School Research Seminar - Diaspora as Translation and Decolonisation

We are delighted to welcome Dr Ipek Demir (University of Leeds) to deliver the School Research Seminar.


The field of diaspora studies, despite its transnational promise, has too often got trapped in methodologically nationalist perspectives, confining discussions of diaspora to nation-centric understandings and discourses. This has happened despite many diaspora theorists, Avtar Brah, Robin Cohen, Paul Gilroy and others having discussed diaspora within the context of empire. This confinement has brought limitations to understandings of diaspora. My talk will reveal and analyse some these limitations – limitations which I discuss in detail in my new book Diaspora as Translation and Decolonisation (MUP). The talk will examine the spatial and temporal limitations brought to our understanding of the migrations of peoples and how ignoring the colonial and empire axis of diaspora contribute to North-centric (Eurocentric) perspectives and fail to recognise the pivotal role of diasporas in decolonising the Global North. In this session I will also discuss some of the conceptual innovations and interventions of the book such as ‘rewriting diaspora’, ‘diaspora as erasure’, ‘diaspora as foreignisation’ and the backlash to diasporas of colour in the Global North.

Speaker biographies

Dr Ipek Demir is Associate Professor of Sociology, and Director of Centre for Ethnicity and Racism Studies, University of Leeds (UK). Demir’s research and publications sit at the intersections of the fields of race, diaspora studies, ethno-politics, nationalism, decoloniality, indigeneity, global politics as well as epistemology and interdisciplinarity. She has held fellowships from the AHRC and the ESRC, and was also a Senior Research Fellow on an EU-funded grant. Before joining Leeds, Demir taught at the University of Leicester and also at the University of Cambridge. Her forthcoming book is entitled Diaspora as Translation and Decolonisation (2022, Manchester University Press) and introduces a new theoretical framework for understanding diaspora, and focuses on how diasporas from the Global South decolonise the Global North.

Event practicalities and joining details

The event will be held on Zoom, access the meeting via the link and joining details below:

Meeting ID: 889 9205 0157
Passcode: z7^hNV

No booking required.


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