NIAS Conference 2021 on Studies of Belonging

Wednesday 9 – Friday 11 June 2021, online (Netherlands)


On the occasion of NIAS’ 50th anniversary , the conference on Studies of Belonging aims to set the agenda for future interdisciplinary and international collaborations on this topic

This Conference will be made up of interdisciplinary panels of researchers, artists, writers and journalists.  During the 2.5 day working conference, we will collaboratively explore the yet unestablished field of Studies of Belonging and will learn and understand the concept of Belonging as it is used and expressed in arts and the social sciences.

Keynote Speakers

  • Gloria Wekker, NIAS Alumni and Emeritus Professor Gender and Ethnicity, University of Utrecht, speaking on the thread of Identity, Inequality and Politics
  • Amin Ghaziani, Professor of Sociology, University of British Columbia, speaking on the thread of Community and the Individual
  • Nadim Rouhana NIAS Alumni and Professor of International Affairs and Conflict Studies, Tufts University, speaking on the thread of Borders and Mobility

The overarching theme of Belonging will be divided into four topical threads. Listeners can choose from over 30 panel discussions, creating their own conference journey.

Each topical thread will have interdisciplinary panels consisting of scholarly and artistic presentations.

Community and the Individual
This thread focuses on the importance and pitfalls for individuals of belonging to a (local, imagined, virtual, religious) community. It deals with the tension between the self and community-life.

Practices of Belonging
How do human beings bring belonging into practice? Also in relation to place-attachment? What tools and material objects do they use, develop and implement in their daily lives to sustain a sense of belonging or to create this anew?

Borders and Mobility
This thread deals with the relation between idea(l)s of the nation-state, (up)rootedness, borders, finding refuge, cultural boundaries and (trans)national institutions in regards to issues of belonging.

Identity, Inequality and Politics
This thread explores the interplay between belonging, identity and politics based on social markers such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, (dis)ability, and class. The notion of politics is used in the broadest sense of the word, ranging from power relations on the micro-level of everyday interactions, to more structural, institutionalized forms of power-inequalities and the struggle for belonging.


Find out more information and book your place here:

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