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ETMU Days 2015: Mobile Roots

Roots – Rethinking Indigenous and Transnational ties

12th International ETMU Days conference 22–23.10.2015

University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland


>>>Call for papers and the conference webpage>>>


Conference Description

Mobility across borders is an everyday feature of life for many people across the globe. For some mobility is caused by changes in political power structures or armed conflicts, increasingly also by environmental changes due to climate change. For others mobility is a privilege that enables movement across and towards other cultures and places. For indigenous peoples mobility has often signified movement following one’s herd and the yearly lifecycle. A mobile lifestyle has enabled nature-based ways of subsistence and produced different cultural practices and influenced the very essence of culture itself. In many cases the traditional ways of movement have changed and even largely ceased to exist due to colonisation and modernisation, thus forcing and enabling cultural change and new kinds of ties. Our current way of life makes it possible on the one hand to maintain cultural ties across virtual and physical borders or to permanently sever all ties to one’s place of origin on the other.

The aim of the 12th Annual ETMU Days is to revisit the meaning of ties that are related to mobility, rootedness and crossing borders. How are ties that are typical for the age of migration forged? And what kinds of meanings do these ties embody in different cultures and contexts of belonging? Is it possible to maintain one’s roots or put down roots in new places despite being mobile? How are roots used as means of justification and exclusion in different situations? Do migrants put down roots in their countries of residence, maintain roots transnationally or try to balance both? Belonging to a certain place has often been important for indigenous peoples despite the old traditions of leading a nomadic life. How can roots and local histories be rethought outside the frames of external domination and colonialism? Can indigeneity exist without ties of belonging to a place? And what kinds of ties are forged and severed when movement across borders is not voluntary?

The 2015 ETMU Days brings together researchers from the fields of indigenous studies and ethnicity and migration and creates an arena for a fruitful interdisciplinary dialogue. The main language of the conference is English, but working groups may also be arranged in Finnish, Swedish and Sámi languages.

The conference welcomes workshop proposals that fall within, for example, the following themes:

  • Indigenous lifestyles and cultures
  • Multiculturalism and roots
  • Places and belonging
  • Climate change and migration
  • Roots and belonging in the media
  • Nomadic and diasporic cultures
  • Nationalism and racism
  • Forced migration and displacement
  • Virtual interconnectedness across borders
  • Immigrant incorporation: creating new roots?
  • Migration and transnational ties: remittances,cultural contacts and family linkages