Between Past and Future: Culture, Heritage and Community Development of Polonia in Towns and Small Cities
Cape Breton University, Canadian Polish Research Institute
An Interdisciplinary Conference
Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
July 25-28, 2013
Call for Papers
the partial exception of early settlements on the Canadian Prairies and
Canada's first Polish settlement in the "Kaszuby" area of Renfrew
County, Ontario, Polish communities outside Canada's major metropolitan
centres such as Toronto or Montreal have received only scant academic
attention. And yet such studies would help us illuminate immigrant
experiences and develop a more nuanced and complex understanding of the
aspirations, integration processes and cultural attachment of
descendants of immigrants.
For many years, the national
Polish-Canadian organizations were occupied with the demands of
metropolitan immigrant settlement and integration. However, with Poland
having become a democratic and generally prosperous country, Polish
immigration to Canada has slowed significantly since the early 1990s.
Canadians of Polish descent - and students of Canadian Polonia -- may
now be more inclined to take a greater interest in longstanding,
relatively isolated, but still enduring Polonia settlements. By
exploring and comparing the fates of the Polish communities across the
country, we gain a greater understanding of the factors contributing to
cultural retention, including mutual support systems, economic
prospects, physical landmarks, a multicultural milieu, and key
organizations or individuals serving as leaders and tradition bearers.
research is needed on what cultural attributes, under what
circumstances, should be considered critical or fundamental in
maintaining a sense of ethnic identity and maintaining a residential
cluster. For example, how important is language retention? How are new
immigrants welcomed by older or native-born settlers from the same
ethnic community? What ensures the survival of some organizations and
the disappearance of others? How have Polish traditions and customs
changed over time? How have Poles and non-Poles recorded and remembered
the history of Polonia? How do the Polonia experiences resemble or
differ from those of other ethnic communities? How is the Canadian
Polonia different from its counterparts in the United States, Britain
This conference will provide an interdisciplinary
venue where historians, anthropologists, political scientists, literary
geographers, sociologists, folklorists and many others can exchange
their diverse understandings of the evolution of Polonia in small
population centres. The conference will stimulate discussions on the
theory and practice of heritage conservation, cultural expression,
commemoration and community economic development, while identifying
future directions in these fields. Consequently, we welcome proposals
for papers from scholars and practitioners working across a range of
projects and disciplines. Such studies and discussion papers will help
us not only to better understand Polish communities but potentially also
to develop contemporary supports for other ethnic communities.
invite established and emerging scholars and practitioners to submit
proposals for individual papers (250 words and a one-page CV), as well
as full panels and round table discussions (500 words and one-page CVs
of all participants). Please include name, institutional affiliation and
full contact details.
Proposals should be submitted by March 15, 2013, to the following e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information, please visit www.canadianpolishinstitute.org/conference.