1st Global Conference
Diasporas: Exploring Critical Issues
Saturday 5th July - Monday 7th July 2008
Mansfield College, Oxford
Call for Papers
This inter- and multi-disciplinary project seeks to explore the contemporary experience of Diasporas – communities who conceive of themselves as a national, ethnic, linguistic or other form of cultural and political construction of collective membership living outside of their ‘home lands.’ In particular, key issues to be addressed include: what are the defining characteristics of Diasporas and what distinguishes one from the other? What role does ‘home’ and ‘host’ cultures play in developing relationships between communities in a global environment? How new is the concept of Diasporas; does it capture new global realities or designate old phenomena in a new way?
The project will also assess the larger context of major world transformations, for example, new forms of migration and the massive movements of people across the globe, as well as the impact and contribution of globalisation on tensions, conflicts and the sense of acceptance, rootedness and membership. Looking to encourage innovative trans-disciplinary dialogues, we warmly welcome papers from all disciplines, professions and vocations which struggle to understand what it means for people today to have diasporic experiences and a multiplicity of social, political and cultural memberships.
In particular papers, workshops, presentations and pre-formed panels are invited on any of the following themes:
1. Defining and Grasping the Concept of Diasporas
* What are the criteria, processes and key elements that define a Diaspora?
* Identifying the role of - culture and politics; home and host; space and time; centre and periphery; numbers and collective imagination; class, opportunities, money and new communication technologies
* Are all migratory communities Diasporas? What are the significant differences between being a migrant and a member of a diasporic community?
* Has the concept of ‘Diaspora’ evolved and developed? What have been the latest developments?
* What is shared among Diasporas? What is not shared among the Diasporas? Who has access to diasporic membership in home and host contexts?
2. Migration, Settlement and Identity
* What does it mean, today, to belong to a nation, to an ethnic, religious or linguistic group, to a culture and to settle in a place that one does not call home?
* New migratory flows and massive movements from peripheral to central countries and their impact on the formation of Diasporas and the emergence of multiple senses of identity
* Communities on the move, uprootedness and identity. How do identities get preserved?
* Are Diasporas an indication of the possibility of post-national realities or a different way of affirming the place of the nation in our sense of identity?
* How do Diasporas connect to social movements, new rebellion and alternative global politics
3. Culture, Belonging and Collective Imaginations
* Recent changes in geographical movements, space, home-host conceptions
* The impact and implication of communication technologies on identity formations and the sense of belonging
* Globalisation and the claims of Diasporas. What are the implications for traditions, language, literature, arts, cinema, television and other forms of representation and cultural production?
* New forms of global exclusion. Who can claim belonging to a Diaspora?
* Sustaining belonging: home, homeland, roots and rootedness, feelings of connectedness or alienation, nostalgia and the need for returning home
* Identity and belonging as destiny and as choice
4. Institutions and Diasporas
* Institutions that allow, maintain and reproduce Diasporas. Structures and forces which work against their formation?
* Economic disparities, institutional injustices and the making of diasporic realities. Tensions, contradictions and conflicts - political, economic and cultural forms of citizenship and their place in the Diasporas imagination and organization
* The cultural and political context of host countries: acceptance vs xenophobia, fear and ignorance vs openness and knowledge
* Diasporas in the making of social and public policy in host and home countries: remittances and economic dependencies, professions and commodity exchanges, social and cultural interlacing, policies of mutual recognition
Papers will be considered on any related theme. 300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 1st February 2008. If your paper is accepted for presentation at the conference, an 8 page draft paper should be submitted by Friday 6th June 2008.
300 word abstracts should be submitted to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats, following this order:
author(s), affiliation, email address, title of abstract, body of abstract
We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.
Joint Organising Chairs
Dr. S. Ram Vemuri
School of Law and Business
Faculty of Law, Business and Arts
Charles Darwin University
Darwin, NT 0909, Australia
Dr Rob Fisher
Network Founder and Network Leader
Priory House, Freeland, Oxfordshire OX29 8HR
The conference is part of the ‘Transformations’ research projects, which in turn belong to the ‘Critical Issues ’ programmes of ID.Net. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and challenging. All papers accepted for and presented at this conference are eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers will be developed for publication in a themed hard copy volume.
For further details about the project please visit:
For further details about the conference please visit:
Dr Rob Fisher
Priory House, Wroslyn road, Freeland, Oxfordshire. OX29 8HR
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