The Latest News from the Centre of Home and Belonging Network
Posted by Dr Larissa Allwork
December and January have been busy months for the scholars affiliated to the Diasporic Constructions of Home and Belonging International Training Network.
In between completing my book, Holocaust Remembrance Between the National and the Transnational for Bloomsbury Academic, I have been engaging in a range of events and talks which have been about encouraging the study of diasporas, migration and transnationalism.
On 1-2 December 2013, I was invited by the Lithuanian Embassy in London in association with the University of Hull and the London Metropolitan Archives to engage with the symposium, ‘Litvak Days: The Lithuanian Jews in Anglo-Jewish, History, Culture and Identity’. This event featured lectures by Nicholas J. Evans (The University of Hull), Michael Berkowitz (UCL) and Galina Baronova (The Lithuanian State Archives). It sought to explore the social, cultural and economic impact of Lithuanian Jews who have immigrated to Britain since the 1880s. A talk by Lorna Kay of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain reminded scholars of the wealth of archival materials available in Manchester, and pointed to the wider importance of the ‘Moving Here’ project for UK histories of Jewish, Caribbean, Irish and South Asian migration.
On 12 December 2013, I was joined by University of Northampton CoHaB Early Career Researcher, Sarah Knor and we went to the book launch of Bryan Cheyette’s ‘Diasporas of the Mind: Jewish and Postcolonial Writing and the Nightmare of History’ (Birkbeck, University of London). Cheyette’s book looks set to be a major contribution to Literature and Diaspora Studies, uniting post-Holocaust and Postcolonial approaches, questioning disciplinary thinking and asking that scholars rethink the current teleology that underpins Diaspora Studies. Cheyette’s book was also introduced by Professor Robert Eaglestone (Royal Holloway, University of London) and Professor Susheila Nasta MBE (The Open University).
Professor Janet Wilson is currently in India, and has given talks to Early Career Researchers at the CoHaB Summer School at the University of Mumbai (17-21 January 2014). She will soon be giving an address to the “Diasporic Indian Cinemas and Bollywood on the Diaspora” conference held by CoHaB partner CASII in association with the Osmania University Centre for International Programmes (22-24 January 2014). Wilson will be joined at this conference by University of Northampton PhD student, Anna Maria Everding who will also be presenting a paper. Over the coming term, we look forward to welcoming CoHaB ECRs, Ruby Rana and Elizabeth Syrkin as visiting scholars to the School of the Arts.
Closer to Northampton, on Wednesday 22nd January, I will be giving a pre-screening talk at the Errol Flynn Film Theatre on Margarethe von Trotta’s Hannah Arendt (2012). On the following day, Thursday 23rd January I will be commemorating this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day with Dr Paul Jackson, Professor Cathie Carmichael (The University of East Anglia) and Chris Webb (Park Campus, 1pm onwards). Thinking about the lessons and legacies of the Nazi-era for human and minority rights will be additionally sobering this year, as we mark twenty years since the genocide in Rwanda and confront the shocking images emerging from Syria.