Faculty of Arts and Education

Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation


2010 International Multiculturalism Symposium

Comparative Multiculturalism from Transnational and Global Perspectives

Organised by
The Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation
Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia

in partnership with
The Audiovisual Media Lab for the study of Cultures and Societies
University of Ottawa, Canada

and supported by
Australian Multicultural Foundation

Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board

Municipal Association of Victoria


Thursday 25 - Friday 26 November 2010
Venue: hd2.006
Melbourne Burwood Campus, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia

Symposium Program

Symposium Image Gallery



Organising Committee

 Professor Fethi Mansouri
(Symposium Convenor and Co-Chair)
Director, Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation
Chair, Migration and Intercultural Relations
Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia



 Professor Boulou Ebanda de B’béri
(Symposium Co-Chair)
Founding Director, Audiovisual Media Lab for the Studies of Cultures and Societies
Professor of Media and Cultural Studies, Department of Communication
University of Ottawa, Canada


Dr Vince Marotta
Deputy Director, Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation
Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia



 Mrs Chippy Kurian Sunil
Coordinator, Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation
Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia






Immigration debates and the rise of human mobility in many European and North American countries, but as well in Australia and New Zealand reflect a number of transnational discursive productions, such as the perception of porous national borders, socio-economic insecurity, and rising political instability. As a response to this rise in immigration flows and human mobility, many émigré-societies have heavily relied on multiculturalism as a social policy response to deal with settlement’s related issues of new immigrants. The symposium will also explore different issues such as the meaning of citizenship, social justice, intercultural tensions and related social problems.

However, more recently, multiculturalism has come under attack and gradually started to retreat as a socio-political concept for dealing with cultural and religious diversity in the wake of today’s economic difficulties and security risks and the rise of human mobility. Indeed, multiculturalism is now being undermined by stronger discursive practices, which tend to encourage a commitment to particular mainstream values of national identity. Within this retreating version of multiculturalism, whose discursive trajectories seem to move from cosmopolitanism to assimilationism, migrant communities in Western émigré countries, as well as western nationals with visible and invisible non-western markers, are increasingly engaging and challenging notions of representations, national belonging, and cultural identity.

This symposium features a number of prominent international scholars who will discuss and present their latest research and reflections on multiculturalism. Among others themes, the participants will address the following key issues:

  • Rethinking multiculturalism in/for the context of 21st century
  • Transnational multiculturalism
  • Multiculturalism and cultural representations
  • Visibility/invisibility of racial, cultural, and religious minorities in émigré societies
  • The state of multiculturalism and indigenous communities
  • The contradictory manifestations of multicultural ideologies and the ethics of political membership

Invited speakers

  • Professor Shahram Akbarzadeh - Deputy Director, National Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies, Asia Institute, The University of Melbourne, Australia
    Paper: Islamophobes and Islamists Unite: Multiculturalism and the question of the Silent Majority

  • Associate Professor Sirma Bilge - Associate Professor of Sociology, Université de Montréal, Canada
    Paper: Secularism, sexual exceptionalism and the new politics of belonging in a 'vulnerable' nation: Rethinking the 'multicultural dilemma' through contemporary Quebec

  • Professor Gary Craig - Professor Emeritus of Social Justice , The University of Hull, United Kingdom
    Paper: Exclusion and assimilation: the lot of Britain's ethnic minorities

  • Professor Kevin Dunn - School of Social Sciences, University of Western Sydney, Australia
    Paper: Transnational identity, affiliations and citizenship in Australia: Comparing four immigrant groups

    Associate Professor Michele Grossman - Associate Dean (Research), Faculty of Arts, Education and Human Development, Victoria University, Melbourne
    Paper: Resilient multiculturalism? Diversifying Australian policy thinking about community resilience in disasters and emergencies

  • Professor Paul James - Director, Global Cities Institute, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Melbourne, Australia
    : The Flatness of Modern Diversity: From Assimilation to Ontological Cleansing

  • Dr Hannah Lewis - Research Fellow, Leeds Metropolitan University, United Kingdom
    Paper: From multiculturalism to community cohesion: a local UK case study

  • Professor Paul Morris - UNESCO Chair of Interreligious Understanding and Relations in New Zealand and the Pacific, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
    Paper: Religious Diversity in New Zealand: Education, Employment and the Media

  • Associate Professor Elizabeth Rata - School of Critical Studies in Education, Faculty of Education, The University of Auckland, New Zealand
    Paper: Multiculturalism and Progressive Politics

  • Professor Zlatko Skrbis - Dean, UQ Graduate, The University of Queensland, Australia
    Paper: The 'Veil' and the Limits of Multiculturalism


Deakin University
221 Burwood Highway
Burwood 3125
Melbourne VIC, Australia


For all enquiries contact :

Mrs Chippy Kurian Sunil
Symposium Coordinator
Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation
Deakin University, Faculty of Arts and Education
221 Burwood Highway
Burwood 3125 Melbourne
VIC, Australia
Phone: +61 3 9244 6658









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31st January 2012