Confrontations, Constellations and Aspirations: Reflections on Diaspora and Transnationalism Through the Lens of Youth Formations

youth-formationsThe Confrontations, Constellations and Aspirations: Reflections on Diaspora and Transnationalism Through the Lens of Youth Formations workshop aimed to approach youth orientations through a comparative lens and within a framework of transnational relations. For this purpose, it brought together distinguished junior and senior scholars as well as advanced graduate students on the subject of contemporary forms of youth social and political engagement and the construction of youth subjectivities during times of major societal transformations.

Workshop panels were organized around a set of critical issues, which included, among other issues, discussions around the specific motivations and agendas of youth engagements today, generational differences and the changing political dynamics and forms of identifications in youth formations, the role of state and international agents in the capacity to address or fail to address the question of mobile youth under precarious conditions of refugeeism and illegalization, as well as the role of social networking and digital media by which diaspora youth construct new forms of cultural expression. The workshop participants addressed these questions in a range of contemporary contexts, ranging from the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and diasporic formations in North America.

The workshop assessed the emergent forms of transnationality that give youth cultural formations their particular contours, and reflected on the new language that is at the heart of the aesthetics and politics of youth formations in different context of encounters with states, political regimes and other actors. Moreover, it opened up a space to think about the conceptual shifts that have accompanied these processes at the level of social critique and social and cultural theory formation.

The workshop was held at York University on 22-23 May 2012. The workshop abstracts are available here.

The workshop was organized by Ratiba Hadj-Moussa (Sociology) and Michael Nijhawan (Sociology) and hosted by the York Centre for Asian Research.

The workshop was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), The Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on the Global Migrations of African Peoples and YCAR.