8 April: MGSoG/UNU-MERIT Migration Seminar “Why Diaspora Matters: New Trajectories in Diaspora Engagement and Research” by Martin Russell
Why Diaspora Matters: New Trajectories in Diaspora Engagement and Research
by Dr. Martin Russell (Diaspora Matters)
Abstract: In 2012, Khachig Tölölyan wrote a formative contribution on the past, present and promise of diaspora studies. The challenges and the promise outlined in this work, to a degree, remain undeveloped. Amidst continuing calls for a changing narrative and deeper analytical nuances in migration studies, this presentation will focus on the need for further work on an emerging fascination of recent years – diaspora engagement. By showcasing work of Diaspora Matters in over 30 countries, the seminar will outline some new potentialities around diaspora engagement and research. Moreover, designed to help early career researchers and policymakers, the seminar will take discussion beyond a theoretical understanding of why we should engage diasporas to an operationally bound focus on how we engage diasporas. Through showcasing our unique 4 step process in building diaspora networks, the seminar will help attendees build their networking skills and research capacities. Perhaps, most excitingly, the seminar will include a lot of fun stories from Ireland and elsewhere and will include stories of diaspora networking, fundraising, and politics. Stories will include some on President Reagan, President Clinton, Margaret Thatcher, the Disney family, the FBI, and how a napkin quite possibly changed the Peace Process in Northern Ireland!