Diasporic and Migrant Identities: Social, Cultural, Political, Religious and Spiritual Aspects

International Conference "Diasporic and Migrant Identities: Social, Cultural, Political, Religious and Spiritual Aspects"

Sarajevo, 23rd and 24th April 2015

Economic, political and forced migration has been present for quite some time in the reality of Balkan Muslims. Wherever they went, they carried the experience of their lives lived at the crossroad of different worlds. Ever since 1960`s, the economic and political migration of Bosniaks has been directed towards Western countries, especially the European ones. Even more so after the signing of framework agreements allowing Yugoslav workers to find temporary jobs in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and Scandinavian countries, but also North America and Australia. During 1990`s the horrors of war in B&H resulted in forced migrations of Bosnian and Herzegovinian population. So far the focus has been more on economic and political dimensions of migrant experience and life, and less so on the social, cultural and religious dimensions. According to Vertovec (2008), there are three dimensions defining religious and cultural determinants of migrants: 1. understanding religious identity/background, 2. existence and relevance of communal organizations/clubs/groups and 3. persistence of relationships with the homeland. When it comes to Balkan Muslims, discussions about “European Islam” are important in this regards as well as their Islamic tradition, integration, contribution and challenges they face, especially in relation to second and third generations. Also, issues of preservation, understanding or transformation of their ethnic and religious identity are important for wider understanding of the conditions in which they live today.

Therefore we would like to open up the floor for dialogue about diasporic and migrant identities and also establish a network of scholars and researchers working on these issues. We are hoping to offer an opportunity for exchange and discussion of ideas, theoretical and empirical findings, as well as methodological approaches focusing on diasporic communities of Bosniaks, Balkan Muslims, but also other communities whose work and experience could be compared to them. Therefore we invite researchers, academic staff, professors, but also post-graduates, PhD candidates, activists and civil society representatives to submit their contributions for this conference. We welcome contributions covering segments of the topics listed in the document bellow.

Key note speakers:

Prof. dr. Safet Bandžović, Institute for History, University of Sarajevo

Prof. dr. Xavier Bougarel, L'Ecole des haute études en sciences sociales - EHESS (School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences), Paris

Prof. dr. Samuel Behloul (tbc), Director, Commission of the Swiss Bishops Conference for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, Fribourg

The conference will host a workshop on “The methodology of Migration Research” (3 hrs) led by dr. Selma Porobić, director of the Centre for Refugee and IDP Studies (CESI) of the Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Sarajevo.

Selected papers will be published in a peer-reviewed conference proceedings. Official languages of the conference are Bosnian and English. Simultaneous interpretation will be available during the whole conference. There is no conference fee. Food and working materials will be provided for all participants. Additionally accommodation will be provided for speakers.

During the conference, there will be an exhibition space where the conference participants can present their work, activity or research in the form of flyers, brochures, posters, presentations, etc.

You can apply for participation at the conference (with all accompanying activities) at the following link: „Application for conference participation“  

Please find a more detailed call for submission of papers  at: http://www.iitb.ba/content/call-for-submission-of-papers-for-the-international-conference/297




Time and Place:

Date:   Thursday, Apr 23, 2015
Venue:   The Institute for Islamic Tradition of Bosniaks
Address:   The Institute for Islamic Tradition of Bosniaks
City/Twon:   Bosniaks
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