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Continue reading the Preface...

The AHM 2023 Annual Conference, Diasporic Heritage and Identity, has a special focus on diaspora and heritage, with the main objective of layering the range of positive or negative emotions and memory narratives that can emerge in diasporic communities at different times and under different cultural and political conditions. This event and the ensuing proceedings aim to frame a reflection that is very much present in the contemporary academic debate concerning the forms of diasporic heritages and identity constructions through material and immaterial heritage and the close relationship these narratives have with individual and collective memories. The conference seeks to explore the narrative choices that diasporic individuals and communities adopt to define and challenge usually essentialized and monolithic concepts such as heritage, identity, homeland, home, and homemaking. Considering the various meanings and domains of diasporic heritage, the AHM conference investigates how different diasporic communities respond to, represent and interpret their identity in a changing cultural and global context. This interdisciplinary conference includes papers and panels that explore central themes related to diasporic heritage and identity such as materiality and musealisation of diasporic heritage, legacies and urban dynamics of colonial heritage, transitional justice, cultural, literary and artistic imaginaries, diasporas in the digital age as well as silent and denied histories and identities in (post)conflict societies.

The event and this volume include contributions on how these discourses on diaspora and heritage interact with (post/de-) colonial narratives, as well as articles that provide a lens through which to explore (and question) the very way we do research in relation to diasporic communities. The dialogues on this topic are conducted by scholars at different points in their research careers, and we are pleased to support several newly emerging scholars in the field of heritage and memory studies. We firmly believe that these papers, and the discussions that emerge within the conference, offer a rich collection of cases which draw our attention to the plethora of ways in which diasporic subjects respond to displacement. This conference explores discourses of diasporic heritage, which correspond to the plethora of media, museological, political, historical and journalistic narratives and literary texts that structure a public and common understanding of identity around the world.

The AHM Annual Conference Proceedings is doubtlessly a mere excerpt of the richness and diversity of the advancements in the field of Heritage, Memory Studies and Material Culture and depict the AHM’s ongoing research which seeks to integrate all branches of research focusing on the material and intangible remains of the past, the reciprocal relations between objects and meanings, and the dynamics of memory, from diverse theoretical and methodological perspectives, concept-oriented, object-oriented and user-oriented approaches. The integrative, interdisciplinary and critical approach of problematising, conceptualising and analysing heritage and memory acts, and material culture practices, policies and politics on all levels in Europe and beyond is unique to AHM.

The proceedings series ‘History, Culture, and Heritage’ aims to publish proceedings from conferences on history from late antique, medieval, and early modern European history to broader cultural heritage and contemporary studies, including topics such as memory studies, conflict, war and genocide in strong collaboration with the The Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture (AHM) and the Amsterdam University Press under the editorship of Prof. Ihab Saloul. All proceedings include peer-reviewed full-length articles.

Ihab Saloul

University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Read more about the organizing institution: The Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture (AHM) 

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