First superdiversity conference to be held in city

By on 23/06/2014 in Cllr McKay, News

The University of Birmingham is hosting the first international conference entirely devoted to the concept of 'superdiversity'.

Leading experts from across the globe are gathering in the city this week for a series of lectures, workshops and roundtables on topics at the forefront of the superdiversity research agenda.

The conference has been organised by the University of Birmingham's Institute for Research into Superdiversity (IRiS), which was set up a year ago to advance knowledge and understanding in this emerging field.

Superdiversity is a term coined to describe the rapidly increasing range of nationalities, ethnicities, cultures, languages and faiths represented by migrant populations in our biggest cities.

Professor Jenny Phillimore, Professor of Migration and Diversity at the University of Birmingham and one of the conference organisers, said: “Birmingham is the perfect venue for this international conference because it is such a good example of superdiversity and hosts the UK’s only research centre in this topic.

“Census data shows that 42 per cent of people in Birmingham are from minority ethnic or migrant backgrounds, and the work being carried out by IRiS and others on superdiversity is helping us make sense of the challenges associated with the emergence of this new and complex migrant population.”

The IRiS International Conference 2014 will take place from 23-25 June at Birmingham Business School. Full details are available online at

Councillor James McKay, Cabinet Member for Social Cohesion, Equalities and Community Safety at Birmingham City Council, said: “Birmingham is a great example of superdiversity as 187 of the world's countries are represented in the city's population and cultures, so it is very apt that the world is coming here for the first international, interdisciplinary conference on superdiversity.

“As a result, Birmingham can benefit from cultural and linguistic diversity and use this to its advantage to become one of the world's most cosmopolitan cities.”


For more information contact Stuart Gillespie in the University of Birmingham Press Office on 0121 414 9041 or at

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