Homeland and Diaspora: Connection through Spaces
Speaker: Vahagn Vardanyan
The proposed talk is on the ‘diaspora return’ as the core of homeland’s inclusionary approach toward its diaspora, within the theoretical framework of key geographic concepts of ‘space’ and ‘place’. Definitions of ‘diaspora’ differ. However, one commonly accepted feature of the concept is that diaspora assumes return and return is permanent, even if it is virtual or metaphorical. This, probably, is the main aspect that distinguishes diasporans from migrants who carry ethnic heritage, without maintaining connections to the homeland. Diasporans maintain links to the homeland on a permanent basis, aimed at preserving the national identity and preventing assimilation. Diasporas, being physically in the host country, at the same time, maintain loyalty to the homeland, and loyalty to the non-territorial transnation prevails. Many nation-states, which have a diaspora abroad, are applying an inclusionary approach toward the latter, aimed at strengthening the power of the state and strengthening and promoting the national identity. The relationship between diaspora and the homeland is changing over time as a result of various processes and transformations, in particular, political, such as achieving political independence and establishment of a sovereign nation-state. With space interpreted in a different form, space as place is seen vital in homeland-diaspora relations. Place-centrism is emphasized as an essential condition for transforming the homeland into a specific place of return.
Head of High School, IB Diploma Programme Coordinator (Hillside World Academy, Singapore). AUA Alumni.
This event is in English. No interpretation will be provided. This event is open to public.
Organizer: College of Humanities and Social Sciences