PLEASE NOTE: The application period for this call has closed.

LERRN is pleased to share the following Call for Papers for an upcoming Edited Volume on behalf of the editors:

Exiled Scholars in Western Academia: Refugees or Intellectuals?


Alfred Babo Ph.D. (Fairfield University)
Sayed Hassan Akhlaq Ph.D. (Coppin State University)

Potential Publishers

Editors are in contact with potential publishers, including Routledge, Palgrave MacMillan, University of Wisconsin Press, and Liverpool University Press (Migrations and Identities series).

Book description and conceptual frame

This book aims to engage exiled scholars in an intellectual examination of the nexus of personal and professional experiences in Western universities. Contributors will share their own unique experiences in order to reflect on the changing nature of knowledge production, transfer, and exchange in a world increasingly defined by forced migration. Such reflections are not new. In her 1943 essay “We Refugees,” the exiled academic Hannah Arendt called on refugees to rethink and affirm their legal and social status in the face of the pull to forget trauma and assimilate quickly. In the process, she made the concept of refugee into a key term for modern scholarship and thought. Today, in the globalized context where the concept of “refugee” increasingly attracts both empathy and rejection, refugee scholars housed in Western universities cannot help but question the fluidity of their identity. Are they refugees or intellectuals? Can they be recognized as both refugees and scholars? This duality of identity creates
new opportunities for rethinking concepts such as humanitarianism, indigenization, asylum, diversity, scholar activism, and the transnational production of knowledge in the universities of the twenty-first century. Assembling scholars from around the world who are working in the fields of political science, international studies, anthropology, law, philosophy, and the humanities, this volume addresses both the geopolitical predicaments and the intellectual contributions of exiled academics in our troubled times.

Contributors to this volume should integrate personal life difficulties and/or successes, mixed with emotional distress and cultural adjustments, into a scholarly analysis of academia in exile. The volume consists of three parts structured around the following questions:

  1. Transnational Knowledge Production and Academic Identity
    • How do exiled scholars understand the hybridization and indigenization of research and teaching?
    • How do the host social and work environments serve or not serve the production of transnational knowledge? How do they understand the interdisciplinarity and globalization of knowledge?
  2. Immobility within Academic Mobility
    • How has asylum status for a “Safe Haven” impaired scholars’ mobility and banned their global activism? How do such stories reframe academic understandings of asylum, sanctuary, and refuge, considered
      historically, legally, and culturally?
    • How has establishing a career in the host country motivated scholars to re-invent and re-localize research topics and fields in a new institutional context? Has this happened easily and voluntarily or under duress? What are the intellectual fruits of such reinvention?
  3. At-Risk Scholars Navigating the Academic Career
    • How has the journey to a tenure-track position implied the social vulnerability or success of refugee scholars? How did it differ from the professional trajectory of a non-refugee scholar
    • How do displaced scholars describe the impact of factors like identity, race, ethnicity, and refugee status in their job search and their academic success/failure, and how do these reflections challenge or transform current practices of diversity, equity, and inclusion? How do refugee scholars reflect on the dynamic evolution of their social and intellectual identities?

Submission procedure

Abstract — Please submit your abstract of no more than 500 words, by April 30, 2023,* and a brief bio to the editors ( and Authors must mention the questions of interest to them and describe the methodology/kinds of data that will be used and how they will combine their personal reflections with the scholarly responses to the questions.

*Deadline extension TBD; submissions will be accepted after this date.