Details on forthcoming events

Details on previous Seminar Series

Details on events held in 2012, see below

Details on events held in 2013201220112010, 20092008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004


Undocumented Migrant Children's Lives and Stories: Student Performance

Monday, 8 December
Studio, The Old Fire Station, 40 George Street, Oxford

This performance is part of the COMPAS project "Exploring Migration: Research and Drama in Schools", which explores issues around migration with school children by working with them to develop a performance of stories based on resesarch interviews with undocumented migrants.   

The interviews were conducted as part of the project "Undocumented Migrant Children in the UK", which aimed to advance knowledge on the experiences and everyday lives of irregular migrant children in the United Kingdom, to cast light on the challenges facing the communities in which they reside and to explore services and resources available to them in particular in relation to health, education and employment. The theatre company Ice & Fire were then commissioned to develop the intereviews into theatrical monologues.

The performers, Year 10 students from Lord Williams's School, Thame have adapted the script to best display their understanding and interpretations of the stories.

Doh Mix Meh Up: Diaspora and Identity in Art

Saturday, 1 November
The Old Fire Station, 40 George Street, Oxford

'Doh Mix Meh Up' is a one-day international art exhibition and performance programme featuring artists and artworks selected from an open call entitled 'Exploring Diaspora through the Arts'. The event brings together artist works, photography, film, spoken word poetry, theatre and a panel discussion as a way of exploring the varied and multifaceted experiences of those around the world who have moved from home to make a new life elsewhere.

Diasporas exist globally and include people with layered and diverse experiences. Art provides a means to express these complexities and creates a platform for alternative narratives, which often challenge existing power structures. Art also invites the viewer to engage with these narratives at a personal level and interpret the subject for themselves. The range of media and creative approaches on show here are as diverse as the people and stories being told.

'Doh Mix Meh Up' is delivered by the Oxford Diasporas Programme and hosted by the Old Fire Station Arts.The exhibition is curated by artist and curator, Sunil Shah.

Featured artists: Pablo & Roxana Allison, Raymond Antrobus, Phoebe Boswell, Rosa Couloute, Scarlett Crawford, David Creedon, Afra Dekie, Sharelly Emanuelson, JJ Bola, Justice in Motion, Belinda Kazeem-Kaminski, Lynette Letic, Caroline Molloy, Melissa Tandiwe Myambo, Miyuki Okuyama, Kajal Nisha Patel, `Sharon Paz, Mikaela Toczek, Virtual Migrants and Clare Walter

Political Desire in / of Europe: Sites, Subjects, and Forms of Politics

October 10 - 11
64 Banbury Road

Convened by: Dace Dzenovska, COMPAS/ISCA, University of Oxford and Nicholas De Genova, Kings College London

Ever since the collapse of Second World state socialisms and the demise of Third World projects of decolonization and anti-imperialist liberation struggles, amidst the attendant neoliberal triumphalism as well as the ensuing resuscitation of securitarianism in the form of the so-called Global War on Terror, political imaginaries of a unitary and universal revolutionary subject have been deeply troubled, if not derailed altogether.  Consequently, scholars and activists alike have been on the lookout for signs of the emergence of new political subjects and new sites of radical or emancipatory politics. Particularly in the aftermath of the global economic crisis, this quest has gained still more acute momentum worldwide. Time seems ripe for new formations of social struggle and political action.

This workshop brings together an interdisciplinary group of scholars in order to develop a conversation about emerging subjects and sites of politics. Workshop participants will critically engage the relationship between coloniality and Europe, consider the formation of normative and unruly subjects of politics, as well as debate political possibilities engendered by particular forms of politics. The workshop will consider these diverse engagements with contemporary political imaginaries and practices both in the political landscape and in critical scholarship about it from within the situated and contested perspective of Europe.


Registration: To attend, please email    

Global Onward Migration: Who Moves On and Why?

Monday 22 September, 9:30 - 17:30
64 Banbury Road

Convened by: Ayumi Takenaka 

Much immigration research has focused on one-time migration, typically from developing countries to developed ones. Yet, more and more migrants today move multiple times, either intentionally or otherwise. Who moves on, where, and why, as opposed to who stays and who returns? In this workshop, we will collectively explore these questions by focusing on various case studies around the world.


Registration: To attend, please email 

'Rupture' and Reconciliation: Contextualising the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó’s Demands for Alternative Justice within an Ethnography of their Model of Society

Monday 23 June, 14:00
COMPAS Boardroom

Transitional justice is an important debate in the current climate of peace negotiations between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrilla. In December 2013, President Santos publically apologised to the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó – a peasant farmer community which declared itself neutral to the armed conflict in 1997 – for stigmatising statements made by his predecessor Álvaro Uribe. This is characteristic of a shift in Colombian politics. The Community has been in ‘rupture’ with the State since 2005, due to a massacre by State forces and paramilitaries, and set four conditions for re-establishing the relationship, of which a presidential statement was one. This talk contextualises this 'rupture' within Colombian geopolitics; ethnographises their ideological stance, and proposes implications for the field of transitional justice.

Speaker: Gwen Burnyeat, Universidad Nacional, Bogotá, Colombia

Lives and Stories

Wednesday 18 June, 18:30
Phoenix Drama Studio, Lord Williams's Lower School, Towersey Road, Thame OX9 3NW

A group of Year 10 students will perform monologues commissioned from Ice & Fire based on research interviews for the COMPAS project "No Way Out, No Way In" on undocumented migrant children. The ensemble piece has been created over a few weeks in which the children have discussed the issues around being an undocumented child in the UK and rehearsing. 

To attend this free event, simply email 

SSRC/COMPAS International Student Workshops on Migration and Development

Applications closed.

The SSRC's Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship (DPDF) Student Fellowship Competition helps graduate students in the humanities and social sciences formulate effective research proposals through exploratory research and exchanges with other scholars within interdisciplinary areas of study.

Each year, the DPDF program selects five or more fields of study for dissertation research proposal training. This year the Development and Migration Field is being co-sponsored by COMPAS.

Workshop dates:
Spring- June 10-15, 2014 in Oxford, England
Fall- September 17-21, 2014 in Arlington, Virginia

The spring workshop helps students focus their research questions and prepare them for summer exploratory research that will inform the design of dissertation proposals. The fall workshop helps students apply their summer research experiences to writing dissertation research proposals for their departments or funding agencies.

Travel, accommodation and meals for both workshops are covered for successful applicants. And students may apply for up to $5,000 to cover summer research costs.

Ronald Skeldon, Professorial Fellow, University of Sussex, Geography [ bio ], Josh DeWind, Program Director, Social Science Research Council [ bio ] have been assigned by COMPAS to direct this field. UK based students can contact Ron Skeldon direct with any workshop related queries –

More information on the fellowship and how to apply

Development and Migration Field

Development and Migration conference

Wednesday 11 June, 9:00 - 17:30
64 Banbury Road

As part of the Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship Programme, COMPAS and Social Science Research Council are hosting a one-day conference on Development and Migration. The conference will include talks focusing on historical perspectives, transformation and migration, development policies, urbanisation and development as a driver of migration. 

Speakers include Michael Keith (COMPAS), Priya Deshingkar (Sussex), Oliver Bakwell (IMI), Hein de Haas (IMI), and Dudley Baines (LSE).

To attend please register with 

Film screening and Q&A with director, "Bidesia in Bambai"

Wednesday 28 May, 15:30
Lecture Theatre, Pitt Rivers Museum (South Entrance), Robinson Close

Bidesia is Bhojpuri for ‘the one who leaves home’. One in four migrants in Mumbai is Bhojpuri, a people from the north Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Bambai is their name for Mumbai/Bombay. The Bidesia in Bambai, like most migrants in this 'global city', inhabit its precarious edges. Mobile phones bridge a tenuous connection between home and the city. Along with his meagre belongings though, the migrant brings with him a vibrant musical culture.This music is frequently sexually charged, at times religious, often lyrical and occasionally political.

The Bidesia is both the subject of, and the audience for this music. Bidesia in Bambai is a feature-length film (86 minutes) that attempts to make the migrant visible, in a city that renders him illegal and unwanted, in and through the musical sphere that he inhabits. This is a story of music, migration and mobile phones.

The film is in Bhojpuri and Hindi with English subtitles.

The screening is hosted by the School of Anthropology

Explaining the Rise of Diaspora Institutions

Tuesday 20 May 2014, 13:00
Seminar Room A, Manor Road Building, Manor Road, Oxford

Speaker: Alan Gamlen, Victoria University of Wellington
Discussant: Kalypso Nicolaïdis, St. Antony's College, Oxford
Chair: Robin Cohen, International Migration Institute, Oxford

Why do states establish and maintain diaspora engagement institutions? Formal offices of state dedicated to emigrants and their descendants have been largely overlooked in mainstream political studies, perhaps because they fall in the grey area between domestic politics and international relations. Now, diaspora institutions are found in over half of all United Nations member states, yet we have little theory and large-scale comparative evidence to guide our understanding of how and why they emerge. In response, we identify and then investigate empirical support for three theoretically-grounded perspectives on diaspora institution emergence: instrumentally rational states tapping resources of emigrants and their descendants; value-rational states embracing lost members of the nation-state; institutionally-converging states governing diasporas consistent with global norms.

A working paper by Alan Gamlen on this topic can be read here.  

Contact for this event: Matthew Kennedy

This talk is co-sponsored by COMPAS, the Centre for International Studies, and IMI

Leisure activities and local inclusion among teenagers and their parents in a Copenhagen neighborhood

Thursday 8 May 2014, 11:15-12.15
COMPAS Board Room

Speaker: Marianne Holm Pedersen, Danish Folklore Archives, The Royal Library, Copenhagen

In Denmark, voluntary associations play a large role in civil society and in many Danes’ self-understanding of what particularly constitutes Danish society.  Voluntary associations are considered important sites for socialization and democratic enculturation, and ‘at gå til noget’ (‘going to something’) is attributed great cultural value. In relation to the inclusion of ethnic minorities in Danish society, many policies target young people and attempt to incorporate them in local associational life. Yet, while there is a strong focus on ethnic minority youth, little knowledge exists about how their parents view the children’s associational incorporation in local society, or about how intergenerational dynamics shape leisure practices and relations to different places among both ethnic minority and majority families. 

Based on a small, ongoing pilot project among youth and their parents in an ethnically diverse neighborhood in Copenhagen, this presentation will explore different generational perspectives on youth's leisure activities. The talk will look at how different places become positioned as legitimate or not legitimate in relation to age, gender, ethnicity, social class and civil society involvement, and what this is assumed to reveal about family relations and local inclusion.

10th Turkish Migration Studies (TurkMiS) Workshop

'The migration transition of Turkey - from an emigration to an immigration country. New realities, new policy changes'

28 March 2013, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey

Conveners: Franck Düvell, (COMPAS), University of Oxford and M. Murat Erdogan, Hacettepe University Migration and Politics Research Center (HUGO)

For more details visit TurkMiS

Migration and Human Rights: Trends and Priorities for Action

Wednesday 5 March, 14:00 - 15:30
Pauling Centre, 58a Banbury Road

Speaker: Dr. Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights 

COMPAS and the University of Oxford's Human Rights Hub are pleased to host this talk. The event will be chaired by Dr. Sarah Spencer (COMPAS) and comments will be provided by Dr. Cathryn Costello (Director, Human Rights Hub).



Conceptualizing and Measuring Immigration Policies: The Immigration Policies in Comparison (IMPIC) Index

Wednesday 5 March, 12:00 - 13:00
COMPAS, University of Oxford

Speaker: Dr Marc Helbling, WZB Berlin Social Science Center 

This seminar will discuss the  Immigration Policies in Comparison (IMPIC) Index. This project builds a dataset on immigration policies in all OECD countries for the period 1980-2010. It will open a completely new research field and allow researchers to study the causes and effects of immigration policies and developments across time more systematically. Contrary to existing indices this index will be conceptually more comprehensive and distinguish between (1) all relevant policy fields, (2) regulations that create/constrain rights and control mechanisms, (3) external regulations that concern border crossing and thus eligibility criteria and conditions and internal regulations that concern the status and rights of immigrants.


Migration Film Showings

Hilary Term, Tuesdays 4.30pm, 64 Banbury Rd. 

Weeks 3, 5, 6, 7 (4 Feb, 18 Feb, 25 Feb, 4 Mar)

Convened by Mette Berg

A series of documentaries about migration and migrants followed by discussion.

Week 3 (4 Feb): Last Train Home
Week 5 (18 Feb) Here to Stay
Week 6 (25 Feb): Harvest of Empire
Week 7 (4 March): Migrant Express


Politics beyond borders: Emigrants and emigration states

Tuesday 25 February, 13:00 - 14:30
Seminar Room A, Manor Road Building, Manor Road

Speaker: Professor Roger Waldinger, UCLA
Convenors: Department of Sociology and COMPAS

This paper develops a framework for analyzing the political sociology of emigration. The paper emphasizes the dualities at the heart of the migration phenomenon: immigrants are also emigrants, aliens are also citizens, foreigners are also nationals, non-members are also members. At once of the sending state, but not in it, the migrants are members whose everyday cross-border connections and ongoing needs draw the sending state across the borders; residing abroad, however, their claims to belonging are undermined by their presence on foreign soil. At once in the receiving state but not of it, the migrants can access the economic and political resources available in their new home, using them to gain leverage in the home left behind; yet as outsiders, their rights are circumscribed and their acceptance is uncertain, vulnerabilities that can be aggravated if continuing homeland involvement triggers the suspicion of receiving state nationals. Both conditions activate interventions by home states seeking to influence and protect nationals abroad. While extension to the territory of another state keeps options inherently limited, even modest engagements can inflame the passions of receiving state nationals, already anxious about the foreigners in their midst.

For queries, please contact: 

People on the Move: Celebrating a Decade of Migration

22 February, 18:00 - 19:30
Ashmolean Museum, Beaumont Street, Oxford

As part of our ten year celebrations we will be hosting a public reception called 'People on the Move'. The event will include photo exhibitions and poetry readings featuring winners from our past competitions. Join our exploration of mobility through poems and images. Refreshments will be provided.

The event is open to all. Please register if you would like to attend

Decade of Migration

21 - 22 February 2014
Merton College, Oxford

This international conference will mark the 10 year anniversary of COMPAS and look to future research agendas. Bringing together leading academics and senior practitioners from across the world, this event will discuss how migration research has re-configured the social sciences over the past 10 years and in turn how changes in the social sciences have influenced the study of mobility and migration, their patterns, consequences and policies.

Speakers will include: Saskia Sassen, Ash Amin, Roger Waldinger, John Urry, Robin Cohen, Fiona Williams, and Vikki Bell

Registration for this event is now closed. 

More details