IRiS International Conference 2020

Taking place at the University of Birmingham from 9-11 September 2020, the theme of the conference will be Beyond 'deficits and dividends': Interdisciplinary and critical perspectives on migration and superdiversity.

Conference speakers

Our keynote speakers are Professor Gracia Lui-Farrer, Director of Institute of Asian Migrations at Waseda University, Japan and Professor Nasar Meer, Chair of Race, Identity and Citizenship at the University of Edinburgh. 

 Plenary speakers include:

  • Dr Michaela Benson, Reader of Sociology at Goldsmiths University of London and Managing Editor of The Sociological Review
  • Professor Lyndsey Stonebridge, Interdisciplinary Chair of Humanities and Human Rights and author of the award winning Placeless People: Writing, Rights and Refugees
  • Professor Carlos Vargas Silva, Director of the University of Oxford’s Centre of Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS)

Find out more about our speakers

Over the past three decades, the size, speed and spread of human mobility has grown in significance. New routes, channels, connections and migration hubs have emerged, while existing ones have experienced unprecedented changes and pressures. 

The sedimentation of these changes over time are transforming local communities and the dynamics and politics of diversity at destination as well as at origin, as shown by the growth of diaspora institutions over the same period. Worldwide, these migration-driven trends are transforming societies in complex ways spanning social, demographic, cultural, economic and political structures.

Not surprisingly, these processes have been met with mixed responses. Anti-immigration sentiments, racism, religious intolerance and xenophobia are common currency in mainstream political discourse in several countries, which is increasingly polarised along a nationalist vs globalist binary. Rapid and sustained changes in population’s diversity pose challenges and opportunities for societies – including public services, labour markets, political movements and intergeneration relations.

The Institute for Research into Superdiversity at the University of Birmingham is organising the 6th  International interdisciplinary conference on causes, consequences, challenges and opportunities emerging from migration-driven superdiversification.

We intend to provide an opportunity for participants (scholars, policymakers, practitioners and civil society organisations) not only to examine both deficits and dividends, recognising that these are multi-faceted and frequently inter-connected, but also to put forward alternative ways to frame the debate away from simplistic binaries.

The conference will be held on the 9-11 September 2020. It will feature keynote speeches, invited plenaries, academic panels and a policy roundtable on topics at the forefront of the superdiversity research agenda. 

Download information on the 2020 IRIS Conference (PDF)


£200 - Full conference (concessionary rate £150*)
£75   - Half day for days 1 and 3 (concessionary rate £50*)
£125 - One day for day 2 (concessionary rate £100*)

*A concessionary registration fee will be available for early career participants, civil society organisations, and participants from low income countries.

Conference drinks and canapés on day 1 are included in the fee.  The conference dinner on day 2 is to be paid separately at a rate of £25.  Travel and accommodation expenses should be covered by the participants. 

A small number of bursaries are available

For further details please contact Ann Bolstridge, IRiS Administrator: