Call for Papers

5th International Conference

Between the Worlds of Old and New Homes




Call for papers PDF is available here: LINK

The Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Studies with Ethnographic Museum at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences has the pleasure to invite you to the international conference ‘Between the Worlds of Old and New Homes’, that will take place on May 29 – 31, 2023 in Sofia, Bulgaria. The forum is organised under the research project ‘Still in Bulgaria. Cultural and Social Effects of Labour Mobility and Migration on Bulgarian Society (1990-2019) (LEFT-BEHIND)”, funded by the Bulgarian National Science Fund (BNSF) (№ КП-06-Н40/9 – 10.12.2019)’ (2019–2024), implemented by IEFSEM – BAS.

According to the 2022 World Migration Report, 3.6% of the global population consists of migrants, while the rest still live in their countries of origin. Despite that percentage, in the last, almost a decade, and in particular in the past three years – during the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing war in Ukraine, the topics related to migrants, refugees, migrations, and mobilities are linked to high disinformation and are part of the politics of fear and division employed by some political leaders. The negative social impact brought up by that politicized discourse affects societal values and supports nationalist narratives and stereotypisation related to the newcomers in almost every country, adding up to the ongoing economic, political, and myriad other difficulties experienced globally.

On the other hand, the estimated number of international migrants has increased over the past five decades, and the shift from migration to mobility is now even more visible than prior to COVID-19. The lengthy restriction period on freedom of movement within cities, countries, and internationally called for an academic and research-shaped response to further conceptualisation and discussion on these topics.

Climate change gradually becomes one of the main reasons for disaster displacement resulting in new devastating movements of vulnerable people.

And finally, migrants rarely move with their whole families, often choosing to leave them behind. The impact of movements on sending communities and the left behind, the separated and transnational families, has been an essential and growingly topical issue in the post-global world.

Living in uncertain times with emerging global crises, we continue our search for better livelihoods and stable homes, more advanced studies and education, or, in other words, reinvention, rebuilding, or advancement of ourselves, our families, and our lives. Therefore, we invite you to an academic discussion on the silenced and encouraged migrations and muted and supported mobility aspirations and all their effects on the receiving and sending societies. The representatives of NGOs are also welcome.

The topics related to that we aspire to represent are concerning, but not limited to:

  • Theoretical standpoints on crisis and post-crisis.
  • Migration vs mobility – different generations, various aspirations, or different worlds we live in.
  • Politics and policies of (im)mobilities.
  • Refugees – media images, current obstacles in the politics, policies, and among receiving societies.
  • War and displacements.
  • Traumas and memory.
  • New and old homes – adaptation, marginalization, and emotions.
  • COVID-19 and changes in strategies and models.
  • Disrupted mobilities and migrations – before and after (global) crises.
  • Challenges of the post-pandemic world for research methodology – beyond face-to-face or not.
  • The left-behind – cultural and social effects of migrations on home societies.
  • The left-behind – psychological and health problems of children, parents, and relatives of migrants.
  • Multilocal living and globalization models.
  • Environmental disasters and mobility – risks, climate change, and movements.

The working language of the conference is English.

All interested authors should send an abstract (between 200 – 250 words) along with a proposed title, five keywords, the author’s full name, e-mail, institutional and disciplinary affiliation, and a short biography should be sent by March 1, 2023, to the following email:

Participants will be informed about the outcome of the Organising Committee selection process no later than March 20, 2023.

Following the pattern established during our previous conference of the ʽBetween the Worldsʼ Series initiative, selected authors will be invited to submit their manuscripts until August 31, 2023, for publication. After double-blind peer-reviewing, these will be published in an open-access e-collection at the website of the conference:

Please note that, while there is no participation fee, the Organizing Committee does not cover travel and accommodation. Selected participants are expected to cover their expenses. We advise future participants to search for potential financial support from their respective institutions, academic exchange programs, etc.

We are foreseeing the possibility to organise the conference in a limited hybrid form (with the prospect to arrange some of the panels both online and offline). We ask you to include your possible choice in the email containing your conference abstract.

We are looking forward to receiving your proposals!

Organising Committee of BEW2023:
Assoc. Prof. PhD. Mila Maeva
Assist. Prof. PhD. Mina Hristova
Assist. Prof. PhD. Behrin Shopova
PhD Student Julia Popcheva

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