Migrations Research Network

The Migrations Research Network, created by Regenia Gagnier (English) and Elena Isayev (Ancient History), ran from 2006 to 2008. This Network was conceived as an experiment in interdisciplinarity, concerned with the study of human migration. It linked research in the sciences, social sciences and humanities, with the aim of enriching these diverse approaches through interaction and reflection.

This innovative approach taken by the Network led to it developing links with external partners from the Met Office to NGOs in Palestine; from the ESRC Genomics Network to the Stanford Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity. The Network worked with these partners to provide methodological maps of interdisciplinarity on migration that informed research on social issues, and to provide evidence to the Government’s Migration Advisory Committee on Tier 2 immigration policy.

The underlying premises of the Network were that the global is always local for someone, and that the past, where the human memory is concerned, is often a function of present needs.

We created an interface between those whose research was based in local contexts and those who addressed global issues; those who focused on urgent present topics and those who worked on historical issues; and those who drew on the particularity of humanities research and those who relied on the statistical breadth of sciences. It resulted in a number of ongoing projects and collaborations, including work directly on the theme by Gagnier and Isayev.