Layers of Diasporic Belonging

Layers of Diasporic Belonging: (Re)Evaluating Armenianness in Historical, Contemporary and Comparative Perspectives

Organizer
Dr. Hakob Matevosyan (Leibniz-Institut für Geschichte und Kultur des östlichen Europa (GWZO))
Host
Leibniz-Institut für Geschichte und Kultur des östlichen Europa (GWZO)
ZIP
04109
Location
Leipzig
Country
Germany
From - Until
17.03.2021 - 30.04.2021
Deadline
30.04.2021
By
Dr. Hakob Matevosyan, Wissenstransfer und Vernetzung, Leibniz-Institut für Geschichte und Kultur des östlichen Europa (GWZO)

This volume will prioritize understanding diasporas through historical, contemporary, and comparative lenses to suggest critical perspectives on Armenian diasporic cultural identities and belongings within various social, political, and cultural contexts. By closely examining the palimpsests of Armenian diasporic cultural production and practices, it also seeks to add to the nuanced understanding and theorization of the Armenian diaspora beyond normative and essentializing approaches.

Layers of Diasporic Belonging: (Re)Evaluating Armenianness in Historical, Contemporary and Comparative Perspectives

Abstract submission: 30 April 2021
Interim workshop: 1-2 October 2021
Full-text submission: 20 December 2021

Volume 11 of the book series “Armenier im östlichen Europa – Armenians in Eastern Europe” of Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO) (Stefan Troebst and Bálint Kovács, eds.) will be devoted to the reevaluation of Armenianness in the contexts of the diaspora. The preparation of this volume is in cooperation with the Armenian Communities Department of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

Editors: Hakob Matevosyan, Vahe Sahakyan, and Stefan Troebst

Studies of diasporic populations, communities and their transnational activities have received extensive scholarly attention in the past decades. A substantial part of diaspora scholarship in the humanities and social sciences has been occupied by broader theoretical debates about the construction, negotiation, and contestation of diasporic cultural identities and belongings. In the studies of Armenian diasporas, cultural identities have often been radically positioned within ethnicity and trapped in the orbit of triadic relationships between diasporas, the essentialized homeland, and hostland cultures.

This volume will foreground historical, contemporary, and comparative perspectives to advance our understanding of the complexity of cultural identities and belongings in the Armenian diaspora. The contributions in this volume are expected to rely on a non-essentialist understanding of diaspora and conceptualize Armenian diasporic cultural identities as social constructs. Diasporic cultural identities are complex, always in the process of mixing, and never complete (Hall l990; Boyarin and Boyarin, 1993). Even if diasporas can have idealized geographic and/or religious centres, diasporas develop as decentred (Clifford 1994), and asymmetric social formations, with populations and communities embedded in different societies and cultures, and transnational networks and spaces enabling the circulation of people, cultural productions, resources, and discourses (Faist 2000; Tölölyan 2007). Diasporas may contain important loci of ethnic cultural production (such as Babylon for the Jews, Venice for the Armenians), but as longue durée social formations, diasporic cultural productions develop beyond singularly defined ethnoscapes (Appadurai 1993; cf. Anthias 1998) and draw upon multiple languages, cultures, and societies.

Consequently, this volume will prioritize understanding of diasporas through historical, contemporary and comparative lenses to suggest critical perspectives on Armenian diasporic cultural identities and belongings within various social, political, and cultural contexts. By closely examining the palimpsests of Armenian diasporic cultural production and practices, it also seeks to add to the nuanced understanding and theorization of the Armenian diaspora beyond normative and essentializing approaches, which often portray the Armenian diaspora as an internally homogeneous social formation.

Our goal is to encourage scholarly debates and exchange of ideas by promoting comparative studies on the Armenian diaspora and addressing a series of significant research questions that have remained understudied and undertheorized in Armenian diaspora studies.

We invite scholars and researchers from various disciplines to submit chapters that engage with the studies of Armenian diaspora in historical, contemporary, and comparative perspective within broader theoretical and methodological discourses, along one or more of the following themes:

- Diaspora formation, from dispersion into diaspora;
- Armenian dispersions: temporal and spatial dimensions;
- Roots, migration routes, and practices of Armenian diversities;
- Generations and the Armenian diaspora;
- Policies and practices of inclusion and exclusion in the diaspora;
- Cultural contacts, transculturation, boundary making and boundary crossing in local, national, transnational contexts;
- Diaspora identities within and beyond ethnicity;
- The dual / multiple roles of Armenian diasporic organizations in local societies and in the context(s) of the Armenian diaspora;
- Individuals, diasporic lived experiences and practices;
- Race, gender and class intersectionalities and diasporic identities;
- The range of discourses and discursive practices that produce changing diasporic identities.

Format
This edited volume is planned as a combination of papers selected from this open call and invited contributions. All manuscripts are subject to peer review with no author fees, and accepted papers will be copyedited. The language of submissions should be English.

Interim workshop
We will invite all the contributors to present their papers in progress at an interim online workshop.

Timetable
Deadline for abstracts: 30 April 2021
Selection of the abstracts: 17 May 2021
Interim workshop of chapters in progress: 1-2 October 2021
Submission of full texts: 20 December 2021
Authors receive reviews: 30 March 2022
Deadline for revised chapters: 30 June 2022
Publication of the edited volume: Fall 2022

Contact
Please send your abstracts of a maximum of 500 words to hakob.matevosyan@leibniz-gwzo.de by 30 April 2021.

Learn more about the book series “Armenier im östlichen Europa – Armenians in Eastern Europe.”

Volume Editors

Dr. Hakob Matevosyan is a cultural sociologist with a research focus on diaspora cultural identities and descent, sociology of migration and diaspora, social field studies, Armenian diasporas in Eastern and East-Central Europe, and qualitative research methods. He received his Ph.D. in Cultural Sociology from Leipzig University in 2020. He studied the intra-group relations within the Armenian diaspora in post-socialist Hungary, focusing on the construction, negotiations, and differences of diaspora identities, authentication of Armenian descent, and practices of exclusion and inclusion. He teaches various seminars in cultural sociology and global studies. He is currently a research fellow at the Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO) and manages the editorial project “Armenians.”

Dr. Vahe Sahakyan is a historian and sociologist interested in the studies of nationalism, (trans)migration, race, ethnicity, and diaspora in theoretical and comparative perspectives. He received his Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan in 2015. He also holds a Candidate of Sciences in Sociology degree from Yerevan State University (2003). He has held various administrative and teaching positions at Yerevan State University (2001-2008) and University of Michigan (2010-2017). His research explores how local conditions in various countries, the international and transnational developments, and the individual leaders, organizations, and institutions have shaped and continue shaping the production of Armenian diasporic cultures, identities, and discourses. Currently, he works as a researcher and information resources specialist at the Armenian Research Center, University of Michigan-Dearborn.

Prof. Dr. Stefan Troebst is Professor of East European cultural history at the Global and European Studies Institute (GESI) of Leipzig University and Deputy Director of the Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO) since 1999. He earned his doctorate and habilitation at Free University of Berlin. From 1992 to 1995, he worked as a German member in long-term missions of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Macedonia and Moldova delegated by the German Foreign Office. From 1996 to 1998, he was founding director of the Danish-German European Centre of Minority Issues (ECMI) in Flensburg. His research project on the Armenian history and culture at GWZO – “Armenians in the Economy and Culture in East-Central Europe (14th-19th century)” – started in 2008 and turned into the editorial project “Armenians” in 2014.

Programm

Timetable
Deadline for abstracts: 30 April 2021
Selection of the abstracts: 17 May 2021
Interim workshop of chapters in progress: 1-2 October 2021
Submission of full texts: 20 December 2021
Authors receive reviews: 30 March 2022
Deadline for revised chapters: 30 June 2022
Publication of the edited volume: Fall 2022

Contact (announcement)

hakob.matevosyan@leibniz-gwzo.de

https://www.leibniz-gwzo.de/de
Editors Information
Published on
26.03.2021
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