Two people hold their hands

Scholars and practitioners gather for a conference on sexuality and migration

Intimacy and sexuality are central forces in migration that structure migration routes, movement, reception and resettlement. Intimacy and sexuality also increasingly form the basis of discussions about identity and belonging. These themes are explored in a transdisciplinary conference at Linnaeus University in Växjö on December 7-9, 2022.

The conference is structured around scholarly panels, exploring themes like sexual health and access to health care, LGBTQIA experiences and positionalities, learning intimacies in schools and beyond, the complexities of “honor”, and many more. 

- We wanted to engage in a truly transdisciplinary dialogue around the nexus sexuality/migration, says Åsa Trulsson, senior lecturer at the Department for Cultural Sciences at Linnaeus University. Hence, we chose not to have parallel sessions so that everyone will have a chance to listen and talk to everyone. Each panel is introduced by leading scholars in the field, providing both a depth exploration and an overview of the topic at hand.

The keynote is given by Christian Groes (Roskilde University), whose work critically addresses the intersections between migration and transnational intimacies, materiality and love, power and affect within migration circuits.

- This will help up problematize simplifications and stigmatizing stereotypes about migrant intimacies, says Anna Baral, postdoctoral fellow at the Department for Cultural Sciences at Linnaeus University.

Creates knowledge together

A second thread in the conference is a discussion on the possibility of co-producing of knowledge about intimacy and migration, by way of collaboration between researchers and research participants.

During the conference, the film Travel by Nicola Mai, Leicester University, will be shown. Mai will introduce and discuss the film, which was created in 2015 in collaboration with eight Nigerian women involved in transactional sex in France. Co-production of knowledge is also followed up by a panel on participatory methods as well as an interactive workshop.

Exchange between practitioners and researchers

The conference also provides an opportunity for exchange between research and practice. By inviting professionals who work with the intersections between migration, sexual health and gender relations, the conference wants to open up a dialogue between researchers and professionals.

- We hope that the event will produce collaborations in the future and help shorten the gap between academia and practice, says Anna Baral. The topic is urgent and relevant, and we need not only to know more about its many thematic articulations but also to imagine “ways forward”, as the title suggests, to bring sexuality and intimacy to the centre of the migratory experience.


For registration and more information about the conference: