What are you looking for?

Leurs, Koen

Leurs, Koen

NIAS Individual Fellowship

Digital Migration Studies

Research Question

What is the impact of digital technologies on migration, and how does migration impact on digital technologies? In particular I will seek to explore 1) how digital migration includes some and excludes other mobile subjects; 2) how different scholarly disciplines address migration and the digital and 3) what methodological concerns and ethical questions emerge when studying mobility through the digital.

Project Description

During my NIAS fellowship stay, I will work on a monograph titled “Digital migration”. With digital migration studies I refer to an interdisciplinary research area emerging at the intersections of media, migration and technology studies. Digital migration addresses ontological implications of the growing digitization and datafication of human mobilities within countries and across borders. It is also concerned with epistemological, methodological and ethical questions emerging from digitally studying these mobilities. Ontology, epistemology, and ethics are inherently related as “migrants” come into being as a category through spatial, legal, symbolic and technological moves including crossing borders, work visas, refugee status determination and monitoring, surveillance and control. In the book I address digital migration from the following perspectives: histories, infrastructures; connectivities; identities and representation; human rights; health.

Selected Publications

1) Leurs, K. et al. (2020) Handbook of Media and Migration. London: Sage.

2) Leurs, K. & Smets, K. (2018). Five questions for digital migration studies. Social Media + Society, January-March 4(1): 1–16
open access download link:

3) Leurs, K. (2015). Digital Passages. Migrant Youth 2.0. Diaspora, Gender and Youth Cultural Intersections. Amsterdam University Press.


Personal page

What can we learn from migrants to cope with the current pandemic? Koen Leurs explores this in his Pop-Up Lecture