Migration, Transnationalism and Racisms

Aims and themes of the network

Transnational migration is one of the defining characteristics of the 21st century, dramatically affecting not only the lives of those who migrate, but also the lives and communities of those among whom migrants come to live and work. The network creates a space to explore the role of adult education and learning in all its forms (formal and informal), and locations (community, workplace, institutional), in relation to migration, transnationalism and the new lines of exclusion and social hierarchies created. It encourages critical dialogue in this emerging field with the aim of developing new theoretical and methodological resources and understandings. The network will explore these themes through concepts such as belonging, democratic citizenship, anti-racism, community solidarity and activism; it will seek to challenge and problematize policy responses and ‘othering’ processes in relation to migration. The network also tries to open up a space for a (self-)critical reflection on migration research and its contribution to hegemonic discourses on migration. There are network conferences every few years. Moreover, we are seeking to generate collaborative research


History of the network

The network was revived in 2008 by Joke Vandenabeele, University of Leuven (Belgium), Simon Warren, University of Sheffield (UK) and Linda Morrice, University of Sussex (UK). The original name of the network was Migration, Ethnicity, Racism and Xenophobia. The inaugural conference was in Sheffield in 2009. New conveners joined after this first conference – Rozalia Ligus, University of Lower Silesia (Poland); Annette Sprung, University of Graz (A) and Angela Pilch Ortega, University of Graz (A). The network changed its name to ‘Migration, Transnationalism, and Racisms’ in 2016. Following the conference in 2018, new conveners joined: Srabani Maitra, University of Glasgow (UK) and Marcin Starnawski, University of Lower Silesia (PL). The network has held four conferences to date, and has contributed roundtables at a number of sister networks and ESREA triennial conferences.


Past Conferences:

  • Diversity and Social Cohesion – are these incompatible objectives? – University of Sheffield, UK, 2–3 December 2009.
  • Europe in crisis – Migrations, racisms and belongings in the new economic order – University of Graz, Austria, 19–20 April 2012.
  • ‘Multiculturalism’ today: aspirations, realities and crisis debates – University of Lower Silesia, Poland, 13–15 May 2014.
  • Building Solidarities for Anti-Racist Adult Education – University of Edinburgh, UK, 13–15 June 2018.
  • Contextualizing Racism and Migration: Time, Place and Generational Perspectives in Anti-Racist Praxis – University of Glasgow, UK, 6 June 2022.


Since October 2021, the network has organized a series of thematic online seminars bringing together scholars and practitioners of adult education in fields such as migration and integration, antiracism, and intercultural learning. If you are interested in accessing the audio recordings of the online presentations or if you would like to join the network’s activities, please contact one of the conveners.




Edited books produced by the network

Pilch Ortega, A., & Schröttner, B. (Eds.) (2012). Transnational Spaces and Regional Localization. Social Networks, Border Regions and Local-Global Relations. Münster, New York, München, Berlin 2012: Waxmann Verlag.

Conference proceedings

Sprung, A. & Pilch-Ortega, A.(Eds.) (2019). ‘Building Solidarities for Anti-Racist Adult Education’. Proceedings of the Conference of the ESREA Network on Migration, Transnationalism and Racisms Conference, 13th – 15th June 2018 (Edinburgh). Graz: University of Graz.➡

ESREA Migration, Racism and Xenophobia Network (Eds.) (2009). Proceedings of the ESREA-Conference “Diversity and Social Cohesion – are these incompatible objectives? Sheffield: University of Sheffield.

Moser, H., Pilch Ortega, A., & Sprung, A. (Eds.) (2012). Europe in crisis – migrations, racisms and belongings in the new economic order. Proceedings book. Graz: University of Graz.

Gołębniak, M. & Starnawski,M. (Eds.) (2015).“Multiculturalism” today: aspirations, realities and crisis debates. The 3rd conference of the ESREA Migration, Ethnicity, Racism and Xenophobia Network. Conference Proceedings. Wroclaw: University of Lower Silesia.