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Media, Migration and Nationalism: A Special Collection

Guest Editors:

Koen Leurs, Media and Culture Studies, Utrecht University, Netherlands

Tomohisa Hirata, Social and Information Studies, Gunma University, Japan

INTRODUCTION: In the return on the stage of nationalisms in recent years, migrants have been discursively constructed as scapegoats. Specific mobile populations, particularly migrant workers and refugees have been minoritized and racialized as threats or burdens to nation-states in dire attempts to grasp, make tangible, or deny failures and/or limitations of systematic planetary conditions. As Arjun Appadurai has acutely observed, “migrants, especially refugees, in the contemporary globalized world are inevitably second-class citizens because their stories do not fit the narrative requirements of modern nation-states” (2019, 558). Simultaneously, supported by media formations including targeted social media campaigning, we see nationalist rhetoric take centre stage for example, in the election of populist, protectionist, racist, and sexist presidents in the United States, Brazil, and Russia as well as in the UK Brexit vote.

The co-shaping of nationalism, mediation and migration is particularly striking in several recent manifestations of ‘global crises’: most notably the economic crisis, climate crisis, refugee crisis, the COVID-19 crisis and most recently the global #BlackLivesMatter human rights movement. In their mediation, crises politicize difference. A global perspective on media, migration, and nationalism demands that we become critical of what these crises are and are not doing (on the discursive and material level) across geopolitical and situated manifestations. Notwithstanding the unchanged interconnectedness of global capitalism, media, technologies, and networks, these global crises have variously resulted in populist deglobalization stances, action, and rhetoric, resulting in nationalism, parochialism, and isolationism.


Media, Migration, and Nationalism: Introduction to the Special Collection

Koen Leurs & Tomohisa Hirata

Digital Cosmopolitanism: Notes from the Underground

Sandra Ponzanesi

Intimacy and Rivalry: Becoming a “Self” in the Virtual Reality of Migration

Tuija Parikka

Representations of Syrian Refugees in UNICEF’s Media Projects: New Vulnerabilities in Digital Humanitarian Communication

Jülide Etem

Bordering a Hybrid World: Infrastructural Isolation and the Governance of Human and Nonhuman Mobility

Huub Dijstelbloem

Gender at the Border: Global Responses to Gender Diverse Subjectivities and Non-Binary Registration Practices

Christine Quinan & Nina Bresser

Narrating society: Enacting ‘immigrant’ characters through negotiating, naturalization and forgetting

Sanne Boersma

Racing through the Dutch Governmental Data Assemblage: A Postcolonial Data Studies Approach

Gerwin van Schie, Alex Smit & Nicolás López Coombs

I Heard Homer Sing’: Tsjêbbe Hettinga and the Paradoxes of European Multilingualism

Jesse van Amelsvoort

Experiencing Homeland: Social Media and Transnational Communication Among Kurdish Migrants in Northern Italy

Elisabetta Costa & Donya Alinejad

Transnational Digital Intimacy Practices: Paradoxes of Transnational Connectivity and Home-Making Among Young Adult Expatriates in Amsterdam

Jeffrey Patterson & Koen Leurs

Drawing Migrants and Carceral Spaces: Tings Chak’s Undocumented

Pramod Nayar

Hosting Migrants in Kyoto City: Different Migrant Cohorts and Mutual Support

Fiona Seiger & Atsumasa Nagata

Rebuilding the Yanacona Home in the City: The Role of Digital Technologies for Indigenous Place-Making Practices in Bogota, Colombia

Camila Sarria Sanz & Amanda Alencar

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