Round table

Migration studies and knowledge transfer : crossed perspectives

Faculté des Sciences Sociales


Wednesday, March 6 
Salle académique, Place du 20 Août
4000 Liège
de 10h30 à 12h

This round table, organized by CEDEM, the Centre d''Etudes des Migrations et de l'Ethnicité of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Liège, addresses knowledge transfer related to migration through the perspective of different actors: researchers, artists, journalists, activists and stakeholders involved in the elaboration of public policies.

The round table will be given in English and is open to the public.

It will be preceded by the exposition of the posters produced by the students participating to the EuMIGS Winter Workshop  (starting at 9am – Salle des Professeurs).

Migration is an integral part of the ongoing History of humanity and the focus of a well-developed body of literature in social sciences. It is also a central topic in the public and political debates in many countries across the world. Knowledge transfer is therefore important in migration studies. This question arises at all the level of the life of researchers :

  • First, the very idea of knowledge transfer is at the core of some methodological approach such as ethnography and qualitative sociology, which are based on a sustained exchange of knowledge and expertise between the researcher and the participants in the research. While traditional approaches are built on a transfer that goes from the participants to the researcher, current methodological practices tend to include researcher-participant transfer as a central practice in research. These practices are also informed by ethical considerations regarding the role of researcher and the power relation that characterize research activities.
  • Second, knowledge transfer is central to academic activities in general and translates in the many hours that researcher spend writing articles, attending conferences, or organizing colloquia, seminars and workshops. But inequalities between academic actors certainly impact who produces research agenda, who gets to theorize migration and who’s knowledge is primarily transferred. This was one of the focus of the 2023 IMISCOE annual conference.
  • Third, migration scholars are not isolated from the rest of society nor the only actors to be interested in migration dynamics. Migration is a theme that infuses the practice of many people such as journalists, artists, activists and politicians. In this context, researchers are sometimes asked to provide knowledge that is accessible to a non-academic public. The challenges of knowledge transfer outside academia is still debated in many research centers willing to keep a connection with civil society organizations, for instance.


Basel Addoum : Comedian and socio-cultural mediator

Mariam Benayad : Journalist for la Libre Belgique

Ingrid Falque : Member of the « Comité de soutien à la Voix des Sans-Papiers »

Thomas Huddleston : Academic collaborator at the University of Liège and ex member of the Migration Policy Group think tank.

Elsa Mescoli : Researcher at the CEDEM and Professor in Anthropology of Migrations.

Daniela Vintila : Researcher at the CEDEM and Co-Coordinator of IMISCOE.

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