Call for Papers

We Gathering 2020: Celebrating Successes, Building Bridges and Exploring New Frontiers

University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus

Date: November 16th-18th, 2020

Submission Deadline: April 15th, 2020

The Government of Barbados has announced, as part of its vision for 2020, “We Gatherin’ Barbados.” This is proposed as a “homecoming,” inviting all Barbadians to contribute to rebuilding Barbados. The concept of ‘We Gatherin’’ is of theoretical and practical significance, as the Government has chosen to define ‘Bajan’ outside of the traditional borders of nationhood and descent, and has included “Barbadians by choice.” This creates an opportunity to interrogate age-old questions surrounding diasporic movements, identities and ‘home’ in the contemporary era.

In order to adequately analyse this call for a ‘gathering’ the Department of Government, Sociology, Social Work & Psychology is hosting a conference entitled “We Gathering’ 2020: Celebrating Successes, Building Bridges and Exploring New Frontiers.” The aim of the Conference is twofold; to reflect on the impact of diasporic movements on Caribbean development and to explore new frontiers of diasporic thought and praxis.

While research demonstrates that the diaspora has played a significant role in the economic development of the region in the form of remittances, there is a need to explore the many other ways in which diaspora has and still is contributing to the political, social and cultural development of the Caribbean. Consequently, the conference seeks to have a multidisciplinary discussion, analysing diasporic movements from all of these aspects.


Conference Themes

A. Cultural Identities, Nationalism and Questions of “Homeland”

This theme seeks to explore the conception of transnational identities based on race, ethnicity, class, nationality and gender.

  1. Cultural versus political identity
  2. Pan-Africanism and Caribbean identities
  3. Race, ethnicity and diaspora
  4. Cultural imperialism and identity
  5. Psychosocial impacts of migration and return migration
  6. Gender and migration

B. “Beyond the Barrel:” Economic Contributions of the Diaspora and its Social Implications

This theme seeks to explore the economic contributions of diaspora, beyond the concept of remittances.

  1. Reverse remittances: financial and other material goods sent to migrant families
  2. Diasporic tourism
  3. Caribbean social movements and networks
  4. New paradigms of transnationalism and development

C. Youth, ICTs and Transnationalism

This theme seeks to explore the youth’s understanding of identity and diaspora, taking into consideration their temporal context. The worldwide web, information technology, and other innovations in communication and transportation have altered drastically the reality of the region’s youth in comparison to other historical periods. The theme seeks to examine how these factors have changed or shaped, the contributions of youth in the diaspora and how these contributions can be used to drive Caribbean development.

  1. Caribbean popular culture
  2. Social Media and transnational movements
  3. The internationalisation of Caribbean culture
  4. Youth social movements

D. Climate Change and the Role of Diaspora in Natural Disasters

This theme seeks to explore the impact of climate change upon the Caribbean and the Caribbean diaspora. Recently, catastrophic natural disasters have led to the dislocation of peoples, economic devastation and psychological damage. The diaspora has played a significant role in providing moral and economic support to the survivors of these disasters. The theme seeks to understand the dynamics of this support and its potential for developing a holistic disaster management strategy in the region.

  1. Social networks and social movements
  2. Civil society organisations and movements
  3. Diaspora philanthropic work
  4. The politics of dislocation: disaster refugees and asylum seekers

Submission Guidelines

Conference participation in the form of individual papers and complete panels, whose themes fall within the thematic list below, are both welcomed. Listed under each theme, are suggested topics, papers which are not based on these topics but are relevant to the theme will be accepted. Proposals can be submitted electronically to Proposals must be written in English.

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Guidelines for Individual Papers

  1. Title of paper and names of author(s)
  2. Abstracts must be no longer than 250 words
  3. Biography no longer than 200 words
  4. Papers must be submitted in Word format

Guidelines for Panels

  1. Title of panel
  2. Name of panel co-ordinator
  3. Panel abstract no longer than 250 words
  4. List of panellists and their presentations
  5. Biography for each panellist no longer than 200 words


Conference attendees and participants can register online or on site. More detailed information will be provided at a later date.

Registration fee: US $250.00

Student fees: US $150.00