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Reimagining Multiplicity: Anthropological Approaches to the Romani Diaspora 
Arpan Roy (Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient)
Antonio Montañés Jiménez (University of Oxford)
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Martin Fotta (Czech Academy of Sciences)
Music Building (MUS), Lecture Room 101
Thursday 28 July, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

This panel explores the idea of a Romani diaspora by bringing new theoretical concepts into conversation with case studies of the world's Romani peoples. What multiplicities can be found across these groups? How do these variations converge or diverge in a world that is itself diasporic?

Long Abstract:

The concept of diaspora has been central to Roma mobilization and historical identity in the twenty-first century. Although the world's Romani peoples are constituted by significant territorial, cultural and linguistic differences, Romani activists and religious movements seeking to find commonalities as social, political or religious subjects are ubiquitous. However, such movements have arguably been incapable of accounting for the totality of the world's Romani groups—the "diaspora" that this panel seeks to investigate. Anthropology has conflicting ideas about what belonging to a diaspora entails. Recent work by Ghassan Hage (2021) breaks new ground by contributing several new phenomenological concepts to diaspora studies. Hage coins the term "lenticular condition" to suggest that any given reality always contains a multiplicity, whether it be a certain individual subjectivity, citizenship, or home. He also writes of a "haunted spatiality," meaning that an individual or collective belonging to a given diaspora is always "haunted" by the existence of another place, effectively putting the subject in a perennially comparative relation with the world. This panel explores the diasporic condition by bringing anthropological and theoretical concepts into conversation with ethnographic and historical case studies of various Romani communities in the world. What multiplicities can be found across the world's Romani groups? How do these variations converge or diverge with a given locality that itself belongs to a diasporic world? This panel is especially interested in the study of Romani communities outside of Europe.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Thursday 28 July, 2022, -