Migration, borders and identity

This research group consists of scholars dealing with literature, linguistics, area and cultural studies interested in migration, real and metaphorical borders, and how these phenomena shape the individual and collective identity of the subjects involved.

Image source: Carlos Spottorno. El País. 2016.

About the group

Our research topics include the following areas of interest:

1. Migration in Europe and Scandinavia (2015–)

Recent forced migration toward Europe has had a deep cognitive and emotional impact on migrant subjects, shaping their economic situation and their individual and collective identity. It has disrupted not only migrants’ own consciences, but also the way that national governments in Europe and worldwide have perceived what now is referred to in the media as the refugee or migrant crisis.

We are interested in the realities and the textual and cultural representations of both emigration and immigration and the economic, sociocultural, and cognitive effects that migration may have not only on migrants but also on European citizens and national institutions. Our objective is to study these representations of both emigration and immigration in Europe and Scandinavia in relation to their historical and social background, and from an interdisciplinary and international perspective.

Specific topics of interest include:

– Visual representation of migration in various sources: the role of visual symbols, metaphors, and metonymies

– Monomodal and multimodal metaphors in migration discourse, and their identity-building force

– Interdisciplinary study of contemporary forced migration towards and within Europe, together with related sociopolitical and cultural processes viewed from non-European, European, and Scandinavian perspectives.

– Contemporary narratives, oral testimonies, and different cultural representations about migration of persons (bodies), ideas, and government policies across countries inside and outside Europe.


2. Migration and borders in literature and the arts: contemporary and historical perspectives

– Negotiation of identity, migration, and borders in contemporary literary works

– The relation of literary and arts representations to their broader social context



Academic programs and courses

EUS4010 – Master's course.

Borders, Bodies, and Memories: Cultural and textual representations of migration in Europe and Scandinavia (2015-2018)

This is a master interdisciplinary and international course on contemporary migration into and within Europe offered for the first time at the University of Oslo in Spring, 2018. Contemporary migration specialists from various disciplines offer their lectures to students via video-conference and / or in-person lectures.

Subprojects and activities

“Erratic bodies, transitional borders, and recent migration in Europe: Representation and identity negotiations in public discourse, literature, and the arts" September 27-28, 2018 at the University of Oslo.

[Call for Papers]

Mailing list

If you want to receive regular info and updates about the activities of this group, please email Alvaro Llosa (a.l.sanz@ilos.uio.no) to be included in our mailing list.


Tags: migration, cultural representations, borders, bodies, memories, forced mobility, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political discourse, citizenship, Eastern Europe, Spain, Italia, forced mobility, citizen rights
Published Nov. 8, 2017 6:37 PM - Last modified Mar. 5, 2018 9:18 AM


Nelson González-Ortega

E-mail: nelson.gonzalez-ortega@ilos.uio.no