[URBANTH-L] ANN: Workshop on Transnationality/Transnationalism (Bielefeld, Germany)

Angela Jancius acjancius at ysu.edu
Wed Jun 1 14:32:49 EDT 2005

From: Remus Gabriel Anghel <remus.anghel at uni-bielefeld.de>

In november 2005 a workshop on transnationality/transnationalism will
take place at the University of Bielefeld (Germany). For those who are
interested, the description of the workshop and the contact information
are attached to the email.

Remus Anghel
University of Bielefeld
Institute for World Society Studies
GK "Weltbegriffe und globale Strukturmuster"
remus.anghel at uni-bielefeld.de

Attached Message:

THE MAKING OF "WORLD SOCIETY": Transnational Practices and Global Structures
Workshop at the University of Bielefeld, 24-25 Nov. 2005

The phenomenon of transnationality has been intensely discussed from
different perspectives over the last years. Especially in globalisation and
migration studies, the focus has been put on the emergence of new social
formations and lifestyles that cross the borders of the national states.
This raises criticism into the concepts of social sciences, traditionally
bounded to the framework of the nation states (methodological nationalism)
and opens an inquiry on the necessity to transform them.

The aim of this conference is to analyze the transnational and global
formations, by portraying them in a "world society perspective". This
approach stresses that the world as a whole should be taken as a social
realm, in which transnational or global processes are embedded. In this
respect, different functions and structures of the world society might be
empirically analyzed, for instance, global networks, organisations, and
global markets. From this angle, we look at the possible commonness between
the world society perspective and research of transnationality. In this
light, we might look at communication and economic practices of
transnational actors, at the ways in which local and global interact in
specific markets or development processes. Accordingly, the conference is
organized in four panels.

Panel 1: Transnational Practices and Development
Contributing to local development processes is increasingly becoming a
responsibility of transnational actors that are located beyond the state.
Contributing to the transformation of home is the aim of many migrants
especially from countries in conflict. But apart from political
mobilisation, the major focus lies on active engagement in post-conflict
reconstruction. Financial assistance (e.g. remittances, donations) and other
forms of intervention by transnational actors (diaspora, international
organisations, etc) into local contexts are at the centre of attention in
this panel. The aim is to figure out, how practices of transnational actors
and their negotiations with actors at different levels are influencing local
processes of social change.

Panel 2: Transnational Practices and Irregular Migrants
This panel focuses on the transnational practices of irregular migrants,
their role in the emergence and development of ethnic transnationally (or
even globally) operating enterprises. The attention can be paid either on
direct effects of irregularity in the emergence of transnational fields (by
influencing remittances and transnational circuits), on the emergence of
transnational structures (such as networks, enterprises, and so on) or on
ethnic transnational structures that use the irregular migrants (on the same
or on a different ethno-national group). At the same time, since less was
done in understanding gender differences in transnational practices of the
irregular migrants, in this panel there are also welcomed gender approaches
to this issue, including eventually social changes and redefinitions
produced by these processes.

Panel 3: Transnational Practices and Local Marketplaces
This panel will deal with transnational or global practices and patterns in
the field of seemingly place-bound commerce and trade. The
practices/patterns may be connected with buying and selling but could also
go far beyond; the scope of actors may include "ethnic entrepreneurs" with
migration background as well as (transnational) organisations such as retail
chains or franchise stores. In a second step this panel will deal with the
consequences of these transnational practices and patterns for action and
performance in the marketplace itself - against the background of global
consumption patterns, changing places of production and new ways of
distribution, observation and communication.

Panel 4: Living Together while Being Apart: The Emergence of Internet Based
Life Forms in Transnational Populations
The Internet has turned out to be the single most important medium for
global communication and networking, increasingly used by transnational
populations, in order to tie and maintain links between sites of being and
sites of belonging. This panel seeks to analyze some of the implications of
this fast-growing integration of Internet facilities into the everyday-lives
of transnational families and communities. The following questions might be
addressed at the panel: What kinds of Internet practices have been developed
by transnational populations? How do electronic communication shape senses
of community and belonging? How are physically grounded and virtual sites of
life worlds interrelated and influenced by each other? How do transnational
populations share everyday life virtually? Can we imagine that computer
mediated communication will substitute physical presence?

Conditions of participation
Participants can be either PhD students or young researchers. Applications
should consist of a short CV (maximum two pages) and an abstract between 500
and 1000 words. As a follow up of this workshop, we intend to edit a
publication with some of the papers presented. In case of accepted papers,
written versions of the presentations are expected. The dead-line for
applications is 15 th of July. For applications and additional information,
please contact the following persons:

Contact persons:
Panel 1: Eva Gerharz
eva.gerharz at uni-bielefeld.de
Panel 2: Remus Anghel
remus.anghel at uni-bielefeld.de
Panel 3: Sven Kleinekathoefer
sven.kleinekathoefer at uni-bielefeld.de
Panel 4: Heike Greschke
heike.greschke at uni-bielefeld.de

Eva Gerharz
tel: + 49-521- 1064231
Universitaet Bielefeld
fax: + 49-521-1066448
Institut fuer Weltgesellschaft
Postfach 100131
33501 Bielefeld

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