Immigrant legacies: The little things in the suitcase

What: Our next issue, on the theme of ‘Immigrant legacies: The little things in the suitcase’, to be published in August 2020

When a person moves, along with them comes a particular understanding of what ‘home’ means and the objects, crafts and cultural expressions that it entails. In the absence of a wider community that shares these traditions, some of them acquire a new relevance and become a strong symbol of identity for immigrants, their families, and their local diasporas. From cooking to singing nursery rhymes to celebrating rites of passage, ‘transplanted’ traditions are the crystallisation of a bond that stretches not only back in time, but also far in space. It can as well convey the aspiration of one day returning to the place left behind.


Over the years, these elements may become a cherished legacy, passed down across generations; or they may be a source of conflict between parents and children, between locals and immigrants, and between those who migrated and those who stayed behind. In some cases, domestic traditions and family belongings kept by immigrants become a sort of time capsule, as the cultural universe they were originally linked to may no longer exist. In contexts like refugee camps, the sense of uprootedness and dehumanisation intensifies with the deprivation of cultural heritage, such as when the scientific aspects of nutrition come at the expense of culinary traditions. Very often, immigrant traditions adapt to their new situations and incorporate other forms of collective knowledge from their surroundings, creating new hybrid cultural expressions – such as family recipes updated with the available ingredients, folk tales retold in different languages, and new ways to express devotion to patron saints. While the appropriation of minority cultural expressions by the mainstream can be problematic, human mobility is at the origin of many domestic staples which today exist far away from the places they first appeared – as the history of börek bread exemplifies.


For our next issue, Routed Magazine welcomes contributions that:


  • explore the ‘little things’ that define the cultural legacies passed down by immigrants and their communities, as well as the dynamics of transfer, rejection, and hybridisation;

  • follow the journey of a particular craft or tradition throughout history;

  • share the stories of recipes, tales, songs, knitting patterns, rituals… brought by family members across borders; as well as new cultural traditions emerged from the history of those journeys;


We are particularly interested in publishing work that lifts up the voices of people on the move and exploring (im)mobility in its many varied forms. We are also keen on receiving pieces that analyse current news about migration and (im)mobility, or reflect on cultural production related to these topics.


Articles should address a broad audience, made of experts and non-experts, and should be originally written in English or Spanish.

When: The deadline for proposals is 26th June.

How: If you are interested in proposing a submission for this issue, please send us a short abstract no longer than 250 words via email to:

Article guidelines:

  1. The length of the piece should be between 700 and 1000 words.

  2. The article should consistently use British spelling and grammar, if you’re writing in English.

  3. The simpler the language the better. Try to briefly explain or add links to any concepts, organisations, policies… introduced in the article.

  4. Concepts and cited works/legislation/articles should be inserted in the article as hyperlinks.

  5. All acronyms should be specified in parentheses.

Some notes on the publication process:

  1. Once you send us your proposal, we will get back to you after the deadline for all submissions (26th June).

  2. First drafts are due on 18th July, for publication on 15th August. After you send us your first draft, your editor will get back to you with their comments, which you will review before publication.
  3. The article will be translated and promoted on social media.
  4. We understand this topic may be highly sensitive. If any writer wishes to remain anonymous, we commit to protecting their identity.

  5. Please be aware that any opinions you express in your article will be yours alone and not reflect Routed's general stance.

 2018-2021, Routed Magazine   |   Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0   |   Privacy policy