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In the interdisciplinary vocabulary of heritage and memory studies, the concept of diaspora continues to hold a pivotal role. This conference (Wednesday June 21 - Friday 23 June 2023) sets out to explore (self)representations of diasporic heritages and identities: how diasporic subjectivities and communities forge means of belonging and connection to nations, (im)material objects or space. Conceptualisations of diasporic heritage and identity can be expressed through a variety of narrative, mediatic, artistic and memorial strategies. This conference aims to provoke discussion and improve understanding of how these diasporic identities come into being, evolve and are performed through different heritage domains.

Rather than seeing diasporic heritages and identities as those with a nostalgic romantic longing for the past, the conference seeks to stratify the range of positive or negative emotions and memory narratives that can emerge in diasporic communities. What narrative choices do diasporic individuals and communities adopt to define and challenge essentialised conceptions of heritage, identity, homeland, home and home-making? What counts as heritage, and how do diverse diasporas respond to, represent and perform their identity through the ever-changing cultural and global contexts?

his conference also aims to explore discourses of diasporic heritage, which correspond to the plethora of media, museological, political, historical and journalistic narratives and literary texts that structure a public and common understanding of identity. How does this discourse interact with (post/de) colonial narratives, xenophobic and right-wing movements, migration, displacement, conflict and transnationalism? How might repressive and authoritarian regimes impact diasporic identity expression?

We encourage contributions from diverse historical and geographical contexts, and invite proposals for special events such as panels, screenings, performances, exhibitions, etc. Topics can include, but are not limited to:  

  • Diasporic Heritage and Identity as a ‘travelling concept’ 
  • Migration, Displacement, Exile and Return
  • Belonging, Translation, and language
  • (Post/de) Colonialism, Activism, Repression and Silencing  
  • New positionalities beyond victims and perpetrators
  • The Homeland: Home-Making and Un-Making 
  • Material and Immaterial Heritage: Institutional and Bottom-up Memory Sites
  • Postmemory and Intergenerational Memory
  • Violence, Conflict, Law and Transitional Justice
  • Host Societies, Citizenship and the Politics of Identity 
  • Cultural Afterlives of Diasporic Heritage

Applications can be submitted by March 31, 2023 to