Inaugural Conference of the Interdisciplinary Research Group “E Pluribus Unum? — Ethnic Identities in Processes of Transnational Integration in the Americas”, October 8 - 11, 2008, Center for Interdisciplinary Research, Bielefeld University
The age of globalization has spawned a renewed focus on political and cultural negotiations in the field of identity politics. This development manifests itself throughout the American hemisphere and demonstrates the need for a comprehensive and interdisciplinary model of analysis that incorporates the complexity of identity constructions in the context of transnational integration.
The Inter-American Research Group at the Bielefeld Center for Interdisciplinary Research is seeking submissions for its Inaugural Conference, which will take place at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research of Bielefeld University, Germany, from October 8-11, 2008. In the context of transnational integration in the Americas, the conference aims to contribute to an understanding of key factors in the field of identity politics, of the changing semantics of ethnicity, as well as of the cultural practices of identity construction.
How are identity-shaping strategies and discourses translated into everyday practices and how do social elites, political institutions, businesses, the media, and agents of civil society (public intellectuals, filmmakers, writers, artists, educators, etc.) mediate between local, national, and transnational horizons of interaction?
In order to elucidate – in the context of inter-American transnationalism – the role of ethnicity in the field of identity politics, the conference will focus on the following three areas:
1. Conceptualizing the Field of Identity Politics
- Constellations of social and cultural agents in ethnic negotiations and conflicts
- Articulations of identity discourses; the positioning of self and non-self
- Processes of translation between discourses and cultural practices
-Narrations and performances of ethnic identities
2. Transnationalism and Ethnic Identity
- Migration, ethnic diasporas, and translocal communities
- Emergence of new ethnicities
- De- and re-territorializations and the horizons of interaction of ethnic agents
- Ethnic representations in transnational media
3. Ethnicity in/and Conflict
- The use and misuse of ethnicity as a resource (or: the expediency of ethnicity)
- Ethnic communities, neo-tribalization, and inter-ethnic competition
- Postcolonial backgrounds of inter-ethnic conflicts
- Intersections of ethnic, class, gender, religious, regional, and/or national identities
One-page proposals for 30-minute papers (in English or in Spanish) should be e-mailed by April 30, 2008 to: Trixi.Valentin@uni-bielefeld.de.
Conference participants may apply for partial funding of accommodation costs and travel expenses.
Organizers: JunProf. Dr. Sebastian Thies (Latin American Studies and Media Studies, Bielefeld University), Dr. Olaf Kaltmeier (Sociology, Bielefeld University), Prof. Dr. Josef Raab (American Studies, University of Duisburg-Essen)
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