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Abstracts


1. The Chinese in Tuscany: The Case of Prato

Vittore Collina, University of Florence, Italy
Chinese migration to Italy began in the latter part of the 1970s. Tuscany is the Italian region with the greatest concentration of Chinese. Their migration to this area was due to economic motivations, and they found in the garment and leather industries of the region a suitable field for their enterprise. I will present some data on this growing presence in this paper. I will also analyse the main connections between Chinese enterprise and the general dynamics of Italian industry. I will touch upon the social aspects and problems of this presence and on some of the political strategies adopted in Prato to manage the difficulties of integration.


2. The Ukraine : A First Experience of Independance from Russia in the Early 1920s
Francis Conte, Paris 4, Sorbonne, France


Recent events in post-Soviet Ukraine tempts us to reconsider the complex inter-relations (including questions of frontiers, political independance, foreign and economic relations…) which developed between Soviet Russia and the Ukraine, on the eve of the creation of the Soviet Federal Constitution and of the Soviet Union. This author deals more particularly with the first steps of the Ukraine as an "independent" Soviet Republic under the leadership of H. G. Rakovski (December 1919-July 1923), a little-known page of Soviet history. The case is revealing even if one limits oneself to two issues: the results of the Genoa conference and the problems which occurred when discussing and signing the Rapallo treaty with Germany (spring 1922); and the organization of direct diplomatic relations between the Soviet Ukraine and several foreign countries (mainly Germany, Austria and Turkey).

This study is based on numerous archival documents (Russian, Ukrainian, English and French)

3. Миграция, носталгия, национализъм: тройка или Троица?


Raymond Detrez, University of Ghent, Belgium
Както са събрани в заглавието на тази конференция, понятията 'миграция', носталгия' и 'национализъм' говори за една тясна връзка между тях. Тази връзка, обаче, е спорна. (Е)миграция може да не е свързана с носталгия, а по-скоро с облегчение; обектът на носталгията рядко се оказва нещо толкова абстрактно, каквато е националната държава; миграцията не е свързана непременно с прекосяването на държавни граници.

В българската литература съществува едно поетическо произведение, което по трогващ начин изразява същите съмнения: Изворът на Белоногата на Петко Славейков. Носталгията, която очаква да изпита Гергана след евентуалното и заминаване за Стамбул, не се отнася до някаква държава, а до нейното родно село.

В същия дух ще се опитаме да обясним постъпките и чувствата на Григор Пърличев – охридчанин, който дълги периоди от живота си прекарвал като 'мигрант' (в Атина, София, Габрово, Солун и на други места). Оказва се, че за него нито емиграцията винаги е била травма, нито носталгията (която той нарича 'меланхолия') е била свързана с националната държава. Като заключение ще се спрем на въпроса доколко нашите наблюдения са валидни и за балканските условия изобщо.


4. South-to-North Migration and Identity Politics

Suman Gupta, Open University, U.K.

The dominant understanding of migrancy now -- and the manner in which identity, post-coloniality, globalization, and other such metaconceptual terms are framed in that context – rests powerfully on the presumption of a direction, from South to North (or East to West). There is, of course, a great deal of empirical evidence of demographic flows in this direction, most evidently in the cosmopolitan character of many Northern metropolises. But it is arguable that this presumption mutes many dimensions of the larger experience of migration, which is a more diffuse and dispersed phenomenon, and includes a wide variety of demographic flows within and across nation-state boundaries.


A consequence of this dominant presumption is that the politics of migration is articulated primarily in terms of relevance within the North (West). This occurs through a focus on experiences of hosts and settlers within Northern nation-state boundaries. Both conservative unease about the implications of unchecked migration and duty to protect the interests of the majority, and the (easily differentiable) Liberal and New Left celebration of multiculturalism/pluralism and attempts to ensure the protection of the rights of ethnic minorities, are part of the same normative discourse. These usually rotate around normative ideas of democracy as the intellectual property of the North (West).

This paper examines and interrogates the effects of the prevailing understanding of migrancy upon current affairs in the UK.


5. Immigration Controls: A Cruel Twentieth Century Aberration


Teresa Hayter (activist and author), Oxford, U.K.

Human beings have always migrated. Practically every nation state in the world is the product of successive waves of migration. 'National culture' is an illusion, peddled by the right wing and the racists. States have for centuries, from time to time, given themselves the right to expel people. What is new, and a twentieth century phenomenon, is the attempt by nation states to stop people entering their territories in the first place. At a time when the rich countries themselves recognise that they need more rather than less immigration in order to prosper and even survive, they continue to build ever more vicious structures of repression to keep 'the unchosen' out. This requires explanation. It is not clear that the continued existence of immigration controls can be explained in any way other than by racism. The arguments of economic self-interest on the part of the states applying controls are weak or non-existent. If governments had a real concern about the numbers migrating (rather than merely a desire to act tough to appease the racists and thus, they hope, win votes), they could refrain from military intervention and other actions which force people to flee. An ideal situation would be one in which nobody is forced to migrate, but everybody is free to migrate if they wish to.



6. ‘Frame-breaking: Globalization, Romanticism, Postmodernism.’


Ian Haywood, Roehampton University, London, U.K.
In this talk I will suggest that important and useful parallels exist between the postmodern, globalized condition of modernity and the Romantic era in which migration/exile, nationalism and nostalgia first become powerful political and cultural discourses in opposition to Enlightenment barbarism (war, political economy, imperialism, tyranny). Specifically, I will focus on Byron, the archetypal Romantic radical wanderer and first great European literary celebrity. The Byronic ‘exile’, I will suggest, represents an alternative modern subjectivity: a complex trope of fluid individualism, alienation, pleasure, excess, play, cosmopolitanism, sexual transgression, celebrity, satirical jouissance and strategic nationalism.

I will illustrate these ideas with examples from Byron’s political and literary career, beginning with his defence of the Luddite ‘frame-breakers’ (the basic model of the violent, dispossessed national working class), and drawing on his more famous achievements, the ‘Oriental’ tales, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage and Don Juan. I will end with a brief consideration of J. M. Coetzee’s novel Disgrace, in which Byronism is put forward as an ambiguous resolution of the conflicts between an instrumentalist modernization, the collapse of liberal humanism, women’s emancipation, and violent nationalist territorialism.

7. The Nostalgia at Homeland: Modern Bulgarian National Identity and Economic Existence Abroad


Zhivko Ivanov, Paiissiy Hilendarski University of Plovdiv, Bulgaria
This paper examines the relationship between: economic reasons for emigrating; renewal of the national and patriotic discourse observed abroad; and the redefined national identity of Bulgaria in the European context.

The new forms of distanced emigrant nationalism are available in discursive practice – in electronic fora, websites for emigrants, discussing groups, etc. Cases of traumatic nostalgia are often manifested there, continuing even after a final return home. Both instances of destroyed identity and of economic and social satisfaction are evidenced in the process of surviving in a host country far away from home. In fact, we can observe the rise of a new Bulgarian networking community revolving a great variety of attitudes and opinions about the national and global, about home and abroad, about host country and homeland.


This paper aims to outline a working typology of the new Bulgarian community abroad in relation to the Homeland. Nostalgia is a crucial factor in this.

Theoretical precepts of nostalgia and postmodernity will be brought to bear upon this analysis. Baudrillard observed that the ‘Death of the Real’ provokes nostalgic attempts to restore the real. Nostalgia, as Baudrillard puts it, comes into play as a saving mechanism when the reality principle seems to be under threat. Postmodernity, according to Jameson, is an era of overexposure to Otherness. Through the intermixing of cultures, older truths and foundations of identity are constantly weakened and the coherence of identity is broken. Contemporary society consists of an incredible mix of cultures, traditions, beliefs, philosophies, religions, styles and people. How these precepts apply to discursive practices among Bulgarian emigrants is of interest to this study.


8. Bulgarian National Identity in 21st Century Textbooks in Bulgaria

Milena Katsarska, Plovdiv University / Helpdesk for Intercultural Learning Materials

Using the words of Lies Sercu in National Helpdesks for Intercultural Learning Materials: A Guideline (Utrecht 1999), ‘Immigration, tolerance, … integration, ethnicity, race, … discrimination, exclusion,… equal opportunities, multicultural… These are just some of the beacons guiding a debate on diversity, which is sweeping through public life in North America and Europe, and of which echoes can be heard in many other parts of the world’(12). As part of the process of border removals and due to the transitions taking place in Bulgarian society on a number of levels, many of the above listed “hot issues” become relevant to contemporary Bulgarian and many more will gain relevance in the future. Multicultural and intercultural issues, which have been recurrent motifs in present day public debates, are also, logically, reflected in educational policy making, since education in general, and especially in the state-run obligatory schooling system, is seen as a key location for influencing developments in society. To a great extent reflecting the above-outlined tendencies, in several countries in Europe a number of National Helpdesks have been founded. In general, Helpdesks address themselves to teachers, teacher trainers, textbook authors, publishers, policy makers. Their purpose is to provide practical advice to educational practitioners related to pursuing the objectives of intercultural education. The primary focus of their work falls on teaching materials and media, mainly on textbooks, since, as empirical studies have established, it is what teachers predominantly use in their daily practice. As legal entities, being NGOs, Helpdesks position themselves proactively and become manifestations of a democratic, pluralist and civil society.


This presentation is positioned within the framework of the Helpdesk for Intercultural Learning Materials founded in Bulgaria in January 2003 with a specific focus on its Marginalization Project which explores marginalization as a social phenomenon and conducts a theoretical debate along the axes national/ethnic identity, gender identity and sexuality, and citizenship education.

Relying on the theoretical work of developmental psychologists regarding the formation of national identity with children (Barret, Lyons and De Valle; Barret, Riazanova & Volovikova; Piaget & Weil; among others) and social variability in the developing sense of national identifications with young people, and in view of internationalization of education, we believe national identity to be an important issue in the production of teaching and learning materials as textbooks and their discourses have the potential to be powerful tools in promoting understandings of and constructing identities, including national and ethnic identity. Textbooks can impose limiting and limited understandings of nationalism and national identity thus creating false uniformity and subordinating the individual to the national group. Alternatively, they can become part of a transformative movement creating new and dynamic identities, promoting cultural change and supporting the objectives of intercultural education. In other words textbooks can reinforce existing power structures and hegemonies in Bulgarian society or they can offer alternatives promoting social diversity, respect for otherness, inclusion, and non-discrimination.

As stated in the Framework for textbook analysis with respect to the representation, production and evaluation of ethnic and national identity,

… In our approach to the analysis of textbooks and the educational and legal documentation which they implement we engage in two acts: a) that of researching the textbooks for evidence of how they create and confirm majority national and minority ethnic identities; how they invent ways of belonging to the Bulgarian nation state and observing the established ‘order’, and b) that of crossing the boundary of the established norms and seeking to fulfil the Mission of the Helpdesk to promote intercultural education by pointing at and suggesting ways to overcome the negative consequences of constructing national identity as fixed, closed, and unchanging and of marginalising the nationally and ethnically different in the Bulgarian society.


This presentation uses the empirical findings of the analysis of current educational documentation (legal documents, and state-approved curricula and syllabi), together with currently used primary and secondary school textbooks in Bulgaria and raises the issue of how these tendencies might impact on the future citizens of the world.


9. Balkans in a dialogue – Latin West, Greek-Byzantine East and Islam

Prof. Aleksander Mikołajczak, Collegium Europaeum Gnesnense, Adam Mickiewicz University of Poznań, Poland
1. What does it mean that cultural and civilizing circles cross in Balkans?

The location of the region of Balkans on the south fringe of the continent on Europe and Asia borderland contributes to peculiarity of multicultural Balkans. There Latin West, Greek-Byzantine East and Muslim Orient influences intermingled. All that happened within the multiethnic space in which now Slavs, Greeks, Albanians, Romanians, Turkish, Romany, Jews, Hungarians and others live. Apparently it may seem that it is chaotic mosaic where there is no sequence or order. However, there are cultural and civilizing circles that can be distinguished that put in order multitude of national traditions in this area. The nations belonging to the Latin West or those which are rooted in the Greek-Byzantine tradition form the European civilizing circle in the Balkans. This circle intermingles with the civilizing space of Islam.

It is the heritage of long dating back to antiquity partition which already started to form in Imperium Romanum. Balkans already in antiquity were on the borderland of Latin West and Greek East whose further separation happened in the Middle Ages. The dismemberment was intensified by the Islam expansion, which thanks to Turkish after Constantinople fall in 1453, engulfed almost all Balkan Peninsula. This is how the cultural and civilizing circles were formed which were to influence the countenance of this region of Europe. The borders between the territories marked by the circles are not definite and it is difficult to attribute particular countries to one specific circle. In most cases the borderlines will go through within particular countries and form sort of a net depicting not only ethnic settlement but also cultural and civilizing order which does not depend on national affiliation but on the religion of the region. This situation contributes to inevitable conflicts and to a dialogue which continues despite disagreements.


2. Balkans – a crucimble or a cultural melting pot?

From the historic point of view the dynamic clash and interference of cultural and civilizing circles in Balkans is the main factor that form specific autonomy of this region of Europe. But there is a question if this Balkan multicultural form should be perceived as a mosaic of different, separate identities of particular ethnic and religious communities. Or should it be considered as a syncretic culture conflating different parts from particular civilizing circles into a new form? The first assumption is often compared to the metaphor of a crucible in which all contradictions resulting from ethnic and religious differences boil. The metaphor of a melting pot, which contains numerous ingredients that melt to create a uniform alloy of new characteristics, refers to Balkans cultural community which is above nations and contributes to unique Balkans identity. It seems, though, that none of these metaphors suit the description of reality that is far more complicated and complex than what can be assumed from simple generalizations of the above metaphors.

3. Balkans – the miniature of Europe

While our continent is still uniting, the events of conflicts and dialogue which have been going on for long time on the south-west borderland of Europe should be the source of reflection over future model of EU. If the unity of our continent is not to be the illusion of integrated community only on the legal and economic ground, so it must be reinforced by more stable foundation than global market. Countries whose relations are based on euros or unified legal system are not strong enough to fight national egoism and antagonisms. There must be ideas that can integrate Latin and Byzantine traditions into one European civilization. And if Muslim Turkey is to join EU it would be necessary to work out a new modus vivendi on the level of the dialogue between civilizations. All those problems have focused for a long time in the land of Balkans.


4. Do civilizations clash in Balkans?

An American political scientist Samuel P. Huntington in his book ‘The Clash of Civilization and the Remaking of World Order’ says that in Balkans there is not only the clash of Islamic and European civilizations but also points out the clash between western and Orthodox civilizations which he distinguishes among Latin American and African. If we agree with the theory about the clash of European and Islamic civilizing circles in Balkans (there was a dialogue between those two civilizations), then the problematic opposition of Latin and Orthodox traditions is too big simplification. Although friction and tension between them are real, the statement does not entitle the author to treat Catholicism and Orthodox Church as separate religions. It is also not true that canonical borders of the two religious territories were not in the past and are not today impossible to cross by intercultural dialogue. The long coexistence of Islam and Catholicism (although imposed by force) did not lead to bloodshed conflicts for a long time and led to creation of a particular syncretism of separate civilizing traditions.


10. Ascesis and Globalization: An Orthodox Centre for Drug Addicts in Bulgaria

Desislva Nedelcheva, Varna, Bulgaria

Defining the model of the ancient, and afterwards of the Christian ascesis gradually clears up the notion of man and world in a historical perspective, and, unexpectedly at first sight, draws the picture of the globalized world of today. On the one hand the ancient philosophy considers the world to be a cosmic unity in which the natural and the human determine each other, and on the other hand the Christian vision sets the body as separated from the supreme function of the Spirit which is eternal, while the body is ephemeral. In that sense the ascesis is an internal effort, a spiritual exercise, not a physical torment and a wearisome labour. In today’s modern world the idea of ascesis has thinned to a pedantic rationality and love of economizing. The insane consumption drive of the postindustrial world is an expression of a one-way compensation against the shrunk range of the intimate human experience. Through the ascesis the Christian does not simply overcomes problems and fears, but ascends his spirit to a greater horizon. Globalization uses diets and body restraints, which have nothing in common with the genuine Christian ascesis, in which food abstention represents surmounting of the non-durable and the transient. Today’s models of diets, emptied of spiritual substance, are not related either to the ancient (natural-human) or to the Christian ascesis, which leads to salvation.


The orthodox center for drug addicts, the full name of which is: “Orthodox center for spiritual caring of drug addicts St. Boyan Enravota” at the church “St. Tzar Boris” in Varna is the only one in the country which undertakes the spiritual practice of caring for youth in danger. The center carries out an orthodox terrain work, which achieves remarkable results. On the basis of the above theoretical contemplations we follow the balances of the administration of this particular religious institution – the programs, the daily schedule, the religious education, the most common problems and the achievements (human lives saving) are examined. In this center the spiritual caring of drug addicts does not consists of “simply overcoming” the addictions, but of preparing for a supreme life. The contemporary way of thinking about economic effectiveness, speed and interchangeability, profit and “easy to see” results places the activities in the Center in front of the question of a specific ascetic balance. Organizational progressiveness and vigorousness as well as the strict order keeping give in to the meaningful “going back to chaos”, to the border apathy of ascesis and patience.

The contradictions of globalization are distinct in the interpersonal conflicts of those who work in the Centre, as well as in the total rhythm of the work process and the way of life in the Christan community.

11. Inscribing the Homeland: Translocal Nigerians in a New Space and Age
Tope Omoniyi, Roehampton University, London, U.K.


"A national territory is more than a specially demarcated area or a self-sustaining resource; it is an ‘historic’ territory, a ‘homeland’, a rightful possession from one’s forefathers through the generations. It is distinctive, a unique territory; the identity of the nation is bound up with memory, and this memory is rooted in a homeland."  (Williams, 65)

The mailing list is one of the market squares of the information age. It is thus a site of community formation and identity construction across all layers - individual, gender, community, ethnicity, nationality and race in relation to one perspective of homeland or another.  The discursive production of ‘homeland’ in any of these contexts is complex due to the intricacy of joggling multiple positionings of individuals and groups within interconnecting and multiple layerings of home, community and identity (cf. Kondo, 1996: 113). Diaspora Nigerians like other new immigrant communities contend with their locations on the margins of Western societies and the struggle to enter the mainstream and at the same time maintain some relevance to their Nigerian homelands.  They thus inhabit the interface of memory and reality and tap into a mix of present and past referential resources to do so. Mailing lists and their narratives become tools for inscribing homeland identities within Nigeria’s virtual diaspora as a specific community of practice.  This paper will explore data from a corpus of interactional emails collected from Chat-Afrik a virtual community of Nigerians  who are physically located in different parts of the world. 



12. Narrating the Nation: the Case of the Finnish Magazine “Bulgaria”

Diana Petkova, Research Institute for Social Sciences, University of Tampere, Finland
This paper dwells upon a particular case of image creating of a certain nation: the annual magazine “Bulgaria” published in Finland and edited by Finns. It is dedicated to the postmodern art and design and tells nothing about the country Bulgaria or the Bulgarians. However, the editors use the Bulgarian emblem and flag stylisized as a logo of the magazine.

The paper concentrates on two main issues. First, it examines how the idea of the Bulgarian nation is articulated not by text but by images and symbols. The main thesis of the paper is that the editors of the magazine deconstruct the existing image of the Bulgarian nation in order to reconstruct it again, combining the old elements in a way that new meanings appear. Second, the paper makes some observations of the narration of the Bulgarian nation on the basis of a 2-hour-long interview, taken by the two of the editors on the 3rd of September, 2004 in Helsinki. In combining the method of interview with the content analysis it is hoped that the paper will contribute to the discussion of the national discourses in the epoch of globalization.


13. ‘A past without a past?’: cultural memory and global amnesia

David Richards, The Ferguson Centre, Open University, U.K.

As the old joke has it, nostalgia is not what it used to be. If nothing else, the recent growth in academic exploration, governmental management, and international manifestations of ‘cultural memory’ indicates a crisis in our understanding of temporality which is assuming global proportions. The loss or decay of the ‘aura’ of the past is, as Benjamin argues, a mark of modernity, and the concomitant search and desire for ‘origins’ intensifies a sense of ‘transcendental homelessness’ which is the modern condition (Lukacs). But this is also to forget that ‘modernization itself created the auratic effect to begin with’ (Huyssen). This paper will argue that the processes of remembering and memorialization, as ways of thinking about the historical world, no longer give expression to a belief in a telos of history in which collective nostalgia marked boundaries between a nation’s past and present. While such memory exercises were inherently conservative, they nonetheless embodied a sense of historical development which could be usefully and effectively mobilised as an instrument of progressive transformation and resistance. The paper will also argue that the course of globalisation has intensified this sense of amnesia by promoting certain forms of neo-conservative ‘tradition’ while effectively neutralising other forms of radical memory. I will explore these issues as they are materialised in texts, monuments, conserved ruins, etc, and ask where are the contemporary ‘lieux de memoire’ which counter the reductionism of globalised collective memory?



14. Re-Imagining the Homeland in a Post-Colonial Context


Dennis Walder, Faculty of Arts, Open University, U.K.
This focuses upon the remarkable recent outpouring of attempts by South Africans to reinstate the most derided figure on the old neo-Darwinian racial map, i.e. the Khoisan or Bushman (the very naming is subject to ongoing controversy), in such works as Andre Brink's recent novel The Other Side of Silence, set in German SWA 1890s, some poetic renderings of San songs by Watson and Krog (representing English and Afrikaans SA), and some docu-prose attempts to represent the Kalahari Bushmen as ultimate victims of neo-colonial capitalism. The migrant-European angle would be produced by my own 'reflective-nostalgia' (as defined by Svtelana Boym) perspective, in terms of struggling to come to terms with family links to the German settlement and the so-called Second Reich.