The Migration Research Wales Network held an online symposium on 19th January for postgraduates and early-career researchers working on aspects of migration in Wales or based at Welsh institutions.
The theme of the symposium was ‘New Perspectives on Migration’. Presentations covered research areas ranging from Italians in Wales, refugee women and Welshness, and the challenges facing LGBTQ+ forced migrants in Wales, to anti-immigration vigilantism in Greece and the role of mosques in Cardiff.
Academics across WISERD’s five partner universities (Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff, Swansea and South Wales) participated and the event provided a supportive environment for researchers to share ideas on draft work and receive constructive comments.
A variety of work was presented, which considered migration through historical, literary, and political lenses and which, at times, emphasised the counterpoints of fact versus fiction and policy versus personal experience. Some key themes to re-emerge throughout the day were the importance of maintaining identity, earning respect, and the need to build greater community cohesion.
Rhys Dafydd Jones, who leads the Network, alongside Catrin Wyn Edwards (both from Aberystwyth University) said:
“A real variety of papers were presented at the symposium, reflecting the rich diversity of migration research that is taking place at the moment. It was great to hear about different case studies and methods, and the discussions left me thinking further about some of the points for the rest of the day.”
Migration Research Wales was established in July 2021 to encourage collaboration between researchers across Welsh institutions to provide a national focus for migration research, and to bring together academics, stakeholders and practitioners working with migrants on issues affecting migrants. Further events are planned for the coming year, keep an eye on the WISERD website for more details.