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ECREA Diaspora, Migration and the Media - International and Intercultural Communication Sections Conference

  • 07.12.2023
  • 09.12.2023
  • Rotterdam, Netherlands

Transnational families and media practices: methods, ethics and critical approaches 

Venue: Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands 


Hosted by the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication and the Department of Media and Communication

Date: 7-9 December 2023 

Transnational families, through their ability to cross borders, connect cultures, expand the meanings and limits of national belonging, and negotiate the cultural, linguistic and psychological challenges of migration, have become exemplary models of “mobile lives” (Elliott and Urry, 2010). Transnational families offer insights into the contradictions and complexities of interculturality (Dervin, 2017) as a lived reality permeating more and less intimate interpersonal experiences. The centrality of transnational family communication in today’s world is enhanced by everyday digital media usage, the ubiquity of portable devices and the new technical affordances of platforms and apps. Transnational families therefore help us apprehend historical transformations connected to mediated experiences of crossing borders and interculturality.  

While the attention of scholars has intensified around how transnational families both shape and are shaped by the (urban) spaces they leave and enter, we contend that more attention needs to be paid to the methodological and ethical challenges researchers face when studying transnational families and communities. This conference provides an opportunity for scholars to discuss the assumptions underpinning their research and to share critical reflections on the ethical responsibilities that researchers have when observing transnational families and communities, including through digital platforms and their connection with mobility processes in and through cities.  

We invite scholars and PhD researchers to submit abstract proposals that engage with new theoretical, methodological and ethical approaches to the study of transnational families and their communication practices in Europe and beyond. We also welcome submissions that can provide historical perspectives into the (dis)continuities characterizing transnational families and their media practices. Contributions that call into question Eurocentric forms of knowledge through decolonial narratives and frameworks are especially welcome.  

Confirmed keynote speakers:

Professor Myria Georgiou (The London School of Economics and Political Science, UK) and Associate Professor Amanda Paz Alencar (Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands)

Potential Topics included but not limited to:   

  • New approaches to the concept of family and transnational relations in a mediated world 
  • New understandings of transnational families and digital connectivity 
  • Diaspora networks  
  • Creative and participatory methods with transnational families 
  • Ethical and methodological dilemmas on media practices of transnational families 
  • Home language maintenance and development of transnational families 
  • Transnational families as actors of interculturality 
  • Decolonial approaches to transnational families 
  • Innovative approaches to Family Language Policy and translanguaging 
  • Ethical dilemmas of researching the concept of health within transnational families  
  • Historical perspectives and focus on (dis)continuities 
  • Transnational families and diverse cities 

In addition to the conference, we will be hosting a joint workshop for PhD students on the 6th of December 2023, in Rotterdam. The workshop will focus upon innovative methods in studying transnational families/communities, digital media usage, and ethical challenges associated with this. The separate application for this one-day workshop can be found here.

Please note that it is possible for Doctoral researchers to attend both the workshop and the conference, or only one event.  

Submission guidelines  

Submissions for individual papers should include an abstract (max 400 words including keywords and main references) and a short biographical note (max 100 words). Abstracts should be submitted electronically, using the online submission   form by May 15, 2023. 

Submissions for panels should be submitted via e-mail to by May 15, 2023. Submissions should include a chairperson, a rationale for the panel (250 words), and the names of four speakers including their abstract (250 words) and biographical note (max 100 words).  

We recommend that you include the following information in your abstract: 

∙An introductory statement which explains the background/significance of your research 

∙A description of your theoretical framework and methodology  

∙An overview of the main findings of your research 

∙A concluding statement 

The conference will be in person only. Proposal acceptance notification: mid-June.  



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