Call For Papers

Conference co-organizers: Yen Le Espiritu (Ethnic Studies, UCSD); Simeon Man (History, UCSD)

We seek presenters for a multi-day conference on Militarism and Migration on April 21-23, 2017. The conference will be held in City Heights in San Diego, home to a continually growing migrant and refugee population displaced by U.S. wars in Southeast Asia and Central America and more recently by wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, and other countries. Since 2012, more Syrian refugees have been resettled in San Diego than any other U.S. city. San Diego is also home to the largest concentration of the U.S. military in the world, including defense and military industries and training facilities that make possible and fuel the wars and displacements of these populations. Its proximity to the militarized U.S.-Mexico border furthermore has intensified the criminalization of indigenous and racialized populations in the region.

Framed around the particulars of the local and the urgency of the present moment, we seek works that broadly address the entanglements of militarism and displacement in different locales, and that examine the continuous effects of militarization on people across geographies. We invite works that especially center migrant and refugee perspectives and epistemologies, as well as feminist reflections and engagements with militarization and its aftermaths. How are different local spaces constituted in relation to U.S. militarism and state violence on a global scale? How have displaced peoples, practitioners, and activists engaged in creative survival strategies against militarism? What does the work of demilitarization and critical imagining toward a demilitarized and decolonized future look like?

We invite proposals for papers from scholars of all fields, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary work. We will prioritize submissions from graduate students and junior faculty. We seek works that emphasize the local and global manifestations of militarism, and that centers the question of how people engage power. Themes include but are not limited to:

  • Media, art, and activism
  • Creativity and world making
  • Mental health, care work, and health activism
  • Land and water
  • Time and space
  • Technology, drone warfare, and counterterrorism
  • Carceral spaces and settler colonialism
  • Built environment and design
  • Gang prevention and decriminalization
  • Intergenerational transmission of trauma and memory
  • Feminist refugee epistemology
  • Climate change and environmental migrants/refugees

In lieu of a traditional panel format, presenters will pre-circulate their papers and participate in roundtable workshops and discussions. Papers will be read and discussed by scholars in the field. Please submit a paper abstract (not to exceed 350 words) and a 2-page CV that includes your name, affiliation, and e-mail address to by January 13, 2017.

Please contact with any questions. We will contact you by February 3 regarding the status of your submission. Accepted presenters will circulate their papers by April 1.