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CFP: Unknown stories of intermediaries in women’s migration: men, women and non-binary people


    Alexandra Yingst (University of Iceland, Reykjavík, Iceland) Stellamarina Donato (LUMSA University, Rome, Italy)

    Call for Papers:

    Recent scholarship has promoted gender equality in the field of female migration. Although generally seeking to record stories on the experiences of migrant women, scholars are also working to uncover the lesser-known stories of men, women, and non-binary people who played a part in the migration of women. This collection of essays aims to record the forgotten stories of people who positively or negatively impacted female migration. Stories can be about social network formers/maintainers, migrant smugglers, human traffickers, and more.

    We propose an edited collection of stories that show how everyone, no matter what gender they identify as, plays a role and is involved in female migration. Stories may be about people both past and present.

    Following Donna Gabaccia’s work on gender in migration studies, we want to stress the importance of including literature on gender studies in this volume. This volume will present a strong theoretical focus with innovative research methods from multiple disciplines across the humanities, social, and political sciences. An example of such literature would be the work of social theorists like Butler, Fraser, and historians like Scott, who focused on gender as a subjective process and not a determinant natural factor. Gender identification is a crucial point to consider when addressing unknown stories of migrant women because it challenges the vulnerability paradigm that has populated the debate for decades (Reysoo & Verschuur, 2004; Grotti et al., 2018) and therefore goes beyond the complementarity between men and women as the status quo (Andaya, 2007; Grami, 2018) and limited male-female comparisons (Donato et al., 2006; Erdal & Pawlak, 2018). In this regard, this collection considers women’s migration and gender equality (O’Neil et al., 2016) as two issues that should always coexist and aims at stressing their ties throughout the essays.


    In this edited volume, we will show how all genders (not only women) have importantly been involved in female migration. By studying their social networks and resources that assisted the migration process, we also aim to challenge the widespread belief that migrant women are always vulnerable. Finally, we will challenge the effect of gender constructs found in migration studies (i.e., how migrant issues are often dichotomized).

    We also plan to bring together researchers from different disciplines who have a story to tell about the intermediaries, men, women and non-binary identifying people, who directly impacted the personal experiences of migrant women. Each chapter should also refer to those specific themes that are often related to women’s migration, such as stigma, vulnerability, determinism, double standard. Therefore, we would like to collect contributions that have the following elements:

    a) Present a lesser-known story of an intermediary who assisted in the migration of women.

    b) Briefly introduce the background of this person.

    c) Describe how this person positively or negatively changed the position of female migrants.

    d) Clearly specify how the unknown story of the intermediary provides new insights to women’s migration studies.

    e) Follow a bottom-up approach to storytelling, from the specific story to the theory.

    We envisage this edited volume to present the lesser-known stories of people involved in women’s migration through a sectional division by the typology of migration (labor migrants and highly skilled and business migrants; irregular, illegal, or undocumented migrants; refugees, asylum seekers; constrained migration; family migration, etc.).

    List of Potential Sections (3 chapters in each section):

    Labor migrants, highly skilled and business migrants;

    Irregular, illegal, or undocumented migrants;

    Forced migration, refugees and asylum seekers;

    Family migration

    Submission Procedure:

    Contributors are invited to send by July 10, 2021 an abstract proposal of approximately 350 words clearly explaining the relevance of their contribution to the edited volume, as well as a short biography of themselves. Abstracts should be sent to both Alexandra Yingst ( and Stellamarina Donato ( Authors will be notified by August 30, 2021 about the acceptance of their proposal. Full chapters (ca. 6000 – 8000 words, including bibliography) are expected to be submitted by February 30, 2022.


    The edited volume’s manuscript will be proposed for publication to Women on the Move’s book series at Manchester University Press or Palgrave Macmillan. It is expected to be published by mid-2023.

    Contact Info:

    Alexandra Yingst (University of Iceland, Reykjavík, Iceland) and Stellamarina Donato (LUMSA University, Rome, Italy)