Representing Migration: The Legacy of Post-Imperial Migrations from World War I to the Cold War
International Conference at the Center for Advanced Studies, LMU Munich
Organized by Prof. Dr. Christoph K. Neumann (Chair of Turkish Studies, LMU), Prof. Dr. Isa Blumi (Stockholm University, CAS Visiting Fellow), and Prof. Dr. Martin Schulze Wessel (Chair of East European History, LMU)
29 and 30 January 2018
The routes of migration in the “long” twentieth century constitute passages through which not only people have changed their location, but also the material and immaterial goods which they have taken with them. Scholars from many disciplinary backgrounds have studied the symbols of migrants remembering their origins, which manifest themselves in objects, artifacts, songs, monuments, newspapers and magazines, letters and photographs, performative exclamations and orally transmitted memories. Such representations of migration can freeze positive memories of that which needs preservation or melancholic memories of an often-dramatic migration experience taking place in a distant world.
This is certainly the case for tens of millions of people from the Habsburg, Russian, and Ottoman Empires. With the variable waves of migration subjects of these empires generating a flurry of transformative experiences that have left their imprint well into the Cold War era, it is time to consider what can be salvaged from these events and analyzed in critical new ways.
In the hope of opening a new set of comparative and perhaps collaborative investigations into the long-term impact of the explosive migrations out of these three empires, we are organizing a two-day conference to facilitate discussion between advanced graduate students and established scholars. The aim of the gathering in Munich at the beginning of 2018 is to produce a framework in which new inquiries into the dynamics around migration within and beyond the late Habsburg, Ottoman, and Russian Empires are possible. With special focus on the traumas and transformations taking place from the 1870s until the early Cold War, we believe there is an important new, often trans-national perspective to be developed for the study of migration. Post-imperial experiences for millions of people make it necessary to take methodological paths that are trans-regional, comparative and consciously seeks to tie together the socio-economic, cultural, and political consequences of these experiences. In the hope of opening a new set of comparative and perhaps collaborative investigations into the long-term impact of the explosive migrations out of these three empires, we are calling for contributions that could push the confines of how the migratory legacy is currently understood. The time frame and geographic centering, as the disciplinary foundation, are open.
The ideal range of papers extends from the events leading to the collapse of these empires, to monitoring where exiles of these events end up and hopefully include a focus on how these diasporas ultimately shaped early Cold War societies. Contributions are especially sought from those who can locate the imprints of these migrations to regions well beyond the territorial confines of the three empires, perhaps even introducing new avenues of analysis that tie the migrants from these multi-national empires to the creation of diasporas in the Americas, Southeast Asia as well as throughout Eurasia and Mediterranean world.
Considering this, we are especially seeking contributions that treat these migratory experiences as a field of research that may be approached in a processual, interdisciplinary manner. Meanwhile, such migrations should be understood not so much through the construction of identities as distinctive of others, but rather through diverse forms of representation manifested as migrants are faced with dynamic conditions in exile. Urban settings and the use of urban space for the presentation and re-experiencing of migration are another focus we are particularly interested in. That being said, the time frame and geographic centering, as the disciplinary foundation, are open.
While resources are limited to cover the expenses of all participants, priority is given to advanced graduate students who wish to use this conference to explore ways to further expand their original projects to accommodate the themes of transnational migration proposed here. Draft papers shall ideally be distributed prior to the conference and will become part of an edited volume published in a peer reviewed academic press.
The conference will take place at the Center for Advanced Studies at LMU Munich and is part of the CAS research focus “Representing Migration”. http://www.en.cas.uni-muenchen.de/research_focus/migration/index.html
Please send your paper abstract of 300-350 words to firstname.lastname@example.org by September 1st, 2017.