On Friday, February 8th, students, professors, and community members gathered at Carleton for the Migration and Diaspora Student Research Conference, supported by the MDS initiative. The conference marked the first MDS student conference since the Graduate Student Colloquium in 2015. Around 40 people participated in all or part of the conference, which included four thematic panels ranging from regional agreements on migration to representation of migrant children. Nine student presenters from three universities shared their research, showcasing a range of migration-related student research at Carleton and beyond. For several students, it was their first time presenting at an academic conference. One student shared “I was able to present my work and receive amazing and helpful feedback and encouragement to continue my work. I’ve learned so many things that wouldn’t have been possible without this conference. I’m forever thankful for this opportunity.”

One of the special features of the conference was the opportunity for sharing and discussing research across academic disciplines, with presenters coming from Political Science, Public Policy, EURUS, Law and Legal Studies, Ethics and Public Affairs, Criminal and Social Justice, and Child Studies. One student presenter called the conference “a rare opportunity to get together with others in migration studies as an interdisciplinary discourse.” One of the goals of the MDS initiative is to create opportunities for interdisciplinary discourse, and the conference showed the value of these opportunities. The student organizers hope that the conference will become an annual event within the MDS initiative. Thank you to the MDS initiative for providing financial support, to Professors Laura Macdonald and James Milner for chairing panels, to the MDS administrator Tammy Tracey for logistical support, and to all the students who participated in various ways.