The Migration and Diaspora Studies initiative had its origins in a blue sky meeting on Globalization and Global Identities, one of the interdisciplinary themes of focus articulated in Defining Dreams: A Strategic Plan for Carleton University 2009. Hosted by the Office of the Vice-President, Research and International, on April 27, 2010, this meeting identified Migration and Diaspora Studies (including refugee and transnational studies) as an area of current strength and future growth for the University.

In response to the blue sky meeting, an ad hoc committee was formed to develop a plan to mobilize the community of researchers working in the area at Carleton. Towards that goal, the committee organized a series of meetings, including a day-long workshop on April 28, 2011, which attracted over 45 faculty and graduate student representatives from the Faculty of Public Affairs, the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and the Sprott School of Business. Later the same year, the initiative was supported by a small development grant under the Carleton University Research Excellence Fund.


To transform Carleton University into a national and international research leader in the rapidly evolving field of Migration and Diaspora Studies.

  • Mobilize the research community at the University
  • Catalyze interdisciplinary and cross-faculty research collaboration
  • Enhance the University’s teaching capacity in the area
  • Support related research centres and foster the creation of new research clusters
  • Enhance the University’s ability to attract external research funding
  • Enhance Carleton’s engagement with related research, policy, and practitioner communities


Since its conception, the Migration and Diaspora Studies initiative has been sponsored by Carleton University’s Office of the Vice-President, Research and International (OVPRI). The support provided by the OVPRI takes on many forms, including intellectual encouragement, facilitation of meetings, and developmental funding.

The initiative has also relied on the institutional and substantive support of Carleton University research centres active in the field such as the Centre for Transnational Cultural Analysis (Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences).

Centre for Transnational Cultural Analysis (CTCA): The purpose of this Carleton University Research Centre is to foster the development of transnational approaches to the study of culture. Despite the increasingly transnational contours of cultural interaction, transmission, and formation, as well as our growing awareness of the historical interconnectedness of cultures, a national model of cultural analysis remains entrenched in the humanities. Both research and teaching in the humanities are shaped by institutional divisions along national lines. The goal of the Centre is to create an institutional framework that supports research and teaching that transcends such boundaries. Since its creation in 2005, the CTCA has played an active role in organizing and hosting conferences and colloquia that explore transnational approaches to the study of culture, including the recent “Cultural Transfers” workshop series (with the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art and Culture).

Our initiative also has the institutional backing of such units as the Institute of European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, the Institute of African Studies, and the Max and Tessie Zelikovitz Centre for Jewish Studies.


The Migration and Diaspora Studies initiative is steered by a committee representing different disciplines and units under the Faculty of Public Affairs (FPA) and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS), including English, French, Political Science, Sociology, and Social Work, as well as the Centre for International Migration and Settlement Studies, the Centre for Transnational Cultural Analysis, and the Institute of European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies. The work of the steering committee is supported by a broader advisory group representing faculty from the FPA, FASS, and the Sprott School of Business.