May 3-4, 2014

At COSTI Immigrant Services, 760 College Street,

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M6G 1C4


Neither Here Nor There: Refugees, Forced Migration, and the Landscapes of Displacement


The Centre for Refugee Studies (CRS) Student Caucus is pleased to announce that the Annual Student Conference will take place on May 3rd and 4th, 2014, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


This event offers graduate and upper year undergraduate students from various disciplines, as well as researchers and practitioners with a keen interest in migration and refugee issues, an opportunity to present and discuss research and other works with like-minded individuals in a collegial, supportive, and inclusive setting.


Refugees and forced migrants navigate a tumultuous series of landscapes—both physical and abstract—throughout their long, dramatic and uncertain journeys. Whether travelling from home to camp (and beyond), from legal protection to vulnerability, or from familiar social spaces to new and chaotic networks of relations, refugees and forced migrants act and are acted upon within complex constellations of power and agency. Studying and representing these complexities can be challenging for refugees, aid workers, and academics alike. In the course of these various passages, refugees frequently find themselves in the spaces “in between”—difficult to define, conceptually challenging, and often perilously vulnerable to exploitation.


This conference aims to use the multiple, rich understandings of the term “landscape” as a conceptual launch-pad from which to explore the many facets of forced migration. Through a sharing of research, knowledge, and experience from multiple perspectives, we hope to contribute a fresh voice to the understanding of global forced migration.


This year, the Student Caucus Annual Conference will be held at COSTI Immigrant Services (Corvetti Education Centre, 760 College Street, Toronto, Ontario, M6G 1C4), conveniently located in the heart of Toronto’s downtown core. COSTI is a local non-governmental organization which works to provide educational, social and employment services to newcomers in Toronto. Its Corvetti Education Centre hosts an English as a Second Language School, Case Management services for resettled refugees and Settlement Counselling. It offers an opportunity for students at the CRS Annual Student Conference to engage with grassroots community organizations in the Toronto area and situates our work among the lives of newcomers. This will allow for opportunities to check out local organizations and meet refugees in the Toronto area.


We welcome you to submit proposals on a wide range of topics, including but not limited to:


  • Embodiment, agency and the experience of displacement (narratives and counter-narratives)
  • Minority issues within refugee groups (LGBTQ, women, youths, elderly, disabled)
  • Spaces of asylum and the separations between ‘here’ and ‘there’
  • Experiences and expressions of resistance and response within forced migrant communities
  • Post-conflict landscapes of camp and home (response, return, and reconstruction)
  • Environmental change and other roles of the physical landscape in displacement
  • Historical displacement and its legacy
  • Linkages between research and policy (including interdisciplinary policy lessons from around the world)
  • The plural legal landscapes of forced migration
  • The changing field of forced migration studies (both practical and theoretical)
  • Methodological and ethical issues of research with refugees and displaced persons
  • Artistic and literary representations of forced migration


A selection of strong papers submitted to the conference will be considered for publication in a peer-reviewed CRS Student Caucus publication. If you are interested in having your submission considered for publication, please indicate this in your abstract submission. Only the best submissions from the conference will be considered for inclusion in this exciting inaugural publication.


Submissions that fall under the category of visual, audio, and performing arts are also welcome. All acceptable art submissions will be exhibited at the conference location. Group/panel submissions are also invited.



Individuals or groups wishing to participate in the conference MUST submit a 250-word abstract by April 15th, 2014 (both for Canadian and international submissions). Submissions will be assessed and responded to on a rolling basis and as such it is recommended that international applicants submit their proposal(s) as soon as possible. Presenters who wish to be considered for publication in the CRS Student Caucus publication must send their completed papers to crsstudentconference@gmail.com by May 2nd, 2014.


Abstract submissions MUST be accompanied by the following:

  1. Name(s) of presenter(s)
  2. Key presenter email address
  3. Title of Abstract
  4. A short personal profile (no more than 150 words)
  5. Indication of whether the presentation will be made by a panel or an individual
  6. Indication of the type of audio-visual aides needed (i.e. projector, laptop, DVD player etc.)


For more information about presenting at the conference please contact crsstudentconference@gmail.com or you can visit www.yorku.ca/crs


FEES: Due to overwhelming support from the York University community, the CRS Student Caucus is happy to announce that this conference is being offered at no cost to its participants. This allows for to be as inclusive and welcoming as possible.


For more information about registering for the conference and event details, please refer to our website http://crsstudents.wordpress.com/