World Indian Diaspora Conference 2020

National Council of Indian Culture (NCIC) In association with Indentured Labour Route Project (Trinidad Chapter)

& Department of History, University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine


Celebration of the Formal Abolition of Indian Indentureship (1920) 28-38 Narsaloo Ramaya Marg Road Chaguanas Trinidad and Tobago



The National Council of Indian Culture (Trinidad and Tobago) in collaboration with UNESCO Indentured Labour Route Project and the Department of History, UWI, St. Augustine invite you to submit papers for a conference in commemoration of the formal abolition of the Indian Indentureship system (1920), to be held in Trinidad, from May 29 to June 01, 2020. BACKGROUND In 1917, the Viceroy of India, announced that the further recruitment and transportation of Indian labourers under the indentureship was prohibited and no more labourers would be taken to the various colonies to work as contracted labourers. A few years later, on January 01, 1920 all contractual obligations of all labourers were terminated and the Indian indentureship system was abolished in Jamaica, Trinidad, British Guiana (Guyana) and Fiji. This conference examines movements and trends in the post-indentureship period. When indentureship ended those Indian labourers who chose to stay in the countries where they were indentured, were then compelled to find ways to establish themselves in the society as non-contract labourers. To some extent they were forced to adopt these societies as their homes. There were left to find educational opportunities for themselves and to establish political alliances. They engaged in economic competition with other ethnic groups in the society and underwent a process of sociocultural rejuvenation all in the interest of self-preservation. They made these countries their homes and they contributed in all aspects, to their development. This conference focuses on the economic, sociocultural and political contribution and development in post-indentured societies.

The objectives of the conference are:

 To present opportunities for diasporic researchers and scholars to engage in global dialogue.  To advance the achievement of a progressive Indian diasporic world community through collaboration and dialogue on various issues through the exchange of ideas, concerns, solutions, problems, person-to-person contacts and professional relationships.  To provide a forum for constructive international dialogue among diasporic scholars/researchers.  To provide opportunities for scholars and researchers to interact and share major concerns with each other while discussing matters relating to their respective communities.  To encourage inquiry by diasporic scholars, researchers and others into the challenges and practical possibilities for the Indian Diaspora in charting and sharing a common future.  To focus new research on the post-indentureship/ post-20th century period as well as on contemporary trends. Topics The topics of the conference theme and areas of discussions listed are not conclusive. Additional ideas may be added as long as they relate to the theme of the conference. 1. Historical Perspectives - historical experiences that have shaped the Indian character since the end of indentureship. 2. The Emergence of multi-ethnic Nations and Societies – interaction with other ethnic groups, challenges and ethnic negotiations. 3. Emergence and Consolidation of Identities – multiple identities, ethnic identities, crosscultural identities, contributions of gender, class, caste, religion, politics and race to the identity formation. 4. Labour in the Indian Diaspora. 5. Gender Issues – emergence of gendered identities, changes in gender roles, gender inequalities. 6. Diasporic Youths – changing identities, shifting trends and roles, inter-generational interaction. 7. Diasporic Heritage, Culture and Archives – literature, film, art, media, etc. 8. Technology and Entrepreneurship – global linkages, economic dominance/consolidation, Diasporic transfers. 9. Future Trends – projections/ future developments in political, economic, socio-cultural areas, identity formation, global networks. 10. Ecology and the Environment. 11. Diasporic Biographies and Publications. 12. Sports, Performative and Visual Arts – craft, pottery, sound, music, dance, photography, festivals and ritual. 13. Politics in the Indian Diaspora. 3 The conference will be in English. Presentations will be 20 minutes (maximum) and panels will comprise up to four presentatio

Time and Place:

Date:   Friday, May 29, 2020
Venue:   Department of History, University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine
Address:   Department of History, University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine
City/Twon:   St. Augustine
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