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Conference “Migration as a narrative: Russian-speaking identities and communities in space and time” (Edinburgh, 18-19 June 2020)

Migration is a constant feature of the current age of ‘liquid modernity’, transforming societies into a collection of diasporas (Bauman). Research in Russian speaking mobility offers a valuable contribution to both the theoretical and empirical aspects of migration and mobility studies. While Russian speakers have crossed state boundaries for centuries, the collapse of the Soviet Union has created an unprecedented environment for mobility and diasporic processes of Russophones, destabilising hegemonic relations between the centre and the periphery and producing emerging conditions including ‘beached diasporas’, ‘Global Russians’, ‘virtual Russophonia’, and ‘transnational Russian cultures’, to name but a few. Currently, the geography of Russian-speaking communities outside Russia is wider than ever with the overall population comparable in size to that of the Russian Federation.

 

Discourse perspectives have recently marked a theoretical shift in migration research. Mobility is intrinsically discursive as space, communities, identities and belonging are constructed in narratives – those produced by migrants and those about migrants. What do these stories – written and oral, visual and multimodal, fictional and real – tell us about Russian-speaking movers across the world? As the Russian speakers populate the ‘third space’ (Bhabha) of diasporic sites, and as these sites turn to the ‘zones of intense cutting-edge creativity’ (Karim), what are the discursive manifestations and articulations of this condition? And how do the current migration narratives of Russophones compare with those produced in other ‘waves’ of migration from Russia and the Soviet Union?

 

We invite proposals for individual papers from colleagues who use discourse-based approaches to Russophone communities outside the Russian Federation from a variety of disciplines in humanities and social sciences: sociolinguistics, (linguistic) anthropology, discourse studies, narrative studies, conversational analysis, literary and film studies, communication and media studies, socio-political disciplines and other areas. Proposals including paper abstracts of 250 words accompanied by a short CV are to be submitted by no later than Tuesday 18 February 2020 to Professor Lara Ryazanova-Clarke Lara.Ryazanova-Clarke@ed.ac.uk

 

Timeline:

Abstracts by 18 February 2020

Responses to proposals by 28 February

Dates of the Conference 18-19 June 2020

 

There is no conference fee. Paper presenters will be offered free tea and coffee, lunch and a conference dinner.

Non-paper giving participants will be asked to contribute to coffee breaks and dinner.

We will be able to offer a modest contribution towards travel for three graduate students on a competitive basis.

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