CfP Transnational families and divorce: revisiting marital break-up in times of global (im)mobilities

Call for papers: International conference

Transnational families and divorce:
revisiting marital break-up in times of global (im)mobilities

27-29 September 2017, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands

The ruptures affecting interpersonal relationships in ‘transnational families’ have received strong scholarly interest in the past decades. Although marital break-up has a cross-border dimension, the issue of divorce remains largely unexplored in transnational family scholarship in particular and in migration studies in general. It is therefore timely to examine transnational divorce, as its causes, processes, and after-effects increasingly take place across national and socio-cultural borders. The present conference examines transnational divorce by taking into account the different socio-legal and cultural contexts within which it occurs, notably how state policies influence the process of marital dissolution. It is organized in three themes addressing the following questions:

1) The secular, the sacred and what is at stakes – How do separating couples experience the divorce-related laws of the societies they have social and legal ties with? How do couples and individuals undertake ‘religious’ divorce such as Talaq? What are the processes and challenges underlying transnational divorce? How does the law treat children during and after their parents’ divorce, notably in terms of custody and in case of international custody issues? In what way do these children and/or their parents view divorce, the family, the law, or the state?

2) The process and implications of transnational divorces – What are the intermediary actors and professionals of cross-border divorce? What forms of information and assistance do they provide to separating transnational and/or binational couples? What specific role(s) do they play during the process of transnational divorce? How does divorce affect the lives of separating or separated couples as well as other family members? What are the economic, social and emotional issues of transnational divorces? What forms of strategies do separated couples adopt to adjust to marital break-up?

3) Epistemological development of transnational divorce studies – How can we conceptualize transnational divorce within the context of global (im)mobilities? What are the theoretical frameworks and approaches that can be used to examine transnational divorce phenomenon? What are the methodological and ethical challenges in the study of this phenomenon? What are the possible research lines to develop in transnational divorce studies?

We particularly welcome papers from young scholars in the field of socio-legal studies, sociology, anthropology, history, and other disciplines. We also encourage studies that employ a transnational and/or intersectional approach (Crenshaw 1989) paying attention to structuring factors such as gender, class, race and ethnicity. After the conference, selected papers will be published as parts of an edited volume on transnational families and divorce.

Paper proposals should be less than 4000 words in length and include the following information: a title, a summary (aim, central question, methods, key findings), and a short biography of the author(s).

Deadline for abstract submission: 30 April 2017
For abstract submission and further information about the event:

Confirmed keynote speakers: Loretta Baldassar (University of Western Australia), Valentina Mazzucatto (Maastricht University) and Nobue Suzuki (Chiba University)

Organizers: Betty de Hart and Asuncion Fresnoza-Flot