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Transnational Communities Programme

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Call for papers

Virtual Diasporas

A workshop within the section for migration studies at the biannual conference of the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur V=F6lkerkunde (DGV Tagung), October 1999, Heidelberg

Organization/Chair: Prof. Dr. Waltraud Kokot,
Institut fur Ethnologie, Universitat Hamburg
Dr. Andreas Ackermann,
Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut,
Wissenschaftszentrum Nordrhein-Westfalen, Essen

Current debates on globalization, transnationalism, cultural hybridity and diasporas imply a wide range of theoretical and methodologicalchallenges for anthropology. This workshop will focus specially on the analysis of uses and meanings of new forms of communication, as theinternet and audiovisual media, in the construction and maintenance of diasporic identities. Contributions based on current field research indifferent types of diasporas are explicity encouraged. A wide range of questions may be addressed within this framework:

Which groups within a given diaspora can be identified as making use of the `new media'?

What types of audiences are being addressed?

What types of content (symbolic and otherwise) are being transported by those media? Which, if any, is the relationship between content and form?

Can the use of new media be linked to changes of power structures whithin a given community (i.e. the rise of new elites)?

Which methodological problems (and solutions) may arise from the investigation of new media and the internet?

What are the implications of social links whithin `virtual space` for the meaning of locality and the definition of diaspora?

In order to facilitate communication and discussion among participants, all papers will be circulated before the beginning of the workshop. Only the main theses will be presented at the meeting, which will focus on the dicussion of theoretical and methodological issues.

Abstracts (not exceeding one page) should be sent to either of the organizers until June 15, 1999, the final papers should be handed in by August 25 and will be circulated in September. This workshop is being organised in collaboration with the Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut am Wissenschaftszentrum Nordrhein-Westfalen and is thematically and organizationally connected to the planned conference on Identity, Locality and Diaspora at Hamburg University, 11th to 13th February 2000.

Please address questions, abstracts or articles by E-mail or surface mail to:

Prof. Dr. Waltraud Kokot
Institut fur Ethnologie
Universitat Hamburg
Rothenbaumchaussee 64 a
20148 Hamburg
Tel: 040 42838 5741
Fax: 040 42838 6288



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