Call for Papers
Immigration, Nation and Public History
Wednesday 18 June 2014 at King’s College London
Hosted by the Menzies Centre for Australian Studies.
Convenor: Dr Eureka Henrich
Symposium Aims and Themes
This symposium provides an opportunity to reflect upon the tension between different representations of migrants in the public arena – from so-called ‘medical tourists’ and ‘problem’ populations, to immigrant ancestors and national founders, to affluent global citizens and international students. It asks: what part do historical perspectives play in these representations? Can we talk about a ‘public history of immigration’ within Britain or elsewhere? If so, what might it look like? In other words, where do we encounter historical narratives of migration beyond the academy, how are they constructed and who do they seek to represent?
Given the current context of escalating far-right movements across Europe, and tighter restrictions upon migrant movements in other regions, this symposium is particularly interested in locating and analysing national narratives of migration, their narrators and their audiences. If Britain and France are ‘nations of immigrants’, to be placed alongside settler societies like the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, can immigrants be seen as founders and pioneers rather than interlopers and outsiders? Who might these narratives appeal to, and whom might they alienate?
Immigration, Nation and Public History takes place on 18 June 2014, at King’s College London Strand Campus. The event aims to bring together a wide range of interested parties across museums, archives, galleries, universities, journalism, education, politics and public services. It is hoped that the symposium will establish research networks and new partnerships between researchers, practitioners and organisations.
While other submissions are welcome, prospective papers (20 minutes duration) might address themes such as:
• Migration history in school curricula
• Museums and migration (including exhibitions, public programmes, collections, and community engagement)
• Migrant memorials
• Forced migration (eg. convict transportation, slavery, child migration) and its representations
• Migration in the news media
• Public attitudes towards migration, how they are represented (eg. opinion polls and their use)
• Family history/genealogy, and the discovery of immigrant ancestors
• Links between migration and tourism
• Links between national histories and migration histories
• Representations of indigenous peoples in ‘immigrant nations’
• Asylum seekers and refugees: historical and contemporary representations
• Representations of migration/migrants/migrant communities in film and television
• Migrant communities and individual’s self-representations
• Changing representations of migration given the so-called ‘failure of multiculturalism’ in Britain and Europe
Proposals should include:
– Paper title
– 250-word abstract
– Biography of 50-100 words
– 2-page CV
Deadline: 31 January 2013. Notification of acceptance: 21 February 2014
Submissions should be sent to: