Events to launch our Migration and Movement Signature Research Theme

One of our first Signature Research Themes, Migration and Movement has unveiled an exciting programme of research and public engagement events this Autumn.

Designed to showcase outstanding work across the theme and to stimulate new interdisciplinary conversations, the events are open to all Kent colleagues, as well as members of the public.

Dates for your diary include:

Wednesday 13 OctoberLaunch: Countering Hostile Environments’
From 15.00-17.00, School of Arts, Jarman 1, followed by a drinks reception from 17.00-18.00 in Jarman Foyer – 13 October.

To launch the Migration and Movement SRT, and in preparation for the visit of The Walk, Dr Rachel Gregory Fox, Dr Bahriye Kemal, and Dr Jonathan Rock Rokem will discuss their current research projects, each of which considers hostile asylum and immigration regimes and how they can be countered. Chaired by Professor David Herd, this session will address the implications of the new Nationality and Borders Bill and how a politics of expulsion can be resisted through research.

Following the panel, Dr Sweta Rajan-Rankin will lead an open discussion on the question: ‘What does Migration Mean to You?’ designed to help SRT members start shaping the Theme’s work.

The event is free but please book your place via Eventbrite. It will be live-streamed for those unable to make it in person.

Thursday 21 October – The Walk: Welcoming Amal to the University of Kent
Procession from Canterbury Cathedral to our campus from 12–14.00 and Refugee Tales welcome event from 19.00-20.30 in Gulbenkian Theatre.

In collaboration with Refugee Tales and the Institute for Cultural and Creative Industries, the Migration and Movement SRT is delighted to welcome Amal and The Walk (see image below) to the University of Kent. Find out more about joining the procession and/or our evening welcome event in our Staff News story.

Book your tickets now for our Refugee Tales Welcomes Amal event on the Gulbenkian webpages.

Amal and The Walk

 Various dates in October – Just An Other Crossing

You may have noticed a sea container outside Gulbenkian this week – this is a new instillation by Local Foreigner. In this immersive installation you find yourself on a boat travelling the channel through virtual reality film and the live amplification of your heart beat.

Its free! You can just turn up on specific dates in October – details can be found on the Gulbenkian website.

Friday 12 November – Suppliant Women by The Foreign Office
Pre-show drinks from 18.00-19.30 in Gulbenkian Café and post-show talk from 21.15 in Gulbenkian Theatre.

Centring on a community chorus of women fleeing Egypt and seeking refuge in Argos to escape forced marriage, Suppliant Women is one of the oldest surviving Greek plays. This captivating production by The Foreign Office revives a remarkably contemporary tragedy about migration and the ethical dilemma of hospitality, blending music, dance and drama in a distinctive stage language that will strike audiences as both strange and familiar. It is an opportunity to engage with themes of migration in ancient Greece and its present-day resonances. Book your tickets now on the Gulbenkian webpages.

Wednesday 17 November – Head2Head: Migration and the non-human: Thinking about symbiotic assemblages of movement
From 15.00-17.00 online.

Dr Sweta Rajan-Rankin chairs this dynamic session, which steps away from traditional academic presentation formats and embraces the “Head2Head” approach highlighting the importance of rapid fire, synergies-in-action discussion. Being truly inter-disciplinary can be difficult and using H2H enables blue sky thinking by decoupling ideas from disciplinary confines. Migration has often been linked to human movement, but what about non-human agents such as migration of blood and tissue, knowledge systems and curating of migrant spaces?

Using Joanne Latimer’s concept of post-human assemblages, we pay attention to the migration of objects, bodily and fleshy parts, memories and curated objects, as a way of making sense of the political assemblage of migrant subjectivities. Speakers will include: Dr Matt Whittle (School of English) Dr Jill Shepherd (School of Biosciences) and Dr Sukvinder Bhamra (Medway School of Pharmacy). A registration link will be circulated nearer the time.

Wednesday 8 December – ‘Migration and Creative Practice’
From 15.00-17.00 in the Dockyard Church at Medway campus.

This final Migration and Movement SRT event of the Autumn term explores different ways in which notions of cultural intimacy, hybridity and appropriation are perceived in the fields of poetry, theatre and music. Three practice-based researchers – Minna Jeffery, Drama by Practice as Research PhD candidate in the School of Arts; Winsome Monica Minott, a poet and Creative Practice PHD candidate in the School of English; and Richard Lightman, record producer, composer, musician and Head of the Centre for Music and Audio Technology at Kent – will present and discuss their ongoing creative projects. A booking link will be circulated nearer the time and the event will be live-streamed.


We look forward to you joining us to help shape the work of the Migration and Movement SRT. Please feel free to get in touch with us at:

Professor David Herd (School of English), Dr Margherita Laera (School of Arts, Drama), Dr Tom Parkinson (Centre for the Study of Higher Education) and Dr Sweta Rajan-Rankin (School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research)

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