Moving Cultures, Shifting Identities: a conference about migration, connection, heritage and cultural memory

-- supported by the Innovative Universities European Union Centre and the European Commission's Delegation to Australia --

A message from Lyn Leader-Elliott, Moving Cultures, Shifting Identities conference chair, 14 December 2007:

Dear Moving Cultures Delegates,

The Moving Cultures, Shifting Identities conference organising team would like to thank you for your contribution to the conference. We have received some very positive feedback about the event, and were really pleased to be able to meet and share ideas with you all.

The conference attracted so many papers that, as we anticipated, the publication of conference proceedings per se is not feasible. Instead, the conference team is considering various publication options, and will co-ordinate a range of refereed publications, including edited collections, special issue journals, and placement in specialist journals where appropriate.

The publications committee will meet at Flinders in early February to discuss these options and begin the process of working towards publication. Between now and then, please do let us know of any publication ideas or proposals that you might have. Did you discover other papers with a thematic connection to yours that might work well as a collection? Was your paper part of a panel or session that might also be brought together in publication?

If you have suggestions or proposals for publication paths to pursue, please use this link to send them to the Flinders Humanities Research Centre by Friday 25 January, so that the committee can take them into account when it meets to look at the overall picture.

In the meantime, we thank you all once again for your contribution.


Lyn Leader-Elliott
Moving Cultures, Shifting Identities
Conference Chair.


This conference will examine issues of migration, transnational connection, displacement heritage, global space and cultural memory created by the movements of peoples between cultures in the modern world.

In the mass migrations of the last 200 years, millions of people have left their homelands and home cultures to settle in new places. Their motives have been many: the emigrant’s search for new opportunities, the gastarbeiter’s self-imposed exile, the refugee’s forced flight and the settler’s quest for trade, military advantage or fresh fields and pastures new have all shaped the great migrations of the modern period.

Moving Cultures, Shifting Identities will explore the cultural connections between homelands and new lands, and the complexities of reshaping cultural identities and shifting allegiances between cultures of departure and cultures of arrival. 

The conference will have four main streams:

  • Creative Responses to Migration will include sessions on writing, literature, film and visual art relating to migration experiences;
  • Migration and Identity will include sessions on memory, language, cultural maintenance and sustainability, and the plurality of migrant identities;
  • The Politics of Global People Flow will include sessions on economics, population, forced migration, security, and the managing of cultural impacts of migration;
  • Transnationalism, Identity and Connection will include sessions on cosmopolitalism, diasporic communities, education, communication and technology.

Broad Conference themes

  • The demographics of people flow: who moves where? and why?
  • Forced migration
  • Cultural, political and economic factors shaping migration. How are connections made?
  • Bordering the nation: migration and national security
  • Transnationalism, citizenship and sovereignty
  • Gender and generational issues in the migration experience
  • Linguistics, diaspora and migration
  • Settling down, settlement patterns and return migration
  • Can multi-cultures and multi-ethnicities produce one nation?
  • Multiculturalism
  • Language maintenance in the new culture
  • Foodways
  • Migration, place and situated identities
  • Connections with the new place and (re)negotiating with the old
  • Home and Away: What is transferred from the home culture to the new culture? What cannot fit in the baggage?
  • Imaginary homelands: life-writing, creative writing and film responses to the migration experience
  • Unsettlement: the idea of the settler colony
  • Cultural memory: heritage and exchange
  • Transplanted cultures as tourist attractions
  • Fusion, ‘cultural hybridity’, cosmopolitanism …

Guest speakers: The conference will feature plenary session addresses by leading international scholars in the field, as well as parallel presentations by researchers and policy-makers.


A forum entitled "Building Migrant Friendly Communities" will be held on Monday, 3 December, from 6.00 p.m. until 7.45 p.m. More detail ...


Response to the conference has been so strong that we are arranging a day of workshops on different aspects of the conference program. More detail ...


Sessions will be one hour and 30 minutes each, with three papers of 20 minutes, and then 30 minutes question and discussion time. Delegates who wish to use Powerpoint presentations, please forward them to Nena Bierbaum by 15th November, at the latest.

Moving Cultures, Shifting Identities commences on Monday, 3 December. Registration will take place between 8.00 a.m. and 9.45 a.m. The conference will be opened at 9.45 a.m., and conference sessions begin at 10.45 a.m. Sessions on Tuesday, 4 December, and Wednesday, 5 December, will run from 9.00 am to 5.30 pm. The conference finishes on Wednesday 5th December at 5.30 pm.

Moving Cultures, Shifting Identities is a conference organised by the Flinders Humanities Research Centre for Cultural Heritage and Cultural Exchange, the Centre for Research into New Literatures in English (CRNLE) and Flinders International Asia Pacific (FIAP). Flinders University is a member of the Innovative Universities European Union (IUEU) Centre and this is a priority 2007 IUEU Centre event. The conference organisers gratefully acknowledge the support of the European Commission's Delegation to Australia.

Several refereed publications will emerge from the "Moving Cultures, Shifting Identities" conference. Please note that the official language of the conference is English.

Please note that the conference committee does not require papers before the conference. Delegates will be asked to present their papers at the conference, and if they wish to make extra copies for their audience, that will be the responsibility of the delegate. After the conference, the organising committee will request that full papers be forwarded by email to the conference coordinator, Nena Bierbaum, to be peer-reviewed. When a paper has been accepted for publication, the committee will decide the most appropriate venue from among the several planned publication outcomes.


Nena Bierbaum
Tel: (+61 8) 8201 2578 or (+61 8) 8201 5137
Fax: (+61 8) 8201 3635


Flinders University Innovative Universities European Union Centre Government of South Australia French Embassy in Australia