Masterclass and colloquium on connected migrants: encapsulation and cosmopolitanism (Amsterdam)

Today, every society is just a collection of diasporas. People join the societies to which they are loyal and pay their taxes, but at the same time, they do not want to give up their identity. The connection between where you live and identity has been broken” – Zygmunt Bauman ( )

“Most people use social media not to open their horizons wider, but to lock themselves in a comfort zone” – Zygmunt Bauman ( )

World renown emeritus professor Zygmunt Bauman will assess contemporary formations of the internet, diaspora, migration and multiculturalism on a public lecture on Friday 16, from 15.00-16.30.

The KNAW (The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences) has granted funding to Prof. Sandra Ponzanesi and Dr Koen Leurs. In December 2016, they will organise a KNAW Academy Colloquium entitled ‘Connected migrants: encapsulation or cosmopolitanism?’ with 16 international experts. Koen Leurs & Sandra Ponzanesi will organise a two-day seminar and a one-day masterclass for advanced PhD students and emerging scholars.


In our contemporary world, migrants should be considered as ‘connected migrants’. More than ever before, migrants can chose between different technologies to be in contact with loved ones living in their country of origin. This colloquium will innovatively address how digital practices of migrants revolves around the dialectic of ‘encapsulation’ and ‘cosmopolitanism’.

Previously, scholars singled out one or another of these processes. ‘Homophily’, the assumption that ‘birds of a feather flock together’, is popular among those who argue that transnational communication hinders integration and leads to segregation and radicalisation. Scholars however also contend that migrants can be present in both their host society and their homeland .

Seen this way, migrants can connect with their homeland and diaspora, forming bonding capital and developing bridging, cosmopolitan capital by connecting with their host society. Although contested, cosmopolitanism is indispensable as a ‘grounded category’ to capture everyday reflexive imaginations of openness between self, other and world among elite and subaltern subjects.

This colloquium innovatively brings experts in the field together to acknowledge how boundary making and cosmopolitanisation operate simultaneously and grasps social, cultural and political implications of migrant digital practices as grounded in everyday practices.

Confirmed speakers include:

           Prof. Zygmunt Bauman

           Prof. Miyase Christensen

           Dr. Dana Diminescu

           Dr. Alexander Dhoest

           Prof Godfried Engbersen

           Prof. Radhika Gajjala

           Dr. Myria Georgiou

           Prof. Cees Hamelink

           Dr. Gavan Titley

           Dr. Nishant Shah

           Dr. Sanjay Sharma

           Dr. Kevin Smets

           Prof. Huub Dijsselbloem

           Dr. Farida Vis

           Dr. Roopika Risam

           Dr Saskia Witteborn

           Dr. Kishonna Gray

We also welcome PhD students, early career researchers and advanced students interested in the topic to apply for this exciting masterclass preceding the colloquium on December 14, 2016 in Amsterdam. International experts Farida Vis, Kishonna Gray & Roopika Risam will equip participants with a solid theoretical grounding and methodological skillset to analyse migrant connectivity practices.

See, and

Sign up before October 15, 2016! – deadline extended to November 28. Questions? Email Koen Leurs @

There is no fee for participating in the masterclass.

This is the open call for colloquium participants (150 euro’s fee):

This is the open call for masterclass participants (free of charge):