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Sexuality and Migration: Contemporary Themes and Ways Forward

Welcome to a conference that examines the intersections of migration and sexuality through scholarly presentations and dialogues with professionals working with migrants on themes of gender, sexuality, and sexual health in Sweden. Arranged at Linnaeus University on 7-9 December, 2022.

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Migrant intimacies are becoming increasingly visible in the scholarly and political debate on migration, internationally. Echoing Mai and King’s invitation (2009) for an “emotional” and “sexual” turn in migration studies, scholarship has growingly addressed the role that love and desire play in the choice of getting on the move, and in the ways migration and mobility occur. Affects, inevitably interwoven with material needs and aspirations, shape migratory circuits; transactional sex sustains transnational mobilities; the economies of sex trafficking interweave with local moral economies and dreams of social mobility.

At the same time, sexualities are the backdrop to discussing identity and belonging in progressive or - more often - conservative ways in several countries. Migrants’ sexualities are often framed as problematic in the debate on multicultural vs. assimilationist policies: Sweden is a case in point. There is a concern that gender relations and sexual practices and discourses within migrant communities will interfere with so-called integration: self-regulation and pedagogical interventions thus interact in forming the desirable sexuality of the good citizen. Migratory journeys, finally, exert a toll on individuals’ sexual health: migrants may lack information about, and access to, health services, while the health sector may be unprepared to decenter long-ingrained discourses on the body, gender and sexuality. 

The event will examine these themes through scholarly presentations, and in dialogue with practitioners and professionals working with migrants on themes of gender, sexuality and sexual health, with a focus on Sweden. The format will invite for methodological and epistemological cross-fertilization, and transdisciplinary dialogue.   

No fee for the conference

Participation is free upon pre-registration.


A mixed-language event

Please note that this is a mixed-language event. The keynote will be held in English by Christian Groes (Roskilde University). The scholarly panels will be held in English. The roundtable with scholars, practitioners and professionals will be held in Swedish. Likewise, there will be a workshop for professionals and practitioners that will mainly be held in Swedish, with possibility of mixing languages.


The conference is hosted by Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies (Linnaeus University) in collaboration with The Centre for Sexology and Sexuality Studies (Malmö University) and the Center of Cultural Sociology (Linnaeus University), and funded by FORTE (Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare).

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A sustainable event

The conference “Sexuality and Migration” is a sustainability-assured meeting in accordance with Linnaeus University’s guidelines for sustainable events. These guidelines are linked to the 17 global goals in Agenda 2030 and comprise the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, the social, and the environmental. 

Learn more about Linnaeus University´s sustainable events here.

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