2023 Annual Research Conference

For its inaugural Annual Research Conference on April 25-26, 2023, UBC Centre for Migration Studies partnered with Queen’s University Belfast.

Designed to foster interdisciplinary dialogues among graduate students and early career researchers working on borders and migration, the 2023 Annual Research Conference featured various cutting-edge presentations across four panels: “Placemaking and belonging”, “Mobility in policy”, “Vulnerabilities and representation”, and “Gender and migration”; plus, an intensive workshop on publishing-oriented writing practices in the field.

The full conference agenda can be found here. 

The keynote speech was given by Shahram Khosravi (Professor of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University).

Conference Program

8:30 AM – Breakfast

9:00 AM – Welcome remarks by Antje Ellermann (CMS Director)

9:15 AM - Keynote by Dr. Shahram Khosravi

10:15 AM - Break

10:30 AM - Panel 1: Placemaking and Belonging

Discussant: Dr. Amanda Cheong, Assistant Professor, UBC Dept of Sociology


  • Mahashewta Bhattacharya, University of British Columbia
  • Yijia Zhang, University of British Columbia

11:15 AM - Panel 2: Mobility in Policy

Discussant: Dr. Heather Johnson, Senior Lecturer, QUB School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics


  • Lorenia Salgado-Leos, University of British Columbia
  • Charlie Pearson, Queen's University Belfast

1:00 PM – Panel 3: Vulnerabilities and Representation

Discussant: Dr. Helen Zeweri, Assistant Professor, UBC Dept of Anthropology


  • Sydney Holt, Queen's University Belfast
  • Judith Atwell, Queen's University Belfast
  • Stephen Murray, Queen's University Belfast

2:30 PM – Writing Pairs Workshop 1 – Introduction

9:15 AM – Panel 4: Gender and Migration

Discussant: Dr. Gerry Pratt, Professor & Head of Dept, UBC Dept of Geography


  • Keysha Jaime Orona, Queen's University Belfast
  • Ibukun Kayode, University of British Columbia
  • Amanda Lubit, Queen's University Belfast

10:45 AM: Writing Pairs Workshop

1:00 PM – Publishing/Writing Panel


  • Rima Wilkes, University of British Columbia
  • Heather Johnson, Queen's University Belfast
  • Tom Hulme, Queen's University Belfast

2:30 PM: Closing Remarks

About the keynote speaker

Shahram Khosravi is Professor of Social Anthropology at Stockholm University. Since early in his academic career, Khosravi has been working in two different research fields: precarity in urban Iran and the migration and border studies of Europe. He defended his doctoral dissertation on youth culture in Tehran in 2003 which later on was published by the University of Pennsylvania in 2008 (Young and Defiant in Tehran) followed by his second book on social changes in the Iranian society published by University of Pennsylvania Press in 2017 'Precarious Lives, Waiting and Hope in Iran'. Since 2004, he has also been studying borders and borderings practices in Europe. These projects include fieldwork among undocumented immigrants in Stockholm published in 'Illegal Traveler: An Auto-ethnography of Borders' and fieldwork research on the consequences of deportation for Afghan migrations published in 'After Deportation: Ethnographic Perspectives' (by Palgrave 2017). His most recent project has been on temporal bordering, resulting in two books: 'Waiting and the Temporalities of Irregular Migration' (Routledge 2020) and an art book 'Waiting - A Project in Conversation' (Transcript 2020).

As a public educator, Professor Khosravi has been active in the media as well. He has written for Swedish newspapers, The Guardian and New York Times. His works have been translated into many languages such as Chinese, Armenian, Persian, Greek, Spanish, Italian and French. In 2017 he started Critical Border Studies which is a network for scholars, artists and activists to interact.

Professor Khosravi is currently engaging with the Durham-led interdisciplinary project, The Politics of Credibility. The project will cast fresh analytical light on the politics of credibility that underpin asylum determination regimes in the UK and Europe (Greece, Cyprus and Germany).

Explore a selection of sample images capturing the highlights of this year’s event!