Conference on Creative Cultures and Multiethnic Communities: Benefits and Challenges of Cultural Diversity
11-14 January 2015, Longyearbyen, Svalbard
The creativity of diverse communities.
Globalisation is about more than just faceless transfers of populations and capital on a massive scale: It also changes how local communities function. In much of the world, ethnic homogeneity is now the exception rather than the rule. Even towns and cities that have long possessed minority populations are growing increasingly diverse as new nationalities supplement established communities.
The challenges of cultural, religious, and racial diversity are prominent in the public discourse surrounding ethnic diversity. But can localities also harness multiculturalism for community benefit? Can ethnic diversity contribute to cultures of creativity and innovation, strengthening local business competitiveness and community cohesion? Can multicultural communities develop a sense of shared visionand values? How can policymakers and community leadersmake the most of multiculturalism’s creative potential?
Creative Cultures and Multiethnic Communities will explore these and other questions through a combination of academic and policy presentations and field trips into the community of Longyearbyen.
The multiethnic Arctic.
Located in the Svalbard archipelago, between Norway and the North Pole, the settlement of Longyearbyen is the northernmost town in the world. It is also a multiethnicexemplar: Longyearbyen has just 2400 inhabitants, nearly all immigrants, representing over 40 countries. Although Svalbard belongs to Norway, citizens from around the world are entitled to work and reside here.
Longyearbyen is diverse, but is it multicultural? Does this Norwegian-dominated community draw strength from or simply attempt to ignore its countless national minorities? Can a town in which most residents stay for just a few years truly create its own local culture?
Attendance at the conference is open to all interested individuals. If you wish to give a presentation at the conference, please see the call for papers. The deadline for abstracts is 30 June 2014. Registration is due by 30 September 2014.