|The Problem to be addressed: Migration proves to be one of the most fraught and contested terms of the era of globalization, a term with special significance for Europe. Europe has always been at the intersection of migration both in terms of European global territorial expansion, i.e. colonization and emigration, as well as subjugation to colonial powers and immigration movements.|
Europe is a territory historically crisscrossed by migrations, yet during the period of high nationalism of the 19th and 20th centuries, nation-states made a claim to act as self-contained units, peoples with particular relationships to proper territories. From this era migration appeared and continues to appear as a disruption of cultural cohesion. It brings essential divergent cultures into conflict with each other. It destabilizes economies, undermines polities, and dilutes cultures. Foreign and unassimilatable people take up residence next door. Rather than a carnival of cultures, migration brings clash.
Now, in what is often hailed as the post-national era, the free passage of Europeans across the expanse of Europe, serves as a foundational ideology of the European Union. The freedom for all its citizens to travel and reside anywhere in the territory of the EU is celebrated as one of its major accomplishments. Immigration, emigration, migration brings peoples into contact, transforming habits, shifting languages, and contributing to the dynamism of European cultures. Yet, this officially-celebrated European cultural diversity is not necessarily embraced by all European's equally.
Beginning from the point that Europe is an interzone, a space of transit, interaction, transformation, and vibrant diversity, the conference will seek to illuminate the impact of migration on European culture. Questions the conference will take up, will include: EU cultural policy, cultural essentialism, the culture of migration, hybridity and appropriation, post-coloniality, nationally and regionally specific conditions, Beur culture, Kanak Kultur, among others.
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