Staying, Moving, Settling is the theme of the 15th EASA biennial conference which will be hosted by the Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University.

Theme: Staying, Moving, Settling

Recent times, for much of humanity but not least in Europe, have been marked by dramatic mobility. It has taken many forms: refugee streams and labour migration, but also pilgrimage, tourism, and the transnational leisure migration of retirees. It is continuously in the news. The varied forms of mobility have also drawn wide imagination for example in literary fiction, and in the movies.

Mobility has also long been a topic in anthropological research. In view of the range and importance of its current forms, mobility is a suitable main theme of the 2018 conference of EASA. We suggest that the conference should not focus narrowly on the forms of spatial movement, but should reflect the variety of its backgrounds, forms and contexts, and longer-term implications. This is mirrored in the conference title.

In many human communities, staying is obviously still the normal way of life, ‘business as usual.’ But often, it is now a matter of choice – remaining, when others are leaving. What are the consequences of staying, perhaps involving changing circumstances of life, loss in personal networks, deteriorating infrastructures, growing vulnerability, perhaps dependence on those who leave (e.g. through remittances)?

The actual acts and processes of moving are multifaceted. They may involve crises, or routines. People may move as individuals or in groups. There may be stations along the way. There may be important factors of infrastructure: airports, small ships, people smugglers, official gatekeepers, host volunteers. Some people reach their intended destinations, others do not. And these acts and processes of moving may draw little or extensive public attention.

And then beyond arrival, there is the drawn-out process of settling – among people who themselves have stayed and are more or less ‘natives,’ and among other newcomers. Relationships to those who may have remained behind need to be reconstructed, in new diaspora networks, and there are all those adaptations which are covered by the term ‘integration’ – in jobs, neighbourhoods, schools and other forms of education, health, care and other welfare institutions, the law. The processes of settling involve not only those who made the move themselves, but often one or more later generations as well.

Possible topics to explore are thus:


  • Communities left behind
  • Receiving countries and communities
  • Brain drain and brain gain
  • Migrants and local cultural heritage
  • Local responses to migrants and refugees: between cosmopolitanism and xenophobia
  • Dystopias of invasion
  • Everyday cosmopolitanism


  • Refugees
  • Labour migration
  • Settler colonialism
  • Pilgrimage
  • Migrating retired people – to the sun coasts
  • Infrastructures of mobility: labour brokerage, smuggling, trafficking
  • The role of interpreters
  • Migrants and local journalism
  • Anthropologists as experts: the public uses of anthropology
  • Tourism
  • Travel guides
  • Student mobility: ERASMUS etc
  • The mobility of anthropologists: in and out of fields, between jobs


  • The meaning of ‘home’
  • Exiles
  • Diaporas
  • Immigrant neighborhoods: the banlieues of Europe
  • Transnational family and kinship
  • Settling in: first and second generations, and the relations between them
  • Mobility and social media
  • Remittances
  • Educating and retraining refugees
  • Refugees, migrants, and job markets
  • Refugees and migrants in the welfare state
  • Migrants and the law
  • Migrants and civil society
  • Immigrant entrepreneurs
  • Migrants as agents of world culture: literature, music, cuisine
  • Official models of diversity/integration: the rise and fall of multiculturalism, Leitkultur etc.

Useful information

The call for panels is now open and closes on 31 January 2018. Please read the conference theme and then proceed to the call for panels page.

Conference website

Key dates

  • Call for Panels: 1 December 2017 to 31 January 2018
  • Call for Papers: 27 February to 9 April
  • Call for Labs: 27 February to 9 April
  • Call for EC Scholars Forum: 27 February to 9 April
  • Call for Films: 5 February to 5 May
  • Early Bird registration: May 11 to June 15


Shahram Khosravi is Professor of Social Anthropology at Stockholm University and the author of the books: Young and Defiant in Tehran, University of Pennsylvania Press (2008); The Illegal Traveler: an auto-ethnography of borders, Palgrave (2010); Precarious Lives: Waiting and Hope in Iran, University of Pennsylvania Press (2017), and After Deportation: Ethnographic Perspectives, Palgrave (2017, edited volume). He has been an active writer in the Swedish press and has also written fiction.


Helena Wulff (Stockholm University), Lotta Björklund Larsen (Linköping University)

Scientific committee

Marcus Banks (University of Oxford), Lotta Björklund Larsen (Linköping University), Ayse Caglar (University of Vienna), Martin Fotta (Goethe University Frankfurt), Sarah Green (University of Helsinki), Valeria Siniscalchi (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Marseille), Miguel Vale de Almeida  (University Institute of Lisbon/Centre for Research in Anthropology), Helena Wulff (Stockholm University)

Local committee

Helena Wulff, Erik Olsson and Gabriella Körling (Stockholm University); Lotta Björklund Larsen and Anette Wickström (Linköping University)