Diasporas of the Pacific:
Multilateral, intergenerational and transnational contexts
22—25 April 2016, Fiji
Diasporas of the Pacific: Multilateral, intergenerational and transnational contexts is an interdisciplinary conference hosted by the University of Fiji (www.unifiji.ac.fj) in conjunction with the Institute of Interdisciplinary Inquiry (I.I.I. NZ: www.iiinz.org).
Diasporas of the Pacific refers both to indigenous departures (including disenfranchisement and diasporic dispersals from traditional homelands under colonialism and/or within modern nations) in or bordering the Pacific and to girmit-driven arrivals like those begun in the Victorian era. The conference takes an interdisciplinary approach and aims to explore the multilateral, intergenerational and transnational contexts of diaspora in the Pacific. Diasporas of the Pacific invites papers that give attention both to broader contextualisations and to focused accounts of the issues and experiences relevant to the topic of diaspora in relation to the Pacific region. From the disruptive effects of diaspora to the resilience and vitality of connection at the other end of a narrative that spans trauma, dispersal, and memories of homeland, Diasporas of the Pacific offers scope for reflection on experiences that can be contextualised in terms of world-wide relevance: the Pacific provides both a geographical location to which and from which diasporants have come and gone, it offers, for example, a space in which the descendents of the first diasporants can contemplate their community as one that extends beyond the national borders of places like Fiji, and an imaginary space in which Pacific islanders might reconfigure their communities and identities after colonialism.
It is not surprising that the ‘coconut wireless’ figures in local conversations and broader discourses on Pacific-based networks, for diaspora is not simply about movement—it involves family, culture, and connections. With such memories evoking possibilities for return in real and symbolic ways, representational engagements with diasporas of the Pacific, as well as those creative works that are figured elsewhere but which offer connection through shared ethnicities, will provide a strong foundation from which to begin our discussions. Diasporas of the Pacific embraces a range of representational forms and discursive contexts in the belief that interdisciplinary connections can establish productive diversities in terms of critical engagement similar to those developed by diasporants through active commitment to their local communities.
All papers are to be published in an eBook with an ISBN; a selection of papers will be developed for inclusion in a proposed themed hard copy book. The journal Cultural Dynamics is also open to receiving a proposal for a special issue on Pacific Diasporas drawn from papers given at this conference.
The themes and issues to be explored in the conference and its publications include, but are not limited to:
• Defining diaspora: exploring the breadth of approaches taken and the motivations driving determinations on what constitutes diaspora;
• Transnationality and diaspora; diasporic networks and communities evolving in transnational and local contexts;
• Ethnicity and cultural heritage in postmemory;
• Indigeneity and diaspora;
• National and international policies relevant to diaspora: responses to experiences of trauma, dispersal, and nostalgia in transnational and/or diasporic contexts;
• Postcolonialism and diaspora;
• Interdisciplinary approaches to the Pacific context;
• Cultural praxis in response to disenfranchisement, separation, social cohesion; memorialising diaspora—architectural and event-based responses; spatial justice and other responses to the social conditions potentially precipitating diaspora;
• Literature, journalism, the www and diaspora; the visual and plastic arts and diaspora; and other fields engaged in exploring representations of diasporas of the Pacific (Education, Political Science, Sociology, Geography, Philosophy, Architecture, etc.).
Submit abstracts of 300 words to: Victoria Reeve (VictoriaR@unifiji.ac.fj) and Dr Shona Hill (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 31 October 2015.
Abstracts should be compatible with .doc format, and contain the following information:
title and body of abstract
All abstract emails will be acknowledged. If you have not had a response within a week please re-send your abstract as it may not have reached us.
Thanks to cognitasia, jacket2 and amedzekorpost for these images.