Conference at the University of Winnipeg
August 26 - 29, 2004
The Chair in German-Canadian Studies at the University of Winnipeg invites proposals for an international conference on the settlement processes of Germans in Canada.
What happens when people come to a country and stay there temporarily or permanently? Both in Europe and in North America, the attempts by scholars and society at large to describe and explain such immigration processes have generated a host of theories and models that are linked to key concepts such as assimilation, integration, acculturation, incorporation, adaptation, and appropriation. What used to be seen in an unproblematic way as settlement processes are now often referred to as transnational social practices and diasporic experiences.
This international conference will use the case of German migrants in Canada to explore these issues. “Germans” will be understood here as men and women who described themselves as German or were described so by others. In the last century, much groundwork has been laid in researching the contributions of Germans to building Canada as a nation. In the last decade, the question of “a German identity” has received critical attention; so have Germans’ interethnic relations during the Depression and Second World War and the large immigration of the 1950s. Yet, we still know relatively little about the acculturation processes for much of the 19th and 20th century.
How were German immigrants shaped by Canadian society and how in turn did they shape this society? Taking up Dirk Hoerder’s call to see immigrants not just as immigrants but as people who continuously re-create their lives and in the process “create societies”, we welcome presentations that investigate these acculturation processes from different disciplinary perspectives and with a focus on the continuities and changes over time. We especially encourage approaches that compare different immigrant or ethnic groups as well as comparisons over time or across nations, regions and locales. Topics to be explored may include but are not restricted to:
Integration, non-integration, and exclusion practices;
Integration as a process of nation-building and modernization;
The role of the state;
Society’s responses and the impact of immigrants on society;
Class and economy;
Rural and urban experiences;
Old and New migrations (e.g. before and after WWI, before and after WWII);
Generational changes and continuities over time;
Networks and intermediary institutions (churches, trade unions, boarding houses, etc.);
International comparisons (e.g. Germans in Canada and the Americas, Australasia, Eastern Europe);
Cross-cultural comparisons (e.g. Germans and other immigrant/ethnic groups);
Transnational practices and cultural transfer.
Proposals should include a short (max. 500 words) abstract in English and a brief curriculum vitae. Papers of 15-20 pages will be distributed before the conference and abbreviated discussions presented at the conference (papers are to be in English). Deadline for the papers is 1 July 2004.
Funding is sought both for assisting participants in their travel expenses and to publish the papers. For general information about the University of Winnipeg or the Chair in German Canadian Studies, please consult our website.
Please send proposals by February 28, 2004 to:
Chair in German-Canadian Studies
University of Winnipeg
515 Portage Avenue
Canada R3B 2E9
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