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The question which relationships qualify as ‘family’ in migration policy is key to defining who gets to legally migrate to and reside in Europe. It is central to family migration politics obviously, but plays a crucial role in other aspects of migration regime as well, including the governance of forced migration, labour migration, detention, and deportation. Dominant family norms also play a crucial role in the intersection of migration regimes with welfare regimes. But who decides what a ‘proper’ family is? Or what families are ‘deserving’ enough to belong here?
Event details of Strange(r) Families Conference
Start date
9 November 2023
End date
10 November 2023

*The location will be sent to you after the completion of the registration form.*

Conveners: Saskia Bonjour, Marco Borkent, Sonja Evaldsson-Mellström, Elsemieke van Osch, and Eline Westra

Program 9 November

10h30 – 12h: Paper panel: State definitions of the good family

Moderator: Betty de Hart

  • Helena Wray, Invisible Families: Who counts in the European Court of Human Rights migration jurisprudence?
  • Marie Jacobs, “One family, three passports”: legal counselling and the notion of family reunification
  • Karin Borevi, Age requirement for spousal immigration – a comparative analysis of Scandinavian policy discourses
  • Giacomo Orsini et al, “Reproducing and/or challenging family norms in policy-oriented migration research: A Belgian case study.”

12h-13h : Lunch break

13h – 14h30: Roundtable : Sex, Gender and Race on the Move: Navigating Positionalities, Humanitarianism and Vulnerabilities at the Intersections of Migratio Research and Activism

Moderator: Eline Westra

With Elsa Tyszler, Nisrine Chaer, Fabian Holle, and Sonja Evaldsson Mellström

14h30-15h: Coffee break

15h- 16h30: Families navigating the asylum regime

Moderator: Melanie Griffiths

  • Elsemieke van Osch, “What kind of decision is this? Am I not part of this family?” Imaginaries of “kinlessness” and navigations of mixed-status families in the asylum regime.
  • Nuni Jorgensen, Changing rules after each move: the emergence of mixed-status Venezuelan families in South America
  • Giselle Corradi & Ellen Desmet, A multi-perspectivist analysis of a lived family reunification experience: At the junction of co-creative research and autoethnography
  • Elena Fattorelli, Ignorance: Disregarding the existence of divergent and “other” culturally dependent family models and conceptions in descent-based family reunification procedures of refugees

18h – 21h: Workshop Dinner

Program 10 November

9h30 -11h : Roundtable:  Regulation of post-colonial family migration

Moderator: Sonja Evaldsson Mellström

With Nawal Mustafa, Guno Jones, Eline Westra, and Rébecca Franco

11h – 11h30: Coffee break (with snacks)

11h30 – 13h: Paper panel: Family and the construction of race

Moderator: Jan Mendes

  • Gerwen van Schie, Laura Canidatu, Christl de Koe, Motherhood in the Datafied Welfare State: Investigating the Gendered and Racialized Enactment of Citizenship in Dutch Algorithmic Governance
  • Willy Sier, Descendants of the Dragon? Racialized Chineseness in Immigrant China
  • Nadine Blankvoort, Preventative Parenting: Governmental Racialization of Migrant Families
  • Elena Zambelli, ‘Improper couples’: A moral and political economy of interracialized intimacies across Europe and Western Africa

13h-14h30 : lunch & move to Spui25

14h00 – 16h00: Closing Roundtable at Spui25

Moderator: Sonja Evaldsson

With Bridget Anderson, Apostolos Andrikopoulos, Anne-Marie D’Aoust, and Saskia Bonjour

Dr. S.A. (Saskia) Bonjour

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Programme group: Challenges to Democratic Representation

A.S.S. (Sonja) Evaldsson Mellstrom

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Programme group: Challenges to Democratic Representation

E. (Eline) Westra

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Programme group: Challenges to Democratic Representation