International Seminar on Homestay Accommodation for Refugees

14-16 October 2024 | SPGI Department (via del Santo 28, Padova)


Organized by SPGI Department and URBES Observatory / CISR
Organising Committee: Benedetta Accordi, Matteo Bassoli, Giorgia Nesti
Scientific Committee: Matteo Bassoli, Clément Luccioni
Funding Institutions: ISRF


Conference Overview
The inaugural International Seminar on Homestay Accommodation for Refugees aims to convene scholars, practitioners, and policymakers to advance the understanding of refugee homestay initiatives. The literature on refugee homestay is already diverse and rich (Bassoli and Luccioni 2023). Researchers have provided knowledge on homestay accommodation focusing on three dimensions: First, hospitality as an inter-individual relationship within the domestic sphere (BABELS 2019); second, as an object of collective action (Gerbier-Aublanc 2019; Keskinkılıç 2018); and, third, the (non-) contentious dimension of homestay accommodation (Merikoski 2021; Nacci and Pannacciulli 2019). However, we identified at least three limitations. First, scholars working on homestay initiatives rarely problematize power relationships between hosts and guests (GhebremariamTesfau 2020; Masson Diez 2020), failing to explore the intersections of class, race, gender, age, language, religion, and legal status to go beyond the intrinsic asymmetry of hospitality. Second, the existing literature on homestay is highly unbalanced, with most studies focusing on hosts or activists (Ollitrault 2018; Gunaratnam 2021). More research on the discourses, experiences, and life trajectories of refugees is necessary, to better understand the outcomes of homestay, especially on identities residential trajectories. Third, homestay initiatives present very diverse political, organizational, and material features (Luccioni 2022) that have a strong impact upon the lives of refugees (Ran and Join-Lambert 2019), but the processes that produce this diversity have not yet been addressed. Comparisons between different initiatives and localities could highlight the imbrication of homestay initiatives into political contexts. In other words, crossing different case studies could be a way of questioning how individual- and collective decisions interact with state regulations or local networks in shaping and conditioning hospitality as well as categories and figures of refugees.

Key Themes

a. Power Dynamics in Homestay Initiatives:

  • Exploration of power relationships between hosts and guests;
  • Intersectionality of class, race, gender, age, language, religion, and legal status.

b. Refugee Experiences and Outcomes:

  • Focus on refugees' discourses, experiences, and life trajectories;
  • Impact of homestay on identities and residential trajectories.

c. Diversity and Comparisons of Homestay Programs:

  • Political, organizational, and material features of homestay initiatives;
  • Comparative analyses across different localities and case studies.



Registration available here.


Contact Information
For more details, please contact the organizing committee at matteo.bassoli@unipd.it