Transnational Communities Programme

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A two-day workshop to be held at the
Belle van Zuylen Instituut,
University of Amsterdam
31 May - 1 June 2002

The impact of globalisation on capital, consumerism, employment, culture and
politics has been, and continues to be, the focus of lively debate, now fuelled by the potential
of the world wide web to facilitate the spread of ideas, as well as goods, and the easy access
to travel. At the same time, easier communications have facilitated and encouraged
informal, personal but regular links between and across national borders. One of the most
notable features of these situations has been the emergence of transnational families.
Although there is now a developing literature on transnationalism, there is surprisingly little
published work on the shape, interactions and dynamics of transnational families, and even
less on the gendered implications of transnationalism on families. There is, also, very little
comparative work either geographically or historically which enables continuities and
differences to be drawn between the impact on families, and on the men and women within

This workshop, a joint initiative between Professor Chamberlain of Oxford Brookes
University and Professor Leydesdorff, Director of the Belle van Zuylen Instituut, University
of Amsterdam, brings together an interdisciplinary group of scholars to explore and develop
the potential of oral history/life story methods in understanding the nature and meaning of
transnational families, the nature and role of memory in such a context, the role of gender in
the construction and reconstruction of transnational families, and the narratives they use to
explain and endorse them.

Please contact: Mary Chamberlain, School of Humanities, Oxford Brookes University.


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