A Global Conference on Diaspora Studies and Policies



   Challenging Perspectives on the Indian Diaspora

  A Global Conference on Diaspora Studies and PoliciesDate: October 5-7, 2017

Venue:International Institue of Social Studies (ISS)at The Hague, The Netherlands

The Foundation of the Lalla Rookh Academic Chair (Stichting Diaspora Leerstoel in Lalla Rookh), in conjunction with VU University of Amsterdam, The International Institute of Social Studies of the Erasmus University Rotterdam in The Hague and the Municipality of The Hague, are organizing a Global Conference on Indian Diaspora Studies.

The Why of this Conference

The theme of this conference is “Challenging Perspectives on the Indian Diaspora”. The word “challenging” carries two meanings. First, challenging perspectives as in creating new, interesting, and intriguing perspectives. Second, challenging also refers to engagement with prevailing perspectives. While wider diaspora studies informs the discussions of the conference, the focus is on the Indian Diaspora.

We welcome academic and policy papers from disciplinary, multidisciplinary and inter-disciplinary approaches that will emphasize new areas and linkages with India, including the role of Bollywood films, homemaking and integrating practices, identity making, issues concerning citizenship and legal arrangements, and the politics and economics of diaspora. The conference will pay attention to exploring topics from new disciplinary areas, such as anthropology, economics, law, politics, sociology, geography, art and media, and history.

Suggested (but not limited to) topics for papers

In addition to the existing themes such as the history of indentured labour and the financial potential of diaspora’s, we appreciate papers on the following topics:

1. Indenture heritage 10. Religious transnationalism
2. Ethnic group formation or 11. The impact of Bollywood
assimilation 12. Diaspora tourism
3. Stratification and elite formation 13. Political contributions
4. Modes of integration 14. Gender issues
5. Political, economic and social 15. Declining or increasing diaspora
achievements bonding
6. Indian nationalism 16. Diaspora foreign policy
7. Transnational relations 17. Diaspora markets
(global and regional) 18. Trade, investment and consumption
8. India in the diaspora 19. The impact of remittances
9. The diaspora in India


We will be inviting scholars and researchers from all over the world and expect to have participants and presentations confirmed from Fiji, Mauritius, the Caribbean, India, the Netherlands, the USA, UK, and Australia. We therefore encourage you to react to the call for papers and also disseminate this call to your networks.


  • The deadline for the submission of abstracts is 1 April 2017.
  • The deadline for the submission of papers is 1 July 2017.

More information is available on the website www.gcids2017.org. The information is being updated regularly, so please keep visiting the website for the latest news.

Follow us at: www.gcids2017.org

For more information mail to: gcids2017@gmail.com

Looking forward to your contributions,

Ruben Gowricharn, Professor Indian Diaspora Studies, VU University Amsterdam Rajendre Khargi, Chair Lalla Rookh Foundation for Diaspora Studies, The Hague

Confirmed Keynote Speakers

The following distinguished researchers and academics will be keynote speakers at the conference

  • Professor Brij Lal, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
  • Professor Jayaram, former Dean Tata Institute for Social Sciences, Mumbai
  • Professor Shakuntala Rao, State University New York, Faculty of Communication
  • Professor Vineeta Sinha, National University Singapore, Head of Department of Sociology,
  • Professor Peter van de Veer, Director of the Max Plack Institute, Göttingen Germany

The Conference Organizing Committee and Advisory Board

Ruben Gowricharn

VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Badri Narayan

University of Allahabad, Allahabad India

Richard Allan

Framingham State University, Framingham MA, USA

Peter van Bergeijk

Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, The Netherlands

Frank Bovenkerk

University of Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Chandersen Choenni

VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Maurits Hassankhan

University of Suriname, Paramaribo, Suriname

  1. Jayaram

Former Dean Tata Institute of Social Sciences Mumbai, Bengaluru,India

Rachel Kurian

Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, The Netherlands

Brij Lal

Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

Pál Nyíri

VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Rinus Penninx

University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Brinsley Samaroo

University of the West Indies, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago

Vinod Subramaniam

Rector VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands

About Lalla Rookh Academic Chair at VU University

The Lalla Rookh academic chair has been established as a private initiative within the Surinamese Indian Community to study the history and the impact of the Indian migration from India to Suriname and to The Netherlands. The Chair is incorporated within the Faculty of Humanities of the VU University Amsterdam. The first five years (2010-2015) were dedicated to research and documenting the history of this Indian diaspora. Starting from the recruitment and arrival of the first indentured labourers in 1873 to Suriname, to the whereabouts of this diaspora community in the modern Netherlands. The research agenda for the next five years (2016-2020) is focused on the future and the social developments of the Indian diaspora in The Netherlands. This global conference fits into the overarching ambition for a more comparative study in this platform.




  1. Good beginnings of having such conferences. I hope one day we will start having conferences to think and discuss how we can eliminate the extreme poverty of India.