8th Global Meeting of the Diasporas Research Stream
A Culture, Traditions, Societies Project
Call for Participation 2016
Wednesday 6th July – Friday 8th July 2016
Mansfield College, Oxford
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.’ Diaspora is a concept which is far from being definitional. Despite problems and limitations in terminology, this notion may be defined with issues attached to it for a more complete understanding. Such a term which may have its roots in Greek, is used customarily to apply to a historical phenomenon that has now passed to a period that usually supposes that diasporans are those who are settled forever in a country other than the one in which they were born and thus this term loses its dimension of irreversibility and of exile.
In order to increase our understanding of diasporas and their impact on both the receiving countries and their respective homes left behind, key issues will be addressed related to diaspora cultural expression and interests. In addition, the conference will address the questions: How and why do diasporas continue to exist as a category generally and as individual diasporic communities? How do they evolve? What is the footprint or limit of diaspora? Is the global economy, media and policies sending different messages about diaspora to future generations?
Participants are encouraged to think of how their research on diaspora can be applied in multi-/inter-disciplinary, collaborative ways. To that end, proposals for presentations, papers, performances, workshops, and pre-formed panels are invited on any aspect of diasporas, which may include but are not limited to the following themes.
• What are the ‘limits’ of diaspora?
• What are the inter-generational issues that cause diasporas to evolve over time?
• How and why do diasporas redefine themselves?
• How are diasporic identities contested?
• What are the processes of social formation and reformation of diasporas in an age of increasing globalisation?
• What are the circumstances that give diasporas a window of opportunity to redefine their social position in both the place of origin and the current place of residence?
• How do we ‘problematise’ or critique diaspora?
• What is the current state of diaspora studies and what is the trajectory of its evolution?
• How does globalisation affect the ways in which we understand diaspora?
• In what ways are the realities of contemporary diasporas posing challenges to the critical language of the discipline?
• What’s next?
• How do members of diasporic communities who identify with subordinated forms of sexuality such as LGBTIQ identities negotiate hetero-normativity in their communities?
• As Jasbir K. Puar asks, “How could/should one ‘queer’ the diaspora(s) or ‘diasporicize’ the queer?”
• We welcome papers that address how LGBTIQ members negotiate sexuality and diasporic identities, and consider the implications for intersectional theories of diaspora.
Diaspora, Sex, and Gender
• To what extent can we speak of ‘gendered’ diasporas?
• How do differences between sexes produce different perspectives on what constitutes diasporic identity?
• Does this disparity result in the co-existence of competing diasporic identities or ‘imaginaries’ that are tied to sex and gender identity?
• Or, on the other hand, does diaspora offer opportunities for change or for alternate social performances of sex and gender to arise?
Visible / Invisible Diasporas
• How does the language of the visual arts as well as mass media shape or define diaspora?
• Those presenting on this topic and whose papers focus on cinema and other visual narratives/media are encouraged to show short excerpts or clips from their primary texts or to provide handouts rather than simply to describe the visual media. Long, descriptive summaries of film, for instance, are discouraged.
• What are the ways in which diasporas are made invisible? How do diasporas escape the attention of, or are actively made invisible by, the global media the collective institutional consciousness of such bodies as state governments and organisations such as the United Nations, etc.?
• Are these diasporas invisible because of their relatively small size or because they exist within other diasporas or in the shadow of other, larger visible diasporas? Is their invisibility the result of a lack of awareness or documentation? Ignorance and apathy? Are they forced into silence and invisibility due to the exigencies of power? Is their visibility actively repressed?
e-Diasporas and Technology
• Technology has changed the way we think about diaspora. The internet, YouTube, email, Skype, social media, etc. have produced what has become known as the virtual diaspora and has had a profound effect on the way that diasporic communities interact with ‘home/land’ and each other.
• When communication can take place in such an immediate way, distances are shrunk and the boundaries between ‘here’ and ‘there’ are problematised or made more porous if not actually erased. Such connectivity only intensifies the interstitiality or cross-border mobility of diasporans who are able to engage virtually in more than one social environment. In a discussion of so-called e-diasporas, questions of access, mobility, connectivity ultimately lead to questions of privilege.
• Who is able to connect and who is not?
• And how does technology and the connections it provides allow the diaspora to reshape ‘home’ from a distance and vice versa?
Diasporas and the City
• As centres of both centripetal and centrifugal cultural and social forces, the world’s cities have attracted huge numbers of migrating populations and have become home to a growing number of diasporic communities.
• Cities continue to act as staging grounds for emerging globalised cultures as they attract inter- and intra-national migrants
• Cities continue to play a key role as gathering points for displaced communities and are often represented as urban utopias or “metrotopias”, sites of opportunity as well as safe(r) havens for those fleeing discrimination and/or violence. However, one of the problems with painting too rosy a picture of the city as the metrotopia is that it can be as violent or indifferent as it is welcoming and accepting.
• How is the city itself transformed?
• We encourage submission of papers or presentations that consider the role of the city in diaspora studies.
• In the context of intensified globalization, multiple or serial displacements, and ongoing processes of cultural creolisation/hybridisation and multiculturalism, it has become increasingly untenable to speak of individual diasporas as discrete phenomena.
• In what ways do diasporas become entangled as they multiply, intersect, and evolve?
• What are the effects of these entanglements on individual diasporans? If, for instance, multiple communities (diasporic or otherwise) lay concurrent overlapping claims on a single individual as a result of these intersections, what are the results?
• What is at stake?
The Steering Group particularly welcomes the submission of pre-formed panel proposals. Proposals will also be considered on any related theme.
Call for Cross-Over Presentations
The Diasporas project will be meeting at the same time as a project on Visual Literacies as Visual Imageries. We welcome submissions which cross the divide between both project areas. If you would like to be considered for a cross project session, please mark your submission “Crossover Submission”.
What to Send
300 word abstracts, proposals and other forms of contribution should be submitted by Friday 29th January 2016.
All submissions be minimally double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Team and the Advisory Board. In practice our procedures usually entail that by the time a proposal is accepted, it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed.
You will be notified of the panel’s decision by Friday 12th February 2016.
If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 3rd June 2016.
Abstracts may be in Word, RTF or Notepad formats with the following information and in this order:
a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.
E-mails should be entitled: Diasporas Abstract Submission
Where to Send
Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs:
This event is part of a new emerging inclusive interdisciplinary research and publishing project which overlaps projects working in the areas of Cultures, Traditions and Societies. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting.
A number of eBooks and paperback publications have emerged from the work of the project. All papers accepted for and presented at the conference must be in English and will be eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers may be developed for publication in a themed hard copy volume(s). All publications from the conference will require editors, to be chosen from interested delegates from the conference.
Inter-Disciplinary.Net believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract for presentation. Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.