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Call: Indigeneity across Borders: Rethinking Indigenous Belonging in the Urban Milieu (University of Cambridge, 7 Nov 2019)

1-day Workshop

As a reflection of the growing trend of global urbanisation, the urban milieu is rapidly becoming the main residential site for indigenous peoples worldwide, representing one of the most important challenges faced by modern indigenous societies. Land dispossession, poverty, militarisation, natural disasters, lack of employment opportunities, and the deterioration of traditional livelihoods have been among the factors that have contributed to indigenous peoples’ migration and settlement in cities. Whatever the reason that have led to this condition, indigenous peoples in cities often face particular challenges that make them vulnerable to a range of socio-political and economic inequalities. As the literature on indigenous peoples reveals, poverty and racism have prevented indigenous peoples from significantly improving their living conditions when they move to cities.

The Indigeneity across Borders workshop is seeking contributions that address, but are not limited to, the following questions:

  • New theoretical thinking on ethno-cultural borders and symbolic border making, including processes of identity building and construction of the ‘Other’.
  • The role of collective indigenous action: mobilisation, conflict, social movements, and associations.
  • The diverse material and symbolic relationships established with the communities of origin and with the state.
  • Urban citizenship, place-making and the struggle for rights to the city.
  • Challenges to the nation-state framework and its management of urban indigeneity.
  • Intersectional inequalities faced by indigenous peoples in cities related to (though not restricted to) racism, gender, unemployment, access to health, housing and education services.
  • The socio-political impact of indigenous spatial mobility and the multiple forms of intervention and appropriation of urban space.
  • The role of indigenous intellectuals, thinkers, and artists in constructing indigenous identities.

Organisation and Logistics:
This is a 1-day workshop taking place on Thursday 7 November 2019 at Newnham College, University of Cambridge. There are no fees to pay and light meals will be provided during the day.

Abstract Submission:
Abstracts should summarise the objectives of the proposed paper and explain how they relate to the key questions addressed in this call. Abstracts should not exceed 250 words and include a title for the presentation, the names, contact details and affiliation of all authors- Submit by 14 August 2019 to

Workshop Dynamics:
All accepted participants are requested to send a short paper of no more than 1,000 words by 4 October 2019. Papers will be shared with all participants prior to the workshop to better prepare interaction and discussion. During the workshop, each presentation should not exceed 15 minutes. Each panel will be followed by provocative thoughts from paper discussants. As such, we will allow sufficient time for in-depth engagement and discussion. The aim will be to publish an academic Blog entry soon after the workshop.

Date: 7 November 2019
Newnham College, University of Cambridge
Keynote speaker: Professor Andrew Canessa, Head of Department of Sociology, University of Essex
Organisers: Dana Brablec (Department of Sociology, Cambridge) and Sibylla Warrington (Department of Geography, Cambridge)

If you have any questions, please send them to Dana Brablec: