International Conference ITN CoHaB:

“Diasporic Constructions of Home and Belonging”

(September 22-24, 2013)

Our globalised world is shaped by international migration. Large numbers of individuals and often entire groups or even nations are on the move for a wide variety of reasons. This phenomenon creates massive challenges to nation states and civil societies, culturally, economically, and politically, but also creates opportunities and new perspectives in an unprecedented degree. The study of diaspora and migration has therefore evolved into a burgeoning field of research with an urgent practical relevance.

As Khachig Tölölyan argues in his essay “The Contemporary Discourse of Diaspora Studies,” the current focus in diaspora seems to be on the notion of dispersal rather than settlement. Stable concepts of home and belonging have, for a variety of reasons, become the exception rather than the rule. As a result, the traditional focus of diaspora studies needs to be widened by extending it to the diasporic meaning of home — a place generally associated with security and comfort — and the diasporic construction of belonging in our modern time.