their cutting-edge research on migration-related topics and to take part in a multidisciplinary dialogue on migration through the lenses of theories and practices.
Keynote speeches on current challenges
The conference will begin with two keynote talks delivered by Professor Robin Cohen, the former Director of IMI, and Mr Habib Rahman, the Chief Executive of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI). Drawing on both theoretical and empirical evidence, these keynotes will engage with the challenges facing academia and practice, and shed light on how we can move forward to bridge these gaps.
Panel presentations on developments in migration
The panel presentations bring together seventeen individual contributions that shed light on the recent developments in migration and migration studies in different parts of the world.
The panels are organised into four sub-themes: Labour Migration, Diaspora and Return, Religious and Family Life and Globalisation and Technologies. With a strong empirical and ethnographic basis, the presentation topics cover diverse geographies and a wide range of theoretical foci, from engagement with Japanese immigrants in Brazil and Chinese labour migrants in Japan to internal migration in India and recent Romanian migrants in UK. A number of Oxford-based specialists on migration, including Dr María Villares Varela, Dr Nicholas Van Hear, Dr Biao Xiang and Dr Evelyn Ersanilli, will sit as discussants on the panels.