Call for papers: Diaspore Italiane – Italy in Movement: Representations and Questions of Identity

“Representation and Questions of Identity,” the fifth edition of Diaspore Italiane—Italy in Movement, will be held in Genoa, Italy, the backdrop for discussions that explore ideas of building, claiming, maintaining, and articulating identity in ever-shifting global contexts.

Representational contexts show cultural identities in motion as they react, adapt, and develop in reciprocal contact in reaction to changing notions of the individual nation in the world today.

Transnational subjects navigate, evaluate, and negotiate different cultural options within varying degrees of structural constraints. In so doing, they emerge as the potentially rational agents of change. Concurrently, cultural identities emerge as historical constructs affected by contemporary acts and worldly constructs of the human imagination.

In these contexts, marked by rapid social and cultural change, migration museums are questioning their mission today vis-à-vis a plurality of subjects: from the protagonists of past and contemporary migration, from Italian descendants abroad, from the younger generations for whom emigration is an opportunity/necessity, to the public as a whole, who on migration phenomena experience attitudes ranging from inclusion to xenophobia.

Some questions to pose include:

• How do ideas of identities in motion compare with traditional ways of understanding cultural identities as fixed essences, typically anchored to notions such as blood, the land, family, or divinity?
• What can be said about the creation of and challenges to generational concepts and constructions of identity?
• How do museums and other places for the preservation and manifestation of cultures in Italy and around the world tell the story of the migrant’s identity, his or her perception of the world, and the processes of inclusion and exclusion in the societies in which he or she lives?
• How have international migration museums (e.g. Cité de l’immigration, Hospedaria dos Imigrantes, Hotel de Inmigrantes) dealt with these matters? And what information can we glean from their actions for the migration museums in Italy, both existing and proposed?
• How might we reimagine documentation strategies with the further development of new technologies?
• What is the role of memory, both individual and collective, in the creation of notions of belonging?
• How do migration, diaspora, and colonial studies create, adapt, and challenge changing ideas of race, class, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity?
• How do people preserve and manifest such identities through the various cultural articulations via the written, the visual, the figurative arts, and material culture?
• How does language adapt to identities in motion regarding the host country vs. the country of origin?
• How does the promotion of root tourism facilitate strengthening the connection of the Italian diaspora with the cultural identity of the country of origin?
• How do institutions, associations, and stakeholders reflect on the year of root tourism and its prospects?

Submissions are now being accepted: the new deadline is 31 MAY 2024

Acceptances will be announced on 1 July.

Submissions must be done electronically and include the title and abstract (250 words) and a short biography (100 words).

Submit to:, with “Diaspore Italiane” in the subject line.

Individual papers: each presenter will have 20 minutes to deliver a talk, followed by 15 minutes of group discussion. Panel sessions: duration 60 minutes followed by 15 minutes discussion; may follow a discussion format or may have an allocated time for each panelist.

We invite abstracts for individual papers and panel sessions. In all, the program is limited to 30 regular sessions with an extra keynote and a plenary session. Hence, space may quickly fill.

Read the full call-for-paper here.

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