P01
Behind the border? Memory and narration of diaspora, exile, transnationalism and crossing borders

Convenors:
Ulla Savolainen (University of Helsinki)
Outi Fingerroos (University of Jyväskylä)
Location:
Lossi 3, 425
Start time:
1 July, 2013 at 10:30
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

The aim of this panel is to challenge the polarized debate about diaspora, exile, transnationalism and other concepts around the phenomenons of mobilization, and to find more versatile alternatives to generalized understandings relating to one's sense of belonging to place(s).

Long abstract:

The assumption that people will live their lives in one place, no longer holds. Rather, people increasingly belong to two or more places at the same time; for some, home is a foreign country, and many have moved away from their home because of war, crime, or catastrophe. This is what many researchers refer to as diaspora, exile, or transnationalism. The theme of this panel focuses on these concepts that we use to refer to a home abroad, as well as life behind the border. The aim of the panel is to challenge the polarized debate about diaspora, exile, transnationalism and other such common concepts around the phenomenons of mobilization and people crossing borders, and to find more versatile alternatives to generalized understandings relating to one's sense of belonging to place(s). The suggested topics for discussion are, for example: What are the inner meanings of border crossings and how people narrate their real-life experiences of moving from one place to another? What do the concepts of diaspora and exile mean in practice and how are they experienced (if they are) and narrated both personally by the people crossing borders and theoretically by researchers? What happens when people move across borders and stay permanently abroad, and what does it mean when home is not in one place but rather in several places or between places? How do people act in diaspora / exile / a foreign country and how do they narrate their experiences of being in a foreign place?