Migration, Logistics and Unequal Citizens in Contemporary Global Context

This CHCI-Mellon Global Humanities Institute (GHI) on “Migration, Logistics and Unequal Citizens in Contemporary Global Context” is formed by five universities: National Chiao Tung University (Taiwan), Western Sydney University (Australia), Mahidol University (Thailand), University of Malaya (Malaysia), and Polish Academy of Sciences (Poland). (see details)

“Coast Guard continues to discourage illegal migration attempts to the United States” by Coast Guard News is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0



Rapidly increasing international migrations have radically changed the outlook of contemporary 21st-century societies, producing cases of massive displaced and precarious lives, and bring various impacts upon local communities. These emerging phenomena have attracted critical scholarship both in the humanities and social sciences in recent years.

The issues of migration and unequal citizens highlight the logistical continuum of biopolitics and governmentality from the colonial to the post-colonial state, from the Cold War Era to the post-Cold War global capitalism, as well as the operation of geopolitical and geo-economic apparatus of zoning politics. Critical logistics can orient the inquiry by emphasizing how the government of populations reaches beyond statistical measure to make new connections between life and work, technology and mobility, and politics and economy in and beyond any region. Logistics organizes the movement of people and goods and asserts its logic across the entire circuit of production, distribution, and consumption. Logistics has also remade the domain of global space and territory, through the operation of zoning politics, such as corridors, digital networks, extraction enclaves, financial districts, and other areas of transfer and exchange. Examining the nexus of migration and logistics offers ways of rethinking the politics of human mobility and the question of unequal citizens that not only reach beyond the logic of integration and identity but also question the standard analysis of post-war area studies.

This GHI will form a platform for interdisciplinary collaboration for people studying or working on issues related to migration, logistics, and unequal citizens in the global context.  Activities in the institute include seminars, participant presentations, workshops, group discussions, film and performance viewings, and site visits. We will create occasions for sharing knowledge and experiences among participants, migrants, activists, NGOs/CBOs, and other stakeholders.


Our GHI will focus on the following three interrelated themes:

  1. Conditions of Migration and Precarious Lives
  2. Logistics, Geo-economics, Zoning Politics, and Local Infrastructure Initiatives
  3. Theoretical Issues Concerning the Questions of Unequal Citizens


The summer institute will take place from 1st to 10th June 2020 at the International Center for Cultural Studies, NCTU, in Hsinchu, Taiwan.

The photos were licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 

We invite applications from advanced Ph.D. students or Ph.D. candidates who are in the final stages of writing and early career researchers who received their Ph.D. after September 2015. We accept applicants from the interdisciplinary humanities and social science studies, including but not limited to literature, history, philosophy, culture studies, gender studies, film and documentary studies, audio-visual arts, performing arts, law, anthropology, sociology, journalism, social media, digital platform, and other forms of practitioners. Participants are encouraged to conduct various types of innovative knowledge production to explore the issues through academic papers, artistic works, and digital approaches.

The working language for the summer institute and all activities will be mainly English; when needed, simultaneous interpretation will be provided.

Through the summer institute, we are hoping to inaugurate the network or the Consortium for the Transnational Joint Research Center for Migration, Logistics, and Cultural Intervention (tentative title) to continue to initiate the relevant research issues, the project socially engaged and work with one another after the summer institute has ended.


Applicants should submit a CV (two pages), a 500-word statement explaining how their project addresses on the summer institute’s three interrelated themes.

Applicants who have not yet obtained their Ph.D. degree should include a letter of reference from the Ph.D. thesis adviser supporting and specifying applicants’ research capacities and the current stages of the doctoral program.

Please note that applicants must be currently affiliated with a CHCI member-organization or a university hosting a CHCI member-organization. The conveners of this GHI will select up to twenty participants for the summer institute in NCTU, Taiwan. Each institution will nominate two participants to attend the summer institute. In addition to this, there are up to ten places open to advanced Ph.D. students and early career researchers in any member CHCI institutions (see CHCI directory.  For those who are not affiliated with a CHCI member, but their institution is willing to join, please contact CHCI).

Participant’s travel, accommodation, and main meals shall be covered for the residency due to the following terms and conditions:

— The selected applicant shall submit their developing projects proposals for presentation, discussion, and enhancement at the institute on the designated date (TBA). The submission shall be pre-circulated to faculty and fellow participants before the summer institute.

— The costs of the airfare or the ground transportation for arriving and leaving the summer institute must be booked and paid for by each participant and will be reimbursed (up to an agreed limit) upon completion of the residency. If you do not have access to funds that will allow this arrangement, we can arrange alternative methods for booking travel.

— Participants are obliged to attend lectures, panels, seminars, workshops and field trips organized by the summer institute, and shall finish and submit all the assignments during the summer institute. The commitment of fully participating the summer institute is strictly required.

The link to the application form is here, and please follow the requirements and send the application materials to: The deadline for applications is 31st October 2019. We will notify all applicants of the outcome of their applications in early December 2019.

For further information, please see 2020 CHCI-GHI ” Migration, Logistics and Unequal Citizens in Contemporary Context ” website:, and also ICCS, NCTU official website: