Transforming Citizenship: Ethnicity, Transnationalism, and Belonging in Canada

October 24-26 2013

Campus Saint-Jean, University of Alberta

The Association for Canadian Studies, Metropolis and the Canadian Ethnic Studies Association 4th Annual Conference

October 24-26, 2013

Campus Saint-Jean, University of Alberta

Edmonton, Alberta

Transforming Citizenship: Ethnicity, Transnationalism, and Belonging in Canada



The Association for Canadian studies, Metropolis and the Canadian Ethnic Studies Association invite proposals for our joint annual conference entitled Transforming Citizenship: Ethnicity, Transnationalism, and Belonging in Canada to be held October 24-26, 2013 in Edmonton, Alberta

The conference also marks the 23rd conference of the Canadian Ethnic Studies Association and the fourth in a series of conferences jointly organized with the Association for Canadian Studies. The Conference will offer a unique opportunity to exchange views and ideas.

In a globalized world of greatly improved communication technologies, access to information, facility of travel, and time-space compression, as well as global competition for and mobility of skilled workers, migrants cross multiple national borders for travel or settlement as never before. Moreover, with increased securitization of migration, diverse security considerations, geo-political conflicts, reinforcement of borders and national identities, but also rising conflicts between ethnic groups, states are increasingly concerned with the loyalties and group / national affiliations of their residents and citizens and citizenship remains a contested terrain. One of the transformations appears to be that citizenship is no longer a threshold concept pertaining to rights and obligations and perhaps processes of engagement, but has moved into the uncertain and unchartered terrain of identification and identity. Scholars have increasingly countered the zeros-sum conception of identity and citizenship by various states and policy makers with claims of the multi-locational character of home and belonging for transnational migrants, immigrants and members of diasporic communities.

Theoretical and empirically-based session and paper proposals are invited that address -  but are not limited to - issues with reference to the above:

  • What is the contemporary relationship of ethnicity to citizenship in general and with respect to particular groups and in various generations?
  • What are the legal, economic, social, political, symbolic, and ideological connections of individuals and groups to ethnic communities? homelands, and how does this impact on notions of citizenship?
  • What have such connections been historically and / or in different countries?
  • What is the nature of identity and belonging for racialized and non-racialized immigrants, as well as for the 2nd and 3rd + generations?
  • What is the connection between formal citizenship and belonging?
  • How does immigration, settlement, and integration policy affect and shape ethnicity and belonging?
  • How does immigrant and diasporic literary writing reflect and speak to issues of longing, belonging, identities and citizenship?
  • How do global diasporas affect ethnicity, belonging, and citizenship?
  • How do states relate to diasporic communities beyond their borders? How do diasporas relate to their national homelands? How does the Canadian state relate to formal dual or multiple citizenship? How does dual or multiple citizenship affect senses of belonging and identity?

Conference organizers welcome proposals for papers, sessions, panels, roundtables, poster and video presentations that address any of the above topics in Canada and internationally.  Organizers invite submissions from a variety of perspectives, academic disciplines, and areas of study, including the humanities and the social sciences. We will endeavour to make a decision shortly after the abstract is received in order to facilitate those who need verification of their acceptance for travel funding purposes at their own institutions.

Who should attend? In addition to members of the Association for Canadian Studies and Canadian Ethnic Studies Association, the conference will be relevant to a wide range of people interested in ethnicity, race, immigration, transnationalism, diasporas and citizenship issues in Canada. University professors, graduate students, and other researchers and teachers; policymakers and civil servants from all levels of government; those who work in various non-governmental organizations, as well as those involved as frontline workers delivering various kinds of social services ? all of these will find that this conference offers them worthwhile information, challenging critical perspectives, and an opportunity to network and discuss important issues with people from across the country and from a variety of academic disciplines and institutional perspectives. A special issue of the Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal will showcase selected papers from the conference. Shorter papers can be submitted for consideration in ACS's Canadian Diversity. To be considered for publication in the either journal, papers must be submitted no later than two weeks after the conference. Papers must be written in accordance with the journal's guidelines.

All abstracts should be no longer than 250 words and will be refereed by the joint ACS/CESA Program Committee. Individual conference presentations will normally be 20 minutes in length, and conference sessions will be 90 minutes. Presentation and poster submissions should be directed electronically to

The deadline for submission of proposals for papers, sessions, roundtables, and poster presentations has been extended to August 15th, 2013. 

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