Tag Archives: Travel network

Travelling between the Centre and Periphery: Creating a Feminist Dialogue for the Diaspora

On Friday 11th July 2014 the IAS Travel and Mobility Studies Research Network held its second annual conference, “Travelling between the Centre and Periphery: Creating a Feminist Dialogue for the Diaspora”. With the aim of developing discussions of diasporic writing and the centre-periphery framework through a focus on feminism in travel narratives, the one-day event included a keynote presentation by the acclaimed Professor Miriam Cooke (Duke University) as well as ten presentations by academics working on contemporary and postcolonial literary studies, migration studies, history of art and contemporary art theory. The day produced rich and interesting discussions on centre-periphery frameworks, theories of the diaspora, transnationalism, mobility and gender, generating a diverse set of feminist perspectives on these themes.

The day commenced with Professor miriam cooke’s keynote on “Women and the Arab Spring”. miriam cooke provided an overview of the role of women during and after the Arab Spring. She argued that Arab women have a century-long history of participating in their countries’ revolutions, irrespective of attempts to remove them from the public sphere. She provided examples of women who have been forced into exile, and thus continue their activism using social media.

The first panel of the day, “Bodies and Flight”, provided three perspectives on the intersections between gender, mobility and diasporic theories. Lindsey Moore discussed Camilla Gibb’s Sweetness in the Belly (2005) to open up wider questions of female identity formation and travel; exploring issues around the representation of religion and spirituality, literacy and reading, and different spaces, Moore ended by suggesting that the text reiterates travelling across boundaries as productive to the identity of the female traveller. Max Andrucki and Jen Dickinson’s paper argued that while economic models are typically privileged in discussions of the centre-periphery framework, a more diverse and mobile concept of centrality and marginality might be posited as a productive theoretical model; two case studies of migrant experiences demonstrated how a ‘performative’ idea of the diaspora could be conceptualised. Anna Ball looked to challenge centre-periphery frameworks through an exploration of bodies in flight, reading three cinematic works that portray Afghan women’s flight to propose the concept of a ‘mobile periphery’.

In “Transnational Travel Narratives”, Ester Gendusa offered a reading of Bernardine Evaristo’s Soul Tourists (2005) that raised questions of identity and belonging, suggesting that diasporic belonging can be perceived as an issue of self-identification with particular groups, communities or identities. Maryam Ala Amjadi’s paper explored gender and mobility in the Safavid world, analysing the writing of a female traveller who travelled from Persia to Mecca in the late seventeenth century. Demystifying the figure of the Safavid female traveller, Amjadi drew links with contemporary representations of Persian/ Iranian women and explored the historical implications of these ideas.

Panel C on “Feminism and the Diaspora” endeavoured to examine the impact migration has on women. Latefa Narriman Guemar shared her research into highly skilled Algerian women who emigrated during the 1990s. Dr Enaya Othman focused on Palestinian immigrant women and the meaning ascribed to their choice of dress, which is often used to demonstrate belonging and affiliation.

In the final panel on “the Diaspora in Visual Arts” both papers explored the feminine visual diaspora; art reflecting interactions with place and the effects of diasporic movement. Kuang Sheng began the panel by showcasing the artworks of a Chinese female artist Yin Xiuzhen who creates ‘Portable Cities’, unfolded suitcases full of manipulated second hand clothes designed to emulate different geographical places. Dr Maria Luisa Coelho focuses on the Portuguese female artist Maria Lusitano who tries to recreate the experience of being torn between home and abroad through her autobiographical visual work.

The organisers would like to thank the Humanities Research Centre, Institute of Advanced Study, Faculty of Arts and Connecting Cultures Global Research Priority for their support.

Roxanne Bibizadeh and Charlotte Mathieson

“Women & the Arab Spring” at Travelling between Centre & Periphery conference

Travelling between the Centre and Periphery: Creating a Feminist Dialogue for the Diaspora

Keynote: Professor Miriam Cooke (Duke University): “Women and the Arab Spring

c. Leila Bibizadeh 2013
c. Leila Bibizadeh 2013

The full programme and abstracts are now online for this one-day conference at the University of Warwick on Friday 11th July 2014, including details of Professor Miriam Cooke’s keynote on “Women and the Arab Spring”.

This one-day symposium seeks to develop discussions of centre-periphery frameworks through a focus on feminism in travel narratives, examining how centre-periphery discourses are complicated, challenged, subverted or reinforced through gendered accounts of migration, ethnicity, identity conflicts and political connections. The symposium will explore how migration and diaspora formations are gendered to develop a centre-periphery narrative which juxtaposes traditional and conventional discourses often associated with the marginalised experience.

 

Registration is £15 standard (£10 student/Warwick staff) and details of how to register are on the website.

Registration open for “Creating a Feminist Dialogue for the Diaspora”

The provisional programme has been announced and registration is now open for “Travelling between the Centre and Periphery: Creating a Feminist Dialogue for the Diaspora”, the annual symposium of the Travel and Mobility Studies Network.

Keynote address will be given by Professor Miriam Cooke (Duke University) and panel speakers include Dr Lindsey Moore, Dr Anna Ball, and Dr Jen Dickinson. 

Registration is £15 standard or £10 for students/ Warwick delegates.

Please see here for more details.

Travel and Mobility Studies seminar 5th December

The next seminar of the Travel and Mobility Studies research network at Warwick:

Thursday 5th December 2013, 5.15 – 6.15 in the Wolfson Reseach Exchange

‘Finitude before finitude: the case of Rousseau-Bougainville-Diderot’
Benoît Dillet (Centre for Critical Thought, University of Kent)

Tahiti is synonymous with a long history of exoticism in French thought. Soon after the publication of Bougainville’s travel accounts, it quickly became rightly or wrongly the epitome of Rousseau’s state of nature, and also led to the development of anthropology before anthropology. In this paper, I attempt to reconstruct the discussion between Rousseau, Bougainville and Diderot about exoticism and otherness, and examine the consequences of the ‘discovery’ of Tahiti for French thought at the time.

Benoît Dillet holds a PhD in political philosophy from the University of Kent, Canterbury (UK), he is the co-editor of Technologiques: La Pharmacie de Bernard Stiegler (Cécile Defaut, 2013) and The Edinburgh Companion to Poststructuralism (Edinburgh University Press, forthcoming 2013).