Call for papers for conference on the emerging realities of cosmopolitan cities

York’s Founders College is calling for papers for its upcoming fall conference, Towards a Democratic Cosmopolis: Diaspora, Citizenship and Recognition, which will explore the emerging realities of cosmopolitan cities such as Toronto, London, New York, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires and Paris.

These cities, and their surrounding areas, have attracted large numbers of migrants and immigrants in search of better economic, political and cultural conditions. They continue to serve as sites for the relocation experiences of people from a wide range of different ethnic, social, cultural, religious and political backgrounds.

The changing dynamics of migrations and immigrations in the GTA, for example, are essential for contextualizing discussions of citizenship, recognition and identity in the broader environment of resettlement, through the use of an interdisciplinary perspective. The conference will bring together scholars to discuss and debate the values of democratic cosmopolitanism.

The four-day conference – Oct. 21 to 24 at York and at off-campus locations – will consider contemporary and historical aspects of the diasporas of groups in the GTA and other cities who have migrated for a variety of reasons, including economic opportunity and political persecution.

The conference will address the extent to which members of resettled groups – migrants, immigrants and their descendants – feel they are part of a larger community (as Canadians) in electoral participation as well as other aspects of exercising citizenship. It will also examine whether these cities shape their identities and if they experience recognition as citizens in terms of a sense of place and belonging or whether a new form of global citizenship arises as a consequence of multi-centred diasporas. The need for these experiences to be integrated into an understanding of an emerging cosmopolitanism will also be discussed.

Some of the questions the conference will look to answer are: What kinds of identities have been formed? How connected are they to each other within a community of origin and resettlement and how do they see themselves as fitting into a larger community? Do ethno-cultural groups feel they are recognized? Does settlement and life in the GTA and other large cities help them in terms of available ethnic spaces and places and do broader societal values of a cosmopolitan nature promote a sense of belonging and inclusion?       

Contributors to the conference are encouraged to submit their papers for publication in a volume that will be a unique contribution to the growing field of diversity studies and the challenges of building inclusive societies.

Papers will be considered on related themes. A 100- to 150-word abstract should be submitted by Monday, April 20 to If the paper is accepted for presentation, an eight- to 10-page draft paper must be submitted by Monday, Aug. 10. All papers accepted for and presented at the conference will be published online. Selected papers will be considered for publication in an edited volume.

For more information, visit the Founders College Web site.