Tag Archives: migration

Narratives of Memory, Migration, and Xenophobia

December 17, 2019

Narratives of Memory, Migration, and Xenophobia in the European Union and Canada is the distinct culmination of an intensive cross-cultural academic endeavour that explores how memories of the past are intricately intertwined with present-day realities and future aspirations. The book is based on a range of experiences that stem from a summer field school focusing on landscapes of memory in Hungary, Germany, France, and Canada, in the context of migration and xenophobia. Contributors include Canadian and European academics; directors, researchers, and educators working at various European memorial sites; as well as graduate students from a wide range of disciplines. This cross-disciplinary investigation is based on a symposium as well as a series of concert performances in Europe and Canada highlighting the complex and multi-layered narratives of memory. The ultimate goal of this scholarly undertaking is to understand how agents of memory — including the music we listen to, the (his)stories that we tell, and the political and social actions that we engage in — create narratives of the past that allow us to make sense of ourselves in the present and to critically contest and challenge xenophobic and nationalistic renderings of political possibilities.


Dr. Helga K. Hallgrímsdóttir is an Associate Professor in Public Administration and a Research Associate in the Centre for Global Studies at the University of Victoria. Her research interests are primarily in historical sociology, comparative political sociology with a focus on grassroots mobilization and social movements claimsmaking. She currently holds a SSHRC Insight grant as Principal Investigator on the link between austerity policies, economic downturn, and the rise of nationalism in Europe; and the principal investigator on a Jean Monnet Erasmus+ grant and SSHRC Connections grant on memory politics in Canada and Europe.

Dr. Helga Thorson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies at the University of Victoria. She is the Co- Director of the I-witness Field School, a 4- week course on Holocaust memorialization in Europe, which she ran for the first time in 2011. In addition, she is the co-founder of “The Future of Holocaust Memorialization: Confronting Racism, Antisemitism and Homophobia through Memory Work” research collective and one of the co-organizers of the group’s first conference at Central European University in Budapest in 2014, followed by a second international conference at the University of Victoria in 2015. Dr. Thorson has received numerous teaching awards including the Faculty of Humanities Teaching Excellence Award at the University of Victoria in 2012; the Excellence in Teaching for Experiential Learning Award at the University of Victoria in 2017; and most recently a 2019 3M National Teaching Award.

Free Download: https://dspace.library.uvic.ca/handle/1828/11314

Purchase a Copy: https://www.uvicbookstore.ca/general/browse/uvic+publications/9781550586503

Dancing the Feminine by Monika Winarnita

Each year UVic faculty, staff, students, alumni, and retirees produce an incredible amount of intellectual content reflecting their breadth and diversity of research, teaching, personal, and professional interests. A list of these works is available here.

Dancing the Feminine: Gender and Identity Performances by Indonesian Migrant Women is a recent title by UVic Anthropology post-doctoral research fellow Monika Winarnita.

About the Book

Dancing the Feminine is a compelling vision of expressions of gender and identity at the heart of the Asian migrant women’s experience as expressed through the performance of cultural dance. Winarnita explores the particular experiences of Indonesian migrant women in Australia and provides an analysis of these cultural performances as ‘rituals of belonging’.

For the Indonesian female migrants, performing ‘femininity’ is frequently negotiated in a cross-cultural context. The performances that Winarnita analyses are dramas of human interaction brought up through fissures and resolutions between the performers and their various audiences. The book provides analysis of these cultural performances as rituals of belonging, which demonstrate that in the diaspora meanings of the ritual are always open to being contested.

A particular appeal of this book is the way in which cultural dance performance offers profound insight into migrants’ life experience as well as into how human beings tell their stories and interact with one another. Based on her experience of performing dance with Indonesian migrant women in Australia, Winarnita provides a unique and novel set of research data that contributes to a diverse body of scholarly work in migration, performance, gender, sexuality and cultural studies, anthropology, and Asian studies.

About the Author

Monika Swasti Winarnita is a Postdoctoral Fellow of Anthropology at the University of Victoria, with affiliation to La Trobe University, Australia. She has a PhD from the Australian National University (2014). Monika was a Project Research Officer for the Centre for Dialogue at La Trobe University ) and  assisted in research projects for various departments at the Australian National University and the University of Indonesia, as well as being the Media Officer for the Indonesia Update Series. Her published work covers Indonesian, Malay and Australian studies, migration, transnational families, diaspora politics, identity, gender, sexuality and cultural performance.

Praise for the Book

“Monika Winarnita’s work provides an intellectually rigorous, insightful, original and engaging examination of the pursuit of ‘traditional, authentic’ Indonesian dance performances by Indonesian immigrant women in Perth, Western Australia. The author is to be congratulated for extracting layers of nuance from a topic that for many may not even have drawn a second look. She reminds us all that all human interactions are fraught with deep, shifting meanings.” – Professor Henry Spiller (Ethnomusicology) and Chair, Department of Music, UC Davis

“This book is a very enjoyable read and makes a very good contribution to knowledge in the field of anthropology of migration in which it sits. The book invigorates key debates in the anthropology of migration – with important insights drawn from Indonesian studies, anthropology and studies of performance.” – Deirdre McKay, Social Geography and Environmental Politics, Keele University