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Modern society seems unthinkable without the papers, such as identity cards, passports, driving licences, visas, etc., that govern our lives. The relevance of papers varies enormously for different people in different situations, but nowhere is their importance more clear than when one is migrating across borders or living as a migrant.

This interdisciplinary workshop will explore the history, production, use, meaning and value of such documents. It will particularly focus on the relationship between paper regimes and population mobility. The workshop will bring together researchers interested in these issues to exchange ideas and identify areas for further research. It will be organised as an open forum where a number of brief presentations are followed by open discussion.

Programme speakers and papers

*Draft discussion papers only: please contact the authors before citing.

Where the Tiger Does Not Roam: The Meaning and Use of Papers in North-West Zambian Borderlands

Oliver Bakewell (University of Oxford)

The Compulsory ID System in the Netherlands

Anita Bocker (Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, The Netherlands)

Historical and Comparative Contexts for the Study of Identity Documentation in Modern Europe

Jane Caplan (University of Oxford)

The Economic Value of a Passport

Valpy Fitzgerald (University of Oxford)

Unreadable Papers? Biometrics in Practice

Elspeth Guild (Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, The Netherlands)

Documents as Identification in England, 1200-2000

Eddy Higgs (University of Essex)

Ethical EU eJustice: elusive of illusionary

Juliet Lodge (University of Leeds)

Asian Papers: from Japanese Koseki to Thai Multicoloured ID Cards

Mika Toyota (National University of Singapore)

The Paper Market: ‘borrowing' and ‘renting’ of identity documents

Ellie Vasta (University of Oxford)