This special issue of Popular Communication: The International Journal of Media and Culture features digital migration research as first presented during the Connected Migrants Academy Colloquium and Masterclasses that took place December 14–16, 2016, at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Dr Koen Leurs and Prof. Sandra Ponzanesi organised the colloquium and they are guest editors for the special issue on connected migrants.
Taking a cue from Dana Diminescu’s seminal manifesto on “the connected migrant,” this special issue introduces the notions of encapsulation and cosmopolitanism to understand digital migration studies. The pieces here present a nonbinary, integrated notion of an increasingly digitally mediated cosmopolitanism that accommodates differences within but also recognizes Europe’s colonial legacy and the fraught postcolonial present.
Of special interest is an essay by the late Zygmunt Bauman, who argues that the messy boundaries of Europe require a renewed vision of cosmopolitan Europe, based on dialogue and aspirations, rather than on Eurocentrism and universal values. In the introductory article, we focus on three overarching discussions informing this special issue: (a) an appreciation of the so-called “refugee crisis” and the articulation of conflicting Europeanisms, (b) an understanding of the relationships between the concepts of cosmopolitanization and encapsulation, and (c) a recognition of the emergence of the interdisciplinary field of digital migration studies.