By Bridget Anderson and Emma Newcombe.
Everyone is talking about migration. You hear about it on the media, from news and documentaries to dramas and soaps. People talk about it in pubs and in taxis. There is no shortage of opinion, assertations and information about migration. And inevitably there are a lot of assumptions about the subject too. For example, when we think of migration why is it that we tend to focus on the movement of people from low to high income countries, particularly Europe and North America? Why aren’t young British people working as au pairs in Australia not imagined as ‘migrants’?
At Migration Mobilities Bristol (MMB) we think it is interesting to step back and look at the many different definitions and understandings of ‘migrant’, and the kinds of questions and methods that characterise different disciplines’ engagement with the field. We are very excited to say we have launched a free online course on Future Learn – ‘Migration, Mobilities and Citizenship’ – that will be part of the Bristol Futures portfolio. We are also opening registration for ‘The MMB Online Academy 2021’, which will run May to July next year.
We are particularly pleased to showcase some of the fantastic research on migration and mobilities that takes place at the University of Bristol, linking to research in the Schools of Anthropology, English, Film Studies, Law, Philosophy, Social Policy and Sociology.
Thinking or rethinking assumptions
‘Migration, Mobilities and Citizenship’ is aimed at a broad audience, but we think it will also be of interest to practitioners in the field and others working on related social justice issues. We hope it offers a chance to take a step back and think about the assumptions that we all bring to conversations about any subject that is deemed a ‘social problem’.
The course aims, not to tell you what to think, but to give you tools to critically examine your own ideas and be able to engage in respectful debate with others. It is short – approximately six hours – but we hope that some students will be encouraged to follow up on the references and projects to take a deeper dive into migration and mobility at Bristol.
For those interested in more…
The MMB Online Academy 2021 will be synchronous and online, giving participants access to a range of senior scholars and cutting edge scholarship on topics as diverse as migration and COVID-19, race, racism and migration, and mobility and the socio-digital, as well as foundational knowledge on asylum, labour migration, trafficking and family migration.
At MMB we believe that learning about migration is not only learning about people who move but also better understanding the societies in which we live. We hope that both these courses convey something of our commitment and passion for this subject, and the brilliant work that is being done at Bristol.