The omnipresence of stereotypes in the age of global migration is increasingly evident both at the level of governing structures and in everyday practices. Stereotypes, as Patrice Pavis tells us, stem from “preconceived ideas and unverified truisms” (369). In the context of migration, both historically and today, the use of stereotypes to characterize the migrant – whether it be a figure of suffering or a source of danger – can influence, polarize, and even radicalize public opinions and discourses. The influence of social media and political narratives, as well as literature and the arts, can be both productive and dangerous when it comes to our evaluation of a new migrant, refugee, asylum seeker, or exile as a neighbour, business partner, colleague, or friend. This is especially true in a world of increasing global conflicts and terrorism, neoliberal markets, and newly emerging nationalist agendas. This international, interdisciplinary, and bilingual conference aims to address the questions of the (ab)use of stereotypes when it comes to the representation of migration and refugees in various public discourses, both historically, conceptually and practically.

Professor Freddie Rokem (Tel-Aviv University) is the conference`s confirmed distinguished keynote speaker.

The committee invites 300-word proposals for a 20-minute presentation related to one or more of the conference themes, accompanied by a 150-word bio including your affiliation. Proposed topics include:


  • Representation of migration and stereotypes in fine arts, literature, film, drama, and performance;
  • Philosophical and ethical conceptualizing of migration and stereotypes;
  • Migration and commemoration: the object, the museum, the public space;
  • Language, migration, and stereotypes;
  • (Mis)representation of migration in governmental laws and political discourses;
  • Migration and urban space: communal living in the past and in the age of mobility;
  • Migration and stereotypes in social media and everyday life;
  • Migration, memory, and testimony;
  • Migration, stereotypes, and education.


In the context of Canada’s 150th anniversary, the organizing committee is also planning a number of conference events dedicated to public and artistic discourses related to the history of migration to Canada and migration today. Contributions on this topic are particularly welcome.



All applicants will be notified of the selection committee by November 15, 2016.

For more information, please contact the organizing committee at

Selected contributors will be invited to submit their presentations for publication in the conference proceedings which are scheduled to appear in 2019.


organized by

the Department of Theatre, University of Ottawa;

the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, University of Ottawa

Vered Jewish Canadian Studies, University of Ottawa

the Centre for Public History, Carleton University

Migration and Diaspora Studies Initiative, Carleton University

28-30 april 2017, University of Ottawa,

Ottawa, Ontario (Canada)


The organizing committee:

Dr. Yana Meerzon, University of Ottawa

Dr. David Dean, Carleton University

Dr. Daniel McNeil, Carleton University

Dr. Sylvain Schryburt, University of Ottawa

Dr. Natalia Vesselova, University of Ottawa