Academics from across disciplines came together to discuss migration flows and cultures of mobility in the Asia-Pacific in two interrelated international events held at RMIT.
The Race, Mobility and Imperial Networks: Charting the Transnational Asia-Pacific World, 1800–2015 (RMIN) was jointly convened by Dr Catherine Gomes of the School of Media and Communication and Associate Professor Tracey Banivanua-Mar of the Department of Archaeology and History at LaTrobe University.
Banivanua-Mar, an ARC Future Fellow, said that the three-day conference, which also included a half-day postgraduate workshop, was a significant gathering of some of the most exciting, new and leading researchers in the area of imperial networks and mobility.
Papers and panels explored the histories, laws and cultures of mobility, identity and variegated colonial and postcolonial spaces in the Asia Pacific region.
The conference was followed by one-day symposium; Transient Migration in the Asia-Pacific: Identities, Social Networks and Media convened by Gomes, an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) Fellow.
Gomes said that the symposium, which examined the global, transient and circular flows of people for work and study, resulted in cutting-edge research into the ways in which transient migrants maintained and formed identities and social networks.
“The symposium was highly successful in bringing together participants and observers to openly discuss issues resulting from mass levels of transnational mobility and the practical steps needed to respond to these flows in a collegial and supportive manner," said Gomes.
The two events were the result of ARC-supported research both Gomes and Banivanua-Mar have been undertaking in their respective fields.
Gomes's current research looks at the identities, social networks and media use of transient migrants (such as international students) in Australia and Singapore.
Edited volumes of the papers presented at both the conference and the symposium will be published in the coming year.
Story: Wendy Little