International Conference 2025

organized by EHum2MHumanistic Studies on Migrations and Marginalization, a research team of the Centre for Humanistic Studies (CEHUM) at the University of Minho, together with the Department for Languages, Literatures and Cultures (FAH), University of Madeira

Venue: Colégio dos Jesuítas, FunchalJanuary 30-31, 2025

Submission deadline extended to June 30, 2024.

Coinciding with the 80th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, this conference will take place on the Island of Madeira, which is known by the jurisdictional language as “outermost region”, but which will become a centre for transdisciplinary academic reflection on issues touched by it from history to the present day: during the 19th century, members of European royal families took refuge in Madeira (not only) for health and leisure reasons, as well as Jews who fled National Socialist persecution, and digital nomads during the 2020 pandemic. These examples provide evidence that migration and mobility articulate well-being and violence in the oscillation of peripheral places as margin and centre. Lastly, Madeira is part of Macaronesia (‘the fortunate islands’), a bioregion where the Atlantic volcanic island is a geographic and cultural reference point, ranging from Cape Verde to the Azores, archipelagos where several of the aspects under consideration at this meeting coexist: the Canary Islands are a destination for migrants from the African coast, the Azores have traditionally witnessed emigration to the American continent, and Cape Verde is the repository of traumatic histories, such as those of colonialism and the Tarrafal Concentration Camp, used as remote prison for political and social enemies of the Estado Novo regime.

The conference Peripheries in Times of Crisis aims at expanding this discussion to other contexts from the perspective of the Arts and Humanities, bringing together researchers from areas such as literary and cultural studies, linguistics, translation, history and communication, not excluding relevant contributions from other scientific areas regarding the representations, narratives and discourses in times of crisis. Papers that focus on peripheral realities beyond the European continent and the Lusophone and Anglo-Saxon world are especially welcome. The aim is to challenge the very etymology of the word ‘periphery’ as a circumference, promoting, with Walter Benjamin, the distinction between the threshold – a hybrid zone where imagination boils – and the border – a bureaucratic category, a single line of barrage and separation (Barrento, 2022:87). In this sense, the periphery is to be considered literally and metaphorically, including islands, suburbs and regions as well as identities, representations and histories usually ignored or discriminated against.

Barrento, João (2022). Walter Benjamin: A sobrevida das ideias – ensaios e diário. Famalicão: Edições do Saguão.

Taking all these aspects into consideration, we invite scholars to submit their proposals on one of the following topics, which are by no means exclusive:

1. Migration, peripheries and crisis.

2. Disasters, borders, margins and threshold spaces.

3. Travelling, exile and confinement in times of crisis.

4. Minority identities and crisis.

5. Insular, suburban and transnational cultures in crisis.

6. Representation and memory of refugees, displaced people and nomads.

7. Utopias and heterotopias in times of crisis.

8. Crisis and thinking in/about margins, borders and threshold spaces.   

9. Language(s), discourse, translation and peripheries.