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Conference on Studies of Belonging 1
9 June - 11 June 2021

Conference on Studies of Belonging

NIAS Conference 2021

On the occasion of NIAS' 50th anniversary , the conference on Studies of Belonging aims to set the agenda for future interdisciplinary and international collaborations on this topic

This Conference will be made up of interdisciplinary panels of researchers, artists, writers and journalists.  During the 2.5 day working conference, we will collaboratively explore the yet unestablished field of Studies of Belonging and will learn and understand the concept of Belonging as it is used and expressed in arts and the social sciences.

Keynote Speakers

Gloria Wekker, NIAS Alumni and Emeritus Professor Gender and Ethnicity, University of Utrecht, speaking on the thread of Identity, Inequality and Politics

Amin Ghaziani, Professor of Sociology, University of British Columbia, speaking on the thread of Community and the Individual

and Nadim Rouhana NIAS Alumni and Professor of International Affairs and Conflict Studies, Tufts University, speaking on the thread of Borders and Mobility

The overarching theme of Belonging will be divided into four topical threads

Listeners can choose from over 30 panel discussions, creating their own conference journey

Each topical thread will have interdisciplinary panels consisting of scholarly and artistic presentations.

Community and the Individual
This thread focuses on the importance and pitfalls for individuals of belonging to a (local, imagined, virtual, religious) community. It deals with the tension between the self and community-life.

Practices of Belonging
How do human beings bring belonging into practice? Also in relation to place-attachment? What tools and material objects do they use, develop and implement in their daily lives to sustain a sense of belonging or to create this anew?

Borders and Mobility
This thread deals with the relation between idea(l)s of the nation-state, (up)rootedness, borders, finding refuge, cultural boundaries and (trans)national institutions in regards to issues of belonging.

Identity, Inequality and Politics
This thread explores the interplay between belonging, identity and politics based on social markers such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, (dis)ability, and class. The notion of politics is used in the broadest sense of the word, ranging from power relations on the micro-level of everyday interactions, to more structural, institutionalized forms of power-inequalities and the struggle for belonging.

Choose your Journey

Listeners can follow one of the four conference journeys

  •  Follow the Thread
    One topical thread; follow all the science and arts sessions
  • Follow the Science
    Scientific presentations across the four topical threads
  • Follow the Arts
    Artistic presentations across the four topical threads; includes arts workshops, performances, presentations
  • Follow your Lead
    Two sessions in each of the four topical threads; across the science and arts sessions

Conference Fees

A preliminary programme will be announced on 15 February

On the occasion of NIAS’ 50th anniversary, we are committed to engaging scholars, artists, journalists and writers from underrepresented communities especially from Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. A tiered fee structure will apply according to country of residence, with some countries from the mentioned regions being exempt from participation fees.

For tickets and the definitive programme we refer to the conference website www.niasconference.nl 

Register now



For your country classification High Income (H) or Upper Middle Income (UM) , please refer to the World Bank’s Classification


Panelist Early Bird  (Register 11 January- 1 February) 170 euros (H) / 120 euros (UM)
Panelist Standard   (Register 2 February- 1 March) 200 euros (H) / 150 euros (UM)
Panelist PhD Students (Register 11 January – 1 March) 100 euros (H) / 75 euros (UM)
Listeners Early Bird  (Register 2 February – 1 April) 100 euros (H) / 50 euros (UM)
Listeners Standard (Register 2 April- 1 June) 120 euros (H) / 70 euros (UM)
Listeners Students (Register 2 February – 1 June) 50 euros (H) / 25 euros (UM)


About NIAS

NIAS’ mission is to foster curiosity-driven research that pushes the traditional disciplinary boundaries and questions underlying methodological and theoretical assumptions. Each year, NIAS hosts an international, interdisciplinary group of 50 fellows who work on their independent research projects while being embedded in a thriving intellectual community.
Starting in 2021 during the 50th anniversary of NIAS, a 3-day NIAS conference will be organised in Amsterdam, the Netherlands every two years.