Call for abstracts

University Club of Western Australia, Perth, Australia

May 20-22, 2018

The forced migration of millions poses a serious global challenge to current world society. However, migration and its consequences is multi-faceted: it defines a modern global society; has contributed significantly to all societies, current and historic; is crucial for economic development; and is fundamental to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals set under Agenda 2030. Many of the SDGs require that migration of people, their culture, ideas and economy contribute in a positive manner to development and a sustainable future. Culture has, for the first time, been recognized in the international development agenda as an important contributor to the SDGs and to a sustainable equitable future. To achieve this, the universities must be involved and academicians must explore new partners and new cross-disciplinary perspectives on current global challenges.

Currently in Western society, immigration from the global South is highly debated. We see tragic outcomes of recent unrest in the Middle East, South East Asia and Africa, with millions of people fleeing their homes and ancestral lands. And we see many refugees trying to settle in foreign countries, with hostile media coverage and restrictive immigration policies often fueling heated public and political debates. Scenarios of future changing climate, water scarcity and/or environmental degradation will have grave impacts on communities, and will potentially force more millions of people to flee their homelands.

Dynamic cultural dialogue and the changing role and significance of symbols of identity will be discussed in the workshop. Drawing on different fields of knowledge, from archaeology, heritage studies, indigenous knowledge, social sciences and migration specialists among others, the symposium will discuss how cultural and ethnic boundaries dynamically change, adapt and merge. But also what aspects of culture are resilient to change, and upon which aspects of culture do we draw when faced with danger and forced and unsafe migration? What can be learned about migration from the archaeological and historical record? We know that large-scale migrations carrying new ideas, economic systems, technologies, food and languages have taken place many times various places in the world throughout human history. However, we also know that there are many examples of the resilience of culture. How indigenous culture, or aspects of it, may survive even though political systems, power and economy may change.

Culture has for the first time been given a prominent role in the Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals. There can be no Inclusive Cities, end to Poverty, fair working conditions and acknowledgement of differences in values without the rubric of culture.

For more information see the WUN Understanding Cultures call for abstracts for papers and sessions.

Browse the contents of WUN Symposium: Culture, Migration and Adaptation in a Rapidly Changing World:

Culture, Migration and Adaptation in a Rapidly Changing World
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