The Laboratory on Mass Migration Research of the Institute of History, Polish Academy of Sciences, and its editorial series “Migrations and Society”

Jan E. Zamojski

Abstract


The article summarizes sixteen years of research and academic publishing of the Research Group on Mass Migrations in the 19th and 20th centuries, Institute of History, Polish Academy of Sciences (IH PAN). The group focuses on mass migrations as a social and historical phenomenon integral to the understanding of the history of nations, regions and humanity as a whole, and responsible for shaping much of the human experience. It concentrates on the European and Transatlantic sphere in the second half of the 20th century, examined from a wide perspective while not losing sight of the specific time and place. The group comprises six scholars, each carrying out individual research projects. At the same time, they co-operate in stimulating and popularizing the research on migrations as a human phenomenon of universal geo-historical nature. The Work Group achieves this by organizing annual multidisciplinary conferences attended by scholars from Poland and abroad (Ukraine, France, Russia, Spain). The proceedings of these conferences are published in a series entitled “Migrations and Society” (12 volumes published so far, the 13th in print). Apart from the materials presented at the conferences, this publication also includes reviews, informative articles, etc. (“Reviews and Opinions” section). Every volume, usually focusing on a particular subject, presents a wide range of migration themes, including general issues (such as diaspora creation, feminization and the evolution of structures and directions of waves of migration), and especially detailed studies of various migration types (political and forced migrations, decolonizatory, regional – i.e. African, Latin American), emergence of new ethnic minorities, problems of Moslem immigrant societies, the role of churches, the fate of female migrants, processes of integration, conflicts of identity and culture etc. The Spanish speaking world is aptly represented in this publication, reflecting not only its place in global migration processes but also the close cooperation of the Work Group with their colleagues at the Spanish Historical Institute, “Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas”, which has led to two joint conferences, research scholarships, joint publications etc. In the choice of conference and publication topics the work group tries to pursue and popularize the perception of migrations as a natural and inevitable historical process with various triggers, forms, and results, a universal phenomenon and a cause for deep transformations of structure, consciousness and culture, not only in societies accepting migrants but also in those they left. The conferences organized by the IH PAN Work Group have gained a level of recognition among migration researchers and institutions, and the series “Migrations and Society” became a useful tool of academic teaching.


Keywords


diaspora; multiculturality; integration; identity; transnationalism; refugees

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