The Paris Centre for Migrant Writing and Expression has been working with academics, students, asylum seekers and refugees in Paris to investigate varied questions of mobility and displacement, translation, multilingualism, and cultural transfer for over five years.

Collaborating with different academic and cultural institutions in both Paris and London, and involving current undergraduates from several of Paris’ anglophone universities in the work, the centre’s research activities take many different forms. Alongside running regular ‘translation laboratories’ helping migrants to articulate their life stories with a wide variety of linguistic and literary resources, the centre has also been involved in projects looking at multilingualism in local schools, designing an exhibition of extracts of classic literary texts translated by refugees into a range of media, and in holding a number of conferences on subjects from ‘transnational writing’ in Paris to ideologies of home amidst displacement.

The notion of ‘migrant writing’ extends from expressions produced by persons in positions of transcience to the shifting linguistic forms that characterise modern day translation practice. The focus of the Centre’s research this notion is an integral part of the interests of many ULIP faculty, as well as engaging with the most interesting recent developments in Modern Language Studies.

Find out more about our research questions.


Read more about the centre’s work and activities, as well as reflections from our researchers, in our regular blog.

Home for Refugee Children

From 2017, the Paris Centre for Migrant Writing Expression will be embarking on a new project - Home for Refugee Children. Partnering with colleagues at Queen Mary University of London, London’s Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood, and the Geffrye Museum of the Home, to look at the different meanings of ‘home’ for child refugees (whether that be the materialities of homes lost and the practicalities of being displaced, homes in refugee camps, or temporary and institutional homes). Since 2008, nearly 200,000 unaccompanied minors have applied for asylum in Europe, including 96,000 in 2015 alone (Save the Children, 2016), meaning that ULIP’s position on the continent will offer valuable insight for this collaborative project. Read more about our launch conference, Calais is in Paris.

Seminars and Events

The work of the Centre includes regular seminars, conferences, and events.

The last year has seen our researchers create a temporary exhibition at London’s Senate House based on our regular translation laboratories for the Being Human festival of the humanities, programme an evening exploring the work of Hemingway and the tradition of expat writing in Paris, and co-organize a regular seminar series entitled Politics of Translation, Translation of Cultures.

For 2017-18 the Centre will be contributing to a new event series - Dis-placing Politics

Discover our upcoming events.

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