P143
Complicating contemporary understandings of citizenship and belonging

Convenors:
Beth Rubin (Rutgers University)
Ellen Skilton (Arcadia University)
Chair:
Thea Abu El-Haj (Rutgers University)
Discussant:
Hana Cervinkova (University of Lower Silesia and Czech Academy of Sciences)
Format:
Panels
Location:
U6-27
Start time:
21 July, 2016 at 9:00
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

This panel explores the complexity of how contemporary citizenship narratives are constructed, alternately, from positions of power and resistance, leveraging memories and silences to create imaginative geographies that reinscribe and challenge dominant constructions of belonging and citizenship.

Long abstract:

This panel explores the complexity of contemporary bids for citizenship and how different citizenship narratives are constructed, alternately, from positions of power and resistance, leveraging memories and/or silences to create imaginative geographies that reinscribe or challenge dominant constructions of belonging and citizenship. Drawing on ethnographic work in many parts of the world, these papers look at the complexity of immigration and belonging, the creative pathways through which communities define themselves in relation to others, and the ways that global systems shape what is possible in local contexts. Drawing on the strengths of anthropology to seek emic explanations for human practices, the papers interrogate commonplace assumptions about contemporary society. Questions raised include: Is integration always connected to a common good? Are efforts at revitalization more valuable than preservation? Can emotions play a central role in the politics of citizenship? What is the role of nationalism in post-conflict contexts? In each case, presenters wrestle with key questions of belonging in contemporary society.