Geography & Spatial Planning

The IMISCOE 2021 Conference

This year’s IMISCOE-Conference was hosted by the FHSE, where migration-related research, is organized in the Key Research Area Migration and Inclusive Societies (MIS). From July 7 to 9, 2021, the conference offered a deeper focus into people’s migration experiences by foregrounding how migration is connected to culture and language.

Borders, migration and racial inequalities

Spearheaded by Prof. Dr. Birte Nienaber, the 18th IMISCOE-Conference worked towards further understanding the nexus of migration and culture by asking how migration is lived, experienced, mediated, and reflected in general and through everyday cultural, linguistic, and artistic practice.

We are interested in deepening our understanding of the complexity and diversity of migration experiences on the one hand and the possibilities of connecting different migrant experiences and groups of people on the other” as Prof. Dr. Nienaber explains. However, in light of the recent global developments, such as the pandemic and the growing Black Lives Matter Movement, the 18th IMISCOE-Conference also focused on inequalities in general and health and racial inequalities in particular.

The conference featured keynotes by Prof. Dr. Jaan Valsiner and Prof. Dr. Mulki Al-Sharmani, an author’s roundtable discussion on writing against borders, the streaming of the theater play “Borders”, and two virtual art exhibitions: “ILOI” and “Notions of Home”, which has been created by UL-MA students.

Due to the online format, the initially planned sustainability actions, such as serving mainly locally, organically and fairly produced food in re-usable tableware and offering free childcare for conference participants, a different sustainability measure has been implemented: for the first time, the carbon emissions of an IMISCOE Conference have been (at least partially) offset. In cooperation with a local NGO,, approximately 444 native trees will be planted in the La Gamba Biological Corridor in Costa Rica.

The efforts for free childcare for conference participants have been taken up by the FHSE. The FHSE intends contributing to the reconciliation of family life and work by building on this developed process and offer free childcare for larger events hosted at the FHSE. Further, it is planned to support the scaling up of offering free childcare to the University level.

About 1600 people attended the IMISCOE 2021 Conference, which not only made it the largest IMISCOE Conference ever but possibly also the largest conference on migration-related research worldwide. The hosting of such a large and international conference by the FHSE showcased migration-related research at the University of Luxembourg and has created a lot of positive visibility – academically and in terms of organisational capabilities for our Faculty and University.


Looking ahead

The 19th IMISCOE-Conference will take place in Oslo, Sweden from June 29 to July 1, 2022. The theme of the conference will be “Migration and time – Temporalities of mobility, governance and resistance” and the organisers anticipate a hybrid format.

The 18th IMISCOE-conference in a nutshell

  • Approximately 1600 participants
  • Approximately 800 presented papers from ca. 100 countries
  • 263 sessions distributed over 11 time slots
  • 6 invited renowned speakers
  • 2 online exhibitions
  • approximately 70 supporters from all over Europe

People related to this project