full name / name of organization: 
Centre for the History of Intercultural Relations, Leuven University, Belgium



The Centre for the History of Intercultural Relations (CHIR) of K.U.Leuven Campus Kortrijk organizes an international conference on 'Migration and Intercultural Identities in Relation to
Border Regions' on 27-29 May 2010 in Kortrijk, Belgium.

CHIR is an interdisciplinary research centre for the historical study of intercultural relations, dedicated to a combined scientific approach of (1) cultural history, (2) the history of education and (3) historical and comparative literature.

Migration is a rich and controversial field, relevant to current political, sociological and media debates. In a globalized world, characterized by increasing cultural diversity and societal complexity, discussions about migration, integration, assimilation and (inter)cultural identity, call for a nuanced and in-depth discussion of the way in which people with different cultural backgrounds (try to and have to) live together and shape their cultural self-understanding. A
comprehensive and thorough insight in these matters asks for a study of their long-term development, and thus for a multifaceted historical perspective. The acknowledgement of this
necessity forms the starting point and scientific backbone of the conference.

Although the historical study of migration is not new, thus far most of the research that has been done traditionally focused on the economic, sociological or structural dimensions of the
migration process, while scant attention was given to its cultural implications. This striking neglect obviously ignores many of the most crucial aspects of the experience of cultural
transition, not in the least as seen from the perspective of the migrants themselves.
Consequently, a rightful place for the cultural dimensions of the migration process and the way they relate to intercultural identity construction and its corresponding cultural expression and embedding, is called for.

Special attention will be given to border regions, as cultural crossroads par excellence and privileged places of migrant settlement, implying a particular and exemplary emphasis on the
relation between (relatively) short-distance migration and intercultural identities. At the same time, though, the concepts of 'border', 'frontier' and 'boundary' also have a powerful social,mental or metaphorical significance in the context of cultural transition and intercultural identity, opening up a whole range of scientific explorations in migration studies that transcend the strictly geographical or geopolitical connotations of these terms. In addition, these varying demarcations can shift in cultural significance, meaning or connotation with the consecutive generations of migrants concerned.

The conference aims at bringing together scholars in the history of migration, in particular those studying the cultural and identificational aspects of migration.
Historically, the overall time frame will be the 19th and 20th centuries. The conference languages will be English and French.

Proposals may relate to the following topics:
- The contribution of migrants to the development of socio-cultural life by means of commercial and cultural corporations, associations, etc.
- Material, visual, verbal and historical culture of migrants
- The relevance of the concepts of 'nationality' and 'postnationality' to the construction of identities among migrants
- The role of education and/or schooling in the intercultural identity construction of migrants
- Appropriate or promising heuristic-analytical approaches within histories of intercultural education
- The relation between different schooling and educational regimes and questions of assimilation, cultural identification, socialization and belonging
- The literary representations (including self-representations) of migrants and migration
- Transfer or exchange processes between migrant and target literature
- The role of literature in the intercultural identity construction of migrants
- The evolution of migrant identities and the specific position of second and third generation migrants

In addition to these themes, presentations or reflections of a more general theoretical or methodological kind are also welcomed, albeit in relation to or based on specific historical cases.

LEO LUCASSEN (Professor of Social History, University of Leiden)
GÉRARD NOIRIEL (Directeur d'études à l'École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris)
IAN GROSVENOR (Professor of Urban Educational History, University of Birmingham)
CHARLES BONN (Professor of Comparative Literature, University of Lyon 2)

PLEASE SEND ABSTRACTS (WITH TITLE) OF PAPERS BEFORE 15 SEPTEMBER 2009 to Saartje Vanden Borre(chir@kuleuven-kortrijk.be). Abstracts should be in English or French and contain about 350

Confirmation of acceptance will be sent by e-mail before 15 October 2009. Acceptance will only be effective and definite after registration and payment. More information about registration, the conference venue, accommodation opportunities and payment will appear on WWW.KULEUVEN-KORTRIJK.BE/CHIR/CONFERENCE in October 2009.

WEBSITE CHIR CONFERENCE : www.kuleuven-kortrijk/chir/conference
WEBSITE CHIR: www.kuleuven-kortrijk.be/chir

- Research Unit of Cultural History since 1750, Faculty of Arts, K.U.Leuven
- Centre for the History of Education, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, K.U.Leuven
- Research Unit of Literary Relations and Postnational Identities, Faculty of Arts, K.U.Leuven
- Centre for Translation Studies, Faculty of Arts, K.U.Leuven
- Subfaculty of Arts, K.U.Leuven Campus Kortrijk
- Subfaculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, K.U.Leuven Campus Kortrijk
- KADOC Documentatie- en Onderzoekscentrum voor Religie, Cultuur en Samenleving, K.U.Leuven
- Museum Kortrijk 1302

Prof. dr. C. Bonn (University of Lyon 2) - Prof. dr. F. Caestecker (University of Ghent) - Prof. dr. M.
Depaepe (University of Leuven, Campus Kortrijk) - Prof. dr. L. D'hulst (University of Leuven,
Campus Kortrijk) - Prof. dr. I. Goddeeris (University of Leuven) - Prof. dr. I. Grosvenor (University
of Birmingham) - Prof. dr. K. Gyssels (University of Antwerp) - Prof. dr. L. Lucassen (University of
Leiden) - Prof. dr. A. Morelli (University of Brussels) - Prof. dr. G. Noiriel (University of Paris 13) -
Prof. dr. D. Terrier (University of Valenciennes and Hainaut-Cambrésis) - Prof. dr. T. Verschaffel
(University of Leuven, Campus Kortrijk)

Prof. Dr. Marc Depaepe - Prof. Dr. Lieven D'hulst - Prof. Dr. Tom Verschaffel - Prof. Dr. Dagmar
Vandebosch - Prof. Dr. Frank Caestecker - Elien Declercq - Walter Kusters - Saartje Vanden Borre -
Henk Byls