The Italian American Studies Association (IASA) invites proposals for participation in its 3rd International Symposium in Italy: Italian Diaspora(s): The Manifestations and Dynamics of Cultural Change
The dispersion of communities of people physically displaced from their perceived ‘homeland’ has been a defining feature of the human experience. Commonly referred to as Diasporas, these groups have travelled to other lands for reasons including to escape persecution, seek a better life, and exploit economic opportunities. Some have defined Diaspora in terms of what it is not – not from “here,” not “at home,” not “rooted.” Theorization on cultural exchange has moved from Marie Louise Pratt’s “contact zone” (1992), mainly understood spatially, to Homi Bhabha’s “third space” (1994) where the meeting between two cultures takes place. More recently, Doreen Massey (2005) conceives spaces as the site of a continuously developing intersection of different trajectories which is “open, multiple and relational”.
This symposium aims to consider how members of displaced groups relate to identity markers such as race, ethnicity, nationality, language, religion, and other socio-cultural categories, having regard to the impact of globalization, connectivity, and mobility. If the language of difference, binary categories of here/there, and other features of customary understandings of diaspora are no longer appropriate, then scholars need new approaches for conceptualizing, theorizing, representing, and interacting with Diasporas.
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