Skip to main content

Call for Papers | Care - Migration - Gender. Ambivalente Verflechtungen aus transdisziplinärer Perspektive

Event Label
Organisational Units

International Conference of the Center for Transdisciplinary Gender Studies (ZtG) on Thursday, 31st January 2019 and Friday, 1st February 2019 at the Berlin Institute for Empirical Research on Integration and Migration (BIM) at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin.

In the field of care, gender and migration are tightly interwoven. Transnational care workers, for example, assume reproductive tasks in private households, relieve staff shortages in nursing and make domestic care of the elderly possible. Care workers migrate from the global South and postsocialist societies to the global North. However, these migration movements also take place outside the global North.

Transnational migration of care workers is not a new development. In different forms and with diverse gender-specific implications it can be traced back far into the past. Furthermore, not only care workers but also those in need of care migrate across national borders in order to make use of care work. The interdependencies of care, migration, and gender thus create a highly contested field, which is inhabited by many different stakeholders.

We can examine these interdependencies from different perspectives. The concept of the care chain, for example, highlights the fact that care workers themselves leave behind reproductive tasks, which have to be fulfilled by others when they migrate. Thus a chain of care migrations develops. Queer theorists have questioned the implicitly assumed heterosexuality of care migrants in this. Furthermore, they argue that care workers are not just victims of social structures but actively take decisions. Migration can, for example, be a way to escape from heteronormative constraints. This opens debates about agency. One needs to ask who has agency and in which ways as well as how much agency is restrained by social, economic, and political frameworks. From an economic perspective there are discussions about brain drain and brain gain as well as about the role of remittances. The sites at which care work is performed are in complex ways linked to those sites from which the care workers migrate. The interests of care workers and those of care receivers are, equally, ambivalently connected. Gender and Queer Studies, critical migration research, postcolonial theory, Disabilitiy Studies, and other critical schools of thought offer analytical tools to investigate these complex interdependencies of care, migration, and gender.

The conference “Care - Migration - Gender. Ambivalent Interdependencies from a Transdisciplinary Perspective” offers a space to collectively investigate this topic in its complexities and intentionally leaves space for the discussion of ambivalences.

We invite contributions to the following questions:
•    What forms do the interdependencies of care-migration-gender take at different places, in different fields, and with different stakeholders today and in the past?
•    How are the interdependencies of care-migration-gender shaped through different incentives, interests, and representations?
•    How are the interdependencies of care-migration-gender regulated politically, legally, and socially, now and in the past?
•    How and with which aims and effects have care workers organized?
•    How are the interdependencies of care-migration-gender negotiated and represented in literature, film, and media?

We invite contributions from all fields of study, in particular those which use intersectional approaches and investigate the complexities of the interdependencies of care-migration-gender. We are open both to abstracts for papers (20 minutes) as well as other forms of presentations (discussions, short presentations, comments, etc.).

Please submit your abstract by 16th April 2018 in German or English to:
Abstracts should not exceed 400 words and should include some information about your person and location.