15-16 June 2017

Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Studies with Ethnographic Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

Sofia, Bulgaria

Alongside the issues related to migration policies, immigrants’ sociocultural adaptation and the functioning of immigrant networks in the receiving society, the intensive migration processes in the past three decades from Eastern Europe to West European countries and the United States pose in new perspective the topic of cultural heritage abroad, of its construction and maintenance in foreign cultural environments.

Carried by the immigrants outside their homelands, this heritage is reconstructed in a specific way in the conditions of immigration and is a major factor in the formation and consolidation of immigrant communities. Depending on the time and circumstances of migration and on the immigrants generational affiliation, the introduction and acquisition of ‘native’ culture can begin already in the country of origin (through the family, school, media, etc.), but can also take place abroad – in family settings, in the communication with co-nationals inside the immigrants’ networks, through the contacts maintained in the home country or in relation to the work of institutions, such as schools, churches, cultural associations abroad, etc.

In the process of acquiring ‘native’ culture and establishing sites and institutions for this acculturation, immigrant communities pass through different forms and levels of consolidation, interacting with the cultural heritage brought in the new environment, as well as influencing upon it depending on the specific needs and sociocultural dynamics of the community. Immigrants not only use cultural heritage in their integration and consolidation (group or personal) strategies, but they also preserve in a particular way a range of important elements of the national culture – language, customs, beliefs, celebrations, folklore texts, etc. The latter play the role of core points in the individual and group identity of immigrants in the foreign environment, they are shared and pointed out in different contexts and are an object of maintenance and promotion through various community activities, media and social networks.

Deadline: 31 March 2017.

Read the full call for papers here.