Laavanya Kathiravelu of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and Koen Leurs of Utrecht University, Netherlands, have joined The 12th Asian Conference on Asian Studies (ACAS2022) and The 12th Asian Conference on Cultural Studies (ACCS2022) on the panel for “Digital Journeys: Refugees, Migration, Media”.
To participate in ACAS/ACCS2022 as an audience member, please register for the conference.
The panel presentation will also be available for IAFOR Members to view online. To find out more, please visit the IAFOR Membership page.
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Laavanya Kathiravelu is Associate Professor in the School of Social Sciences at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. Her research sits at the intersections of international migration, race and ethnic studies and contemporary urban diversity, particularly in Asia and the Persian Gulf. Her first book was Migrant Dubai (Palgrave, 2016), which interrogated the experiences of low wage migrant workers in the emirate of Dubai. She has also published widely on issues of race, inequality and migration in Singapore. Prior to joining NTU, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity. She was also a Fung Fellow at Princeton University between 2015-16. In 2019, she was recipient of the Social Science and Humanities Research Council Fellowship (SSHRF) and recognised as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons (TOYP) in the area of academic leadership. Laavanya is a board member of the migrant welfare organisation, HOME and comments regularly on public forums and through op-eds on issues of migration, race and diversity in Singapore. In 2022, she is a Fulbright Scholar based at the City University of New York (CUNY).
Utrecht University, Netherlands
Koen Leurs is Assistant Professor in Media, Gender and Postcolonial Studies at the Graduate Gender Program, Department of Media and Culture, Utrecht University, Netherlands. Leurs’ research and teaching interests include technology, migration, gender, cities and youth culture as well as research ethics, creative, participatory and digital methods. He was the chair of the European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA), Diaspora, Migration and the Media section 2016-2021. His publications include Digital Passages: Migrant Youth 2.0 (Amsterdam University Press, 2015) and Digital Migration Studies (forthcoming with Sage, 2023). He also co-edited the Handbook of Media and Migration (Sage, 2020) and special issues “Forced migration and Digital Connectivity” for Social Media + Society and “Connected Migrants” for Popular Communication.
Digital Journeys: Refugees, Migration, Media
The contemporary mobilities, experiences, cultural belonging, identifications and dis-identifications, power relations as well as contexts for migrants, refugees, internally displaced persons and others, involves significant reliance on and imbrication with digital media. Over many centuries, moving elsewhere, to escape persecution, to pursue a better life, or seek work or education, to find connection or community with family, friends, and others, has importantly involved a wide range of communication and media.
In recent times, letter writing, messages, gifts, electronic media, cultural participation and consumption at a distance (for instance, via video tapes of television programs), have been interlaced with increasingly prevalent forms of digital media, technologies, and platforms. The smartphone, social media, and apps have become a by-word for this, and constitute sites of struggle, control, resistance, as well as sharing, belonging, and cultural safety and survival. Digital media literacy has now become a crucial, rich resource in reframing migration and refugee issues. During the past two and a half years of the COVID-19 pandemic, the digitalization of society, and the new kinds of immobilities and spatial and other injustices created have only accentuated migration’s digital turn.
In this panel, we hear from leading practitioners and scholars in the burgeoning area of digital migration, refugee, and mobilities work.