University of Jyväskylä

An exploratory seminar on superdiversity, and intersectionality

Start date: Apr 29, 2015 12:00 PM

End date: Apr 29, 2015 05:00 PM

Location: Seminaarinmäki, Puutarhurintalo


You are warmly invited to an exploratory seminar on superdiversity, and intersectionality. The purpose of this seminar is to gather together researchers at University of Jyväskylä to explore possibilities for theoretical and methodological cross-fertilization and empirical collaboration around superdiversity and intersectionality.

Both junior and more senior researchers are welcome, across different faculties, disciplines and research traditions. We invite participants to give a brief presentation of their research work (possibly) relating to superdiversity and/or intersectionality and to discuss possibilities for developing collaboration in this rapidly evolving cross-disciplinary area of study (for examples, see e.g. Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity and University of Birmingham Institute for Research into Superdiversity).

Superdiversity and intersectionality?

The notion of ‘superdiversity’ (e.g. Vertovec, 2006, 2010) has become a key marker in studies on diversity. It stresses the need to move beyond an ethno-focal understanding of diversity, towards a multi-dimensional approach which appreciates the confluence of factors which make up the highly differential composition, identifications, social location and trajectories of people, groups and individuals, in late modern, and globalized – urban, cultural and mediated - spaces.
As an emergent perspective in research it moves the discussion forward, developing advanced terms, theories, methodologies and perspectives with which to examine the changing conditions of the social and cultural world and engage critically with the concept of superdiversity. In particular, in studies of superdiversity, the notion of intersectionality (e.g McCall 2005; Karkulehto et al. 2012), which has long been an established notion in feminist research, has been increasingly drawn in superdiversity studies to discuss identities and identifications as complex intersections of gender, class, ethnicity, age, sexuality and embodiment, for example.

The goals of the seminar:
The seminar is planned as a first step in developing cross-campus collaboration in the area of superdiversity and intersectionality. More specifically, its aims are:
- to discuss the potential of superdiversity and intersectionality for research representing different disciplinary orientations
- give and get an overview of research on our campus in or related to this/these area/s
- to start brainstorming for joint (transdisciplinary) research efforts in this area and form (at least loose) network(s) on our campu
- to plan the next steps of such networks, including a second seminar in the autumn of 2015
Presentations and discussions can be in Finnish and in English, depending on the participants.

Instructions for participants:
We invite participants to give a short presentation of their ongoing work and its actual or potential links to superdiversity and/or intersectionality (15 min. talk + 15 min. discussion)
In your presentation, please be prepared to respond to the following questions:
1. What potential do you think superdiversity and intersectionality can have in terms of your field of research and research interests?
2. What kind of research you are already doing that relates to (super)diversity and/or intersectionality?
3. What kind of research would you like to do, related to superdiversity and intersectionality?
4. With whom? From which fields of research would you need more contacts or insights for your project?

Please reply by Friday, 10 April, by writing to Elina Westinen,, stating
a) whether you participate and give a presentation
b) the name or general title of your project (or research idea/interest)
c) your special diet (if any)

Lunch and the coffee will be provided to the participants!

(Seleceted) references
Blommaert, J. and Rampton, B. (2011) Language and Superdiversity. Diversities. 2011, vol. 13, no. 2, pp 1-22.
Creese, A. and Blackledge, A. (2010) Towards a sociolinguistics of superdiversity. Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft 13:549-572.
Karkulehto, S., Saresma, T., Harjunen, H., & Kantola, J. (2012). Intersektionaalisuus metodologiana ja performatiivisen intersektionaalisuuden haaste. Naistutkimus - Kvinnoforskning, 25 (4), 16-27.
McCall. L. 2005. The complexity of intersectionality. Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Vol. 30, No. 3, Spring 2005, pp. 1771–1800.
Vertovec, S. (2006) ‘The emergence of super-diversity in Britain’, ESRC Centre on Migration, Policy and Society Working Paper WP-06-25
Vertovec, S. (2010) Super-diversity and its implications. In Steven Vertovec (ed.),Anthropology of migration and multiculturalism: New directions, 65–96. London: Routledge.
Wessendorf, S. (2010) Commonplace diversity: Social interactions in a super-diverse context. Working Paper of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity (WP 10-11)

You are warmly welcome!

Sirpa Leppänen, Samu Kytölä and Elina Westinen (Department of Languages, Project: Language and Superdiversity on Social Media)
Outi Fingerroos (Department of History and Ethnology, Project: Reuniting the family. A study of the experiences of immigrants and officials)
Mia Halonen (Centre for Applied Language Studies, Project: Language and Superdiversity on Social Media)
Taina Saarinen (Centre for Applied Language Studies, Project: Policy as Wibbly-Wobbly)

More information

Elina Westinen
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