Association for Australian Studies / Gesellschaft für Australienstudien (GASt)
4 October 2018 – 6 October 2018
Australian Perspectives on Migration
The 2018 biennial GASt conference will address cultural, social, historical, legal, and (geo)political issues related to the contemporary global challenge of migration and displacement – with more than 60 million displaced persons world-wide – from an Australian perspective.
The interrelation of these issues is apparent in the long history of migration on the Australian continent, from its earliest settlement to the colonial period, to the 20th and the 21st centuries. From its colonial beginnings the political, legal, social and cultural implications of migration have featured prominently in the formation of the Australian nation and its cultural “imaginary” (Anderson). This is evident in exclusionary politics during different periods of a White Australia Policy, and the forced detention of aliens from 1992 onwards. More recently, campaigns like the “Pacific Solution” or “Operation Sovereign Borders” foreground the necessity to reflect the situation of immigrants and refugees in Australia in a global context causing migrations for political, economic and climate-related reasons on an unprecedented increasing and accelerating scale.
We are, no doubt, living in an “Age of Migration” (Castles, de Haas, Miller), and the “long summer of migration” (Kasparek and Speer) in 2015 has made the importance of comparative views on migration in a globalized world apparent. Can we still speak of “another cosmopolitanism” (Benhabib) or do we rather have to think of “neo-cosmopolitan mediators” (Gunew)? How do we deal with “indefinite detention” (Butler) and how do we define “bare life” (Agamben)? What are the “paradoxes of human rights” (Douzinas) in imperial and colonial contexts?
Based on these questions, GASt 2018 invites papers and panel proposals from all academic fields to engage in topics that include but are not limited to:
- policies and histories of migration
- issues of nationalism and national sovereignty
- the legal status and governance of refugees, asylum seekers, IDPs etc.
- biopolitics and the de-humanization of migrants
- the acknowledgement of climate refugees
- isssues of displacement, resettlement, home, and diaspora
- questions of precarity in the context of migration
- issues of gender
- migrant and refugee stories in life writing, novels, drama, performance, and other artistic expressions and negotiations
- the use and impact of digital and social media
The conference will be hosted by Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf and organized by GASt and the Department for English and American Studies, Section for Anglophone Literatures and Literary Translation (chair: Prof. Dr. Birgit Neumann).
Please send paper and panel proposals (20 minutes + 10 minutes discussion per paper) in English or German (200-300 words per paper) by 30 April 2018. Speakers are expexted to become members of GASt – please refer to the GASt homepage for details about membership.
We also invite proposals for posters as well as work in progress presentations of undergraduate and graduate students in our new format “Forthcoming”. Please submit abstracts for project presentations (200 words) by 18 May 2018.