Conference papers and invited talks

  • Wozniak-Bobinska, Marta, Intergenerational relations: Exploring ambivalence within Assyrian/Syriac families in Sweden. XII Symposium Syriacum, Pontificio Istituto Orientale, Rome, Italy, 21 August 2016.

Despite generally close relations between Assyrian/Syriac parents and children living in Sweden, there are significant differences between generations with regards to education, language competences, religious practices, traditions, but also opinions on gender equality as well as attitudes towards other communities. The aim of this paper is to analyse some of these differences.

  • McCallum, Fiona, Service Provider and Maintainer of Cultural Identity: The Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK as a Religious Diaspora Actor. 11th International Congress of Coptic Studies, Claremont, California, United States, 27 July 2016.

Using the case study of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK, this paper explores the role that faith-based institutions in migrant contexts can play in meeting the religious, practical and cultural needs of its community. The presentation explores how the church has adapted to this diaspora context with particular attention paid to the size, spread and internal dynamics of the community in different locations in the UK and how this impacts upon the type of services that can be delivered. The paper also examines to what extent the activities organised by the Coptic Orthodox Church as the leading communal institution encourage interaction with Egypt as the traditional and spiritual homeland of Copts, engagement with wider society in the UK and ties with other parts of the Coptic diaspora, looking particularly at how these may be experienced differently by second generation Copts born or brought up in the UK from first generation migrants. 

  • Wozniak-Bobinska, Marta, Assyrian vs. Aramean Nationalism: The Case of Sweden. 15th International Conference of ISSEI (International Society for the Study of European Ideas), University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland, 12 July 2016.

Using qualitative and quantitative data, this paper explores the origins of Assyrian and Aramean nationalism(s) and the relations between the two groups in Sweden, focusing on the role of mass media (i.e. Suroyo TV, Suryoyo SAT and online Assyria TV) as well as banal nationalism.

  • Sparre, Sara Lei, Domestication of Difference: Practices of civic engagement among Middle Eastern Christians in Denmark. NordHOME: Citizenship and inclusion within the Nordic welfare states conference, Roskilde University, Roskilde, Denmark, 15-16 June 2016.

Practices of civic engagement may be motivated by different concerns and belongings. This paper explores practices and social relations in Coptic, Assyrian and Chaldean Christian migrant communities in Denmark. I employ the concept of ‘domestication’ (cf. Huggan 2001, Hage 1996) as a lens for understanding the ways in which various forms of civic engagement among the Middle Eastern Christians in Denmark reproduce and contest a Danish model of citizenship, a particular construction of both the national subject and its others. More specifically, I suggest three modalities of civic engagement – serving, committing and consuming – which each produces different manifestations of citizenship among other things because they engage with the local, national and transnational differently. Overall, the paper argues that one of the reasons why Christians of Middle Eastern origin are not publicly visible as political or activist groups is that they along with other immigrant groups are expected to inscribe themselves into the Danish model according to which ethnic and cultural differences are acknowledged but disregarded of their original context and its power relations.

  • Galal, Lise Paulsen, Negotiations of believing and belonging among Iraqi and Egyptian Christians in Denmark, Annual conference of the Italian Middle Eastern Studies Association (SeSaMO), Catania, Sicily, 17 March 2016.

This presentation explores negotiations of belonging among Christian immigrants of Iraqi and Egyptian background in Denmark. Based on transnational and diaspora studies, experiences and practices of belonging are explored as multi-directional and situational springing from everyday encounters and personal life trajectory, political events in both the region of origin and in the receiving country (Denmark), as well as opportunity structures empowering Middle Eastern Christians as collective and individual actors.

  • McCallum, Fiona, Family, Cultural, Emotional and Political Ties: Narratives of Middle Eastern Christian Migrants in UK on the Homeland. Annual conference of the Italian Middle Eastern Studies Asociation (SeSaMo), Catania, Italy, 17 March 2016.

This paper explores attachment to the Middle Eastern country of origin and the extent to which this is understood as ‘homeland’. Using qualitative data, attachment is categorised in to four groups – family, cultural, emotional and political and the amount of overlap and interaction between the groups is discussed with family and emotional attachment appearing to be the most crucial for Middle Eastern Christians in the UK in maintaining attachment with the country of origin.

  • Sparre, Sara Lei and Galal, Lise Paulsen, ‘We’re not all the same’ – Experiences of in/visibility and im/mobility among Christians of Iraqi origin in Denmark, Middle Eastern Christians and Europe: Diasporas – Relations – Entangled Histories workshop, Center for the Study of Eastern Christianity (ZECO), University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria, 18 February 2016.

In this paper, we explore refugee stories of Christians of Iraqi origin in Denmark. We argue that these stories reflect a crave for visibility and recognition, which is negotiated in the receiving country, in this case Denmark, in interaction or dialogue with migration histories and political events in the region of origin, in this case mainly Iraq.

  • McCallum, Fiona, Narratives of Identity, Home and Belonging of Middle Eastern Christians in the UK. Middle Eastern Christians and Europe: Diasporas-Relations-Entangled Histories workshop, Centre for the Study of Eastern Christianity (ZECO), University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria, 18 February 2016.

Using qualitative data, this paper explores notions of home as narrated by Middle Eastern Christians in the UK discussing different attachments and the extent of attachment to both the Middle Eastern country of origin and the UK as the country of residence. The paper also explores transnational belonging including denominational identity and the term ‘Middle Eastern Christian’.

  • Wozniak-Bobinska, Marta, The role of the Syriac Orthodox Church and religion in Assyrian/Syriac life in Sweden. Middle Eastern Christians and Europe: Diasporas – Relations – Entangled Histories workshop, Centre for the Study of Eastern Christianity (ZECO), University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria, 18 February 2016.

The aim of this paper is to demonstrate that Assyrian/Syriac religiosity in Sweden has become subject to secularisation, privatisation, de-sacralisation, and commercialisation but still differs from patterns observable in Western countries. The Syriac Orthodox Church, although having lost some of its power, plays an important role in the life of the Assyrian/Syriac community in Sweden.

  • Sparre, Sara Lei and Galal, Lise Paulsen, ‘Vi er ikke alle ens’. Oplevelser af frihed og begrænsninger blandt kristne af irakisk oprindelse i Danmark, Forum for Islam Research, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, 26 November 2015.

The focus of this talk is Iraqi Christians’ narratives about their country of origin and their relationship to Muslims. It is demonstrated how these narratives about the escape from Iraq and the encounter with Danish society oscillate between experiences of freedom and confinement. In particular, the relationship to Muslims becomes a complex turning point.

  • Jørgensen, Anne Rosenlund, Forbudt intimitet: Danske mellemøstlige kristnes fortællinger om det at have en Muslimsk kæreste, Forum for Islam Research, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, 26 November 2015.

By exploring narratives of Middle Eastern Christians in Denmark, the talk explores the invisible intra-ethnic relations in an immigrant context in Denmark. The subject of research is negotiations of boundary maintenance and strategies for recovering from boundary crossings in cases of interfaith intimacies between Middle Eastern Christian women and Muslim men in Denmark.

  • McCallum, Fiona, Homeland Ties, Community Cohesion and Youth Disengagement? Middle Eastern Christian Diasporic Humanitarian and Political Activism in the UK, Annual conference of the Middle East Studies Association, Denver, United States, 24 November 2015.

This paper argues that diasporic humanitarian and political organisations focusing on Middle Eastern countries of origin not only aim to reinforce ties with the homeland but also serve to strengthen communal identity in the UK by focusing upon the suffering of co-religionists. It shows that while organisation members may develop links with British political and ecumenical actors in order to gain publicity and support for their goals and the situation of Christians in the Middle East in general, the organisations are still primarily community-oriented concerning actions and funding. However, this approach is being challenged by the second generation who either question what they perceive as a narrow focus in terms of aims and objectives especially relating to wider UK society or else are seen by organisation leaders as being apathetic regarding more active involvement in the organisations and thus the situation of Christians in the Middle East.

  • Galal, Lise Paulsen, What it means to be Christian: Sensing the familiar, 114th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Denver, United States, 22 November 2015.

This paper explores how access to ritual space becomes formative for ritual practices among Middle Eastern Christians in Denmark. It is argued that sensorial practices and materiality are important for Middle Eastern Christians in order to feel at home as Christians in Denmark while simultaneously practising their belonging to their country of origin.

  • Hunter, Alistair, Stick or Twist? The tradition/innovation dilemma facing diasporic Middle Eastern churches in competitive religious marketplaces, Annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion, Atlanta, United States, 21 November 2015.

This presentation addresses the question of which language(s) to use in church services. From one side, churches are under pressure to maintain a unique identity based on traditional language practices. From the other side, there is pressure to conduct services solely or partly in the host country language, to be relevant to younger generations and to attract new members. We argue that this question is best conceived as a dilemma, since churches risk a drop in members whichever strategy is taken.

  • Wozniak-Bobinska, Marta, DIMECCE: Assyrians and Arameans and their dreams for a peaceful homeland, First International Symposium on ‘Politics and Society in the Islamic world’, Department of Middle East and North Africa, Lodz, Poland, 22 October 2015.

This  paper explores different visions of return within the Swedish Assyrian/Aramean diaspora. Although the idea of return appeals only to a  minority of Assyrians/Arameans based in Sweden, these activists have developed three different visions. The first is a safe haven (independent state or autonomy) in the Nineveh Plains in Iraq, second – autonomy for Arameans and Maronites in a ‘Christian homeland’ in Syria and Lebanon, and third – joint autonomy with Kurds and Sunni Muslims in Syria.

  • McCallum, Fiona, Middle Eastern Christians in Europe: Faith, Identity and Integration, Oxford Journal of Law and Politics Seminar, Oxford, 21 September 2015.

This presentation explores selected findings of the UK case study including church practices, the issue of church and communal languages and identity, gender dynamics, conversion, relations between the church hierarchies in the Middle East and the communities in the UK and experiences of citizenship in the UK.

  • Wozniak, Marta, DIMECCE: Project Overview, DIMECCE Project Findings Information Event – Middle Eastern Christians in Europe: Background, significance and policy implications, The Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME), Brussels, Belgium, 1 July 2015.

The project overview includes a background of the study, a discussion of the case study communities, an introduction to the methodology, research questions, selected findings especially relating to the theme of internal dynamics, an outline of the booklet as well as other planned publications.

  • Sparre, Sara Lei and Galal, Lise Paulsen, Transnational Connections and Multiple Belongings, DIMECCE Project Findings Information Event – Middle Eastern Christians in Europe: Background, significance and policy implications, The Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME), Brussels, Belgium, 1 July 2015.

With the purpose of presenting DIMECCE key findings, we in this paper present different aspects, potentials and challenges relating to Middle Eastern Christians’ transnational connections and multiple belonging. We distinguish between individual transnational connections and practices, such as family relations, churches as transnational – or global – institutions, and other organisations and associations established to support politically, socially or culturally connections and development in the country or region of origin.

  • McCallum, Fiona, Middle Eastern Christians: Interactions within Borders, DIMECCE Project Findings Information Event – Middle Eastern Christians in Europe: Background, significance and policy implications, The Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME), Brussels, Belgium, 1 July 2015.

This paper presents selected research findings of the DIMECCE project relating to the engagement of Middle Eastern Christians with surrounding actors. The paper explores ecumenical relations at the local level, national level and between Middle Eastern Christians arguing that these are experienced by individuals, families, clerics and communities. The paper then turns to state and public engagement looking at these type of interactions and highlighting issues relating to awareness of the communities, misrecognition and views on religiosity before turning to attitudes towards citizenship in the three case study countries.

  • Wozniak, Marta, Free Assyria/Free Suryoye: Homeland Dreams Amongst Assyrians and Arameans in Sweden, British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) annual conference, LSE, London, UK, 24th – 26th June 2015.

This paper explores differing visions of return within the diaspora in the context of 100 years after Seyfo – the Assyrian/Aramean genocide in the Ottoman Empire,. The paper shows how the Assyrian/Aramean diaspora in Sweden tries to influence homeland politics, and the external and internal challenges and constraints they face in doing so.

  • Galal, Lise Paulsen and Sparre, Sara Lei, ‘We’re not all the same’ – Experiences of freedom and confinement among Christians of Iraqi origin in Denmark, British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) annual conference, LSE, London, UK, 24th – 26th June 2015

In this paper we explore the refugee stories of Christians of Iraqi origin in Denmark. We argue that these stories reflect a crave for liberation, which is negotiated in the receiving country, in this case Denmark, in interaction or dialogue with migration histories and political events in the region of origin. We show how their narratives of flight from Iraq and encounters with Danish society simultaneously oscillate between narratives of freedom and narratives of marginalisation, on one hand, and between narratives of refuge from political oppression and narratives of refuge from Muslims, on the other.

  • McCallum, Fiona, ‘Are we living in a Christian country?’: Middle Eastern Christian narratives on opportunities and challenges presented by state and societal attitudes towards Christianity in the UK, British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) annual conference, LSE, London, UK, 24th – 26th June 2015.

Based on fieldwork, this paper analyses Middle Eastern Christians’ perspectives on religiosity in the UK and how it impacts upon their communities. It argues that in a context of increasing secularism, Middle Eastern Christian narratives are characterised in some cases by still perceiving a feeling of shared values based on Christianity whereas others experience disillusionment and feelings of being un-integrated. By exploring views on the ‘Christian’ nature of the UK, the impact of secularism on the youth and the idea of a clash of values, the paper shows the struggles faced by members of these communities in adapting to a contradictory context in which migration from the Middle East may have liberated them from some constraints associated with living in a Muslim-majority environment but has brought different challenges regarding political and societal attitudes towards Christianity.

  • Wozniak, Marta, Religiosity, Values, and Religious Identity of Assyrians/Syriacs in Sweden, Ways to Religion Conference, Polish Academy of Sciences and Department of Contact Linguistics and Discourse Anthropology, Philological School of Higher Education, Wroclaw, Poland, 7th June 2015.

This paper explores Assyrian/Syriac religious and ethnic identities, changing and declining religious practices in migratory context, the role of parents and the church community, perception of religiosity in Sweden as well as the compatibility of Middle Eastern Christian and Swedish values.

  • Jørgensen, Anne Rosenlund, Break Aways among Middle Eastern Christians in Denmark: Ambivalences of practice and belonging, DIMECCE Conference: Middle Eastern Christians in Diaspora: Past and Present, Continuity and Change, University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK, 26th May 2015.

Based on interviews with Middle Eastern Christians in Denmark practicing religious belonging outside of the traditional Middle Eastern Orthodox and Catholic Churches, this paper explores their motives for opting out of these established churches and their negotiations of identities and belonging within Protestant frameworks.

  • Wozniak, Marta, The DIMECCE Project: An Overview, DIMECCE Conference: Middle Eastern Christians in Diaspora: Past and Present, Continuity and Change, University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK, 26th May 2015.

This paper introduces the DIMECCE project by providing an overview of the different case study communities and countries, methodology, research questions, outputs and progress so far.

  • Galal, Lise Paulsen, Cultural encounters – a relational perspective. A short story about the analytical implications of a cultural encounters perspective, DIMECCE Conference: Middle Eastern Christians in Diaspora: Past and Present, Continuity and Change, University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK, 26th May 2015.

This paper provides an introduction to aspects of the theoretical and analytical framework of the DIMECCE project. Taking the point of departure in the concept of Cultural Encounters, the presentation discusses implications of this analytical approach when examining identity formation, community belonging, migration and transnationality, and minority-majority relations.

  • McCallum, Fiona, Internal Dynamics: Presentation of DIMECCE Project Findings, DIMECCE Conference: Middle Eastern Christians in Diaspora: Past and Present, Continuity and Change, University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK, 26th May 2015.

Starting from the point that Middle Eastern Christian migrant communities are not monolithic, this paper explores and compares the internal dynamics of the case study communities of Coptic, Assyrian/Syriac and Iraqi Christian communities in the UK, Denmark and Sweden based on fieldwork findings. The paper focuses on topics such as rituals and practices, places of worship, language use, maintaining culture, congregational relations and challenges in maintaining the community.

  • Sparre, Sara Lei, Transnational Connections and Identifications: Presentation of DIMECCE Project Findings, DIMECCE Conference: Middle Eastern Christians in Diaspora: Past and Present, Continuity and Change, University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK, 26th May 2015.

Like other migrant groups, Middle Eastern Christians are embedded in networks and relationships stretching across several nation-states, including their country of origin, their country of residence and several other countries of immigration. Based on fieldwork findings, this paper explores some of these connections, institutional as well as individual, and how they impact on the practices and identifications of Coptic, Assyrian/Syriac and Iraqi Christians in the UK, Denmark and Sweden.

  • Hunter, Alistair, Engagement with Surrounding Actors: Presentation of DIMECCE Project Findings, DIMECCE Conference: Middle Eastern Christians in Diaspora: Past and Present, Continuity and Change, University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK, 26th May 2015.

Engagement with surrounding actors in British, Danish and Swedish society is a core part of the DIMECCE research project. This paper explores the interaction of Coptic, Assyrian/Syriac and Iraqi Christians in the three countries at state, ecumenical and societal level both on an institutional and everyday basis.

  • McCallum, Fiona, Migrant Narratives of ‘Britishness’: Middle Eastern Christians in the UK, PSA annual conference, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK, 1st April 2015.

Using interview data, this paper explores a selection of narratives on the notion of ‘Britishness’ focusing upon civic values and concepts of citizenship which are often contrasted with experiences in the Middle East as well as understandings of the UK as ‘home’.

  • Wozniak, Marta, From religious to ethno-religious: Identity change among Assyrians/Syriacs in Sweden, Joint Sessions of Workshops, European Consortium for Political Research, University of Warsaw, Poland, 1st April 2015.

This paper is concerned with a micro-analytical, predominantly ethnographic approach. It provides an analysis of the role of actors involved in constructing the Assyrian/Syriac identity in Sweden, the methods used in achieving their goals, the relations and reactions between Assyrian and Syriac groups, the influence of Swedish society, the role of the media and banal nationalism.

  • McCallum, Fiona, Multiple Contested Belonging of Home, Residence and Transnational: Narratives of Middle Eastern Christians in the UK, Joint College of William and Mary and University of St Andrews Symposium on Crossing Boundaries, Williamsburg, Virginia, United States, 25th March 2015.

Using qualitative data, this paper explores narratives of three interlinked and competing concepts of ‘home’, ‘residence’ and ‘transnational’ illustrating different understandings of these terms, the role that the Middle Eastern country of origin and UK plays in the lives of interviewees and discussing some transnational attachments including denominational identity, ethnicity and identification as Middle Eastern Christians.

  • McCallum, Fiona, Middle Eastern Christians in the UK: Narratives on Identity, Integration and Transnational Ties, Centre for Christianity and Culture, Regents Park College, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK, 24th February 2015.

This paper provides an overview of the DIMECCE research project and presents selected findings including the role of the communal churches, debates concerning language use in the church and community, inter-generational issues, community reactions to state and public awareness of them, views on citizenship, narratives on homeland and engagement with the Middle Eastern country of origin.

  • Galal, Lise Paulsen and Sparre, Sara Lei, From Community and Minority to Transnational Studies: The Example of Middle Eastern Christians in Europe, Transnational Migration: Disciplinary impacts, Malmö University, Malmö, Sweden, 30th January 2015

Based on data from the DIMECCE fieldwork in Denmark and relating this to the UK and Swedish case studies, this paper analyses the organisational development and changes of a community and discusses the question of community belonging and minority position as factors influencing Middle Eastern Christians’ transnational practices.

  • Hunter, Alistair and Fiona McCallum, ‘You get misrecognised in the West and very recognised in the East’: Middle Eastern Christians in the UK and Islamophobia, Migration and Citizenship Research Group Seminar, School of Social and Political Science, University  of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, 18th November 2014.

Using interview material, this paper explores how Middle Eastern Christian migrants in the UK can simultaneously be agents and victims of Islamophobia. The paper explores narratives of anti-Muslim prejudice, experiences of and responses to misrecognition as Muslims and provides examples of misplaced Islamophobic abuse. The paper is a revised version of the manuscript presented by Dr McCallum in Salzburg in October 2014.

  • McCallum, Fiona, Identity and Interaction in the Lands of Immigration: Middle Eastern Christians in the UK, Invited Speaker, Institut d’études de l’Islam et des sociétés du monde musulman, Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris, France, 12th November 2014.

This paper provides an introduction to the DIMECCE research project and offers a snapshot of current research findings relating to the UK case study including the role of denominational churches in meeting the needs of their communities, debates surrounding the use of language and the role of the youth, British state and public awareness of the communities, views on citizenship and equality in the UK and views on engagement with countries of origin.  

  • Wozniak, Marta and Danielle Barsoum Malki, ‘Assyrians Without Borders’ in Sweden: Diaspora organisations as actors of change in the Middle East, Second DIMECCE Project Workshop, University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland, 21st October 2014.

This paper presents a case study of the Sweden based NGO ‘Assyrians Without Borders’ in order to examine the role diaspora organisations play in contributing towards development.

  • McCallum, Fiona and Alistair Hunter, The quest for equal citizenship: Middle Eastern Christian narratives of migration and inclusion in the UK, Second DIMECCE Project Workshop, University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland, 21st October 2014.

This presentation explores how Middle Eastern Christian narratives of citizenship in the UK are heavily influenced by their individual and communal experiences in the country of origin. The paper explores three analytical themes: exclusion in the Middle East and fulfilment in the UK, lower expectations and difficulties in the UK and protective patriotism. 

  • Sparre, Sara Lei, Anne Rosenlund Jørgensen and Lise Paulsen Galal, Practices of citizenship among Middle Eastern Christians in Denmark: Domestication of Otherness, Second DIMECCE Project Workshop, University of Lodz, Poland, 21st October 2014.

In this presentation we analyse three citizenship practices among Middle Eastern Christians in Denmark (serving, committing, consuming) and discuss how these are domesticated in accordance with the dominant Danish idea of cultural citizenship (in Danish: medborgerskab).

  • Wozniak, Marta, Swedish Mesopotamia: Assyrian/Syriac immigrants in Stockholm and Södertälje, 9th Polish Arabists’ Conference, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland, 14th October 2014.

The paper addresses several issues related to Assyrians/Syriacs living in Sweden: their identity, history of migration, knowledge of languages, communal and political activities, relations with family in the Middle East and attitudes towards Sweden and their country of origin.

  • McCallum, Fiona and Alistair Hunter, Translocation of Prejudice: Middle Eastern Christian Islamophobic Discourse in the UK, International Islamophobia Conference, Department of Political Science, University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria, 9th October 2014.

Using interview material, this paper explores how Middle Eastern Christian migrants in the UK can simultaneously be agents and victims of Islamophobia. The paper explores narratives of anti-Muslim prejudice, experiences of and responses to misrecognition as Muslims and provides examples of misplaced Islamophobic abuse.

  • Hunter, Alistair, The significance of religious ritual, family and territorial attachment in decisions about preferred burial location: narratives of Middle Eastern Christians in Britain, IMISCOE 11th Annual Conference, Madrid, Spain, 29th August 2014.

This paper presents data on preferred burial location, a question asked towards the end of the DIMECCE interviews. The paper focuses especially on religious rationales regarding burial location.

  • Galal, Lise Paulsen and Sara Lei Sparre, Varieties of Diaspora Narratives: Voices and negotiations among Middle Eastern Christians in Denmark, World Congress of Middle Eastern Studies, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, 20th August 2014.

Comparing Assyrians from Iraq and Coptic Christians from Egypt (immigrants as well as descendants of immigrants), this paper investigates the impact of political changes in migrant’s countries of origin on their diaspora narratives and discourses of identification in Denmark.

  • Wozniak, Marta, Assyrians/Syriacs in Sweden: Old and New Challenges, World Congress of Middle Eastern Studies, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, 20th August 2014.

This paper discusses various challenges faced by first and second generation Assyrians/Syriacs in Sweden as well as new asylum-seekers coming from Syria as a result of the conflict there.

  • McCallum, Fiona, Migrant Perspectives on Homeland Political Developments: Responses of Middle Eastern Christians in the UK to the Arab Uprisings, World Congress of Middle Eastern Studies, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, 20th  August 2014.

Analysing interview material, this paper examines Coptic migrant views in the UK on events in Egypt 2011-2014 arguing that interest was shown on a personal level but political engagement tended to be restricted to short-term mobilization as a response to specific events.

  • Wozniak, Marta, Big Fat Assyrian/Syriac Weddings: The Role of Marriage Traditions and Customs in Shaping the Identity of Middle Eastern Christian Immigrants in Sweden, 17th Nordic Migration Research Conference – Flows, places and boundaries – migratory challenges and new agendas, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark, 15th August, 2014.

The paper compares Assyrian/Syriac wedding rituals in the homeland until the beginning of the twentieth century with current wedding rites practiced in the Swedish diaspora, arguing that while some Western elements have been incorporated, these still differ from traditional Swedish ceremonies.

  • Sparre, Sara Lei and Lise Paulsen Galal, Incense and Holy Bread: Middle Eastern Christians and their ritual encounters with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark, 17th Nordic Migration Research Conference – Flows, places and boundaries – migratory challenges and new agendas, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark, 13th August, 2014.

Focusing on constructions of difference and sameness through ritual practices, the paper explores how Middle Eastern Christian congregations negotiate their ritual practices and values in encounters with and dependence on the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark.

  • Wozniak, Marta, Aktywność polityczna współczesnych Asyryjczyków/Aramejczyków w Szwecji [Political Activity of the Modern Assyrians/Arameans in Sweden], XI Dni Arabskie. Ciągłość i zmiana w świecie islamu [The XI Arabic Days: Change and Continuity in the Islamic World], University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland, 20th May 2014.

Based on DIMECCE survey data, this paper explores Assyrian/Aramean political activity as well as political preferences in Sweden.

  • McCallum, Fiona, From Local to Global: Middle Eastern Christian Churches and Migration – the UK Case Study, Migration, Faith and Action: Shifting the Discourse, Las Casas Institute at Blackfriars and The Oxford Research Centre in The Humanities (TORCH), University of Oxford, Oxford, UK, 8th May 2014

Using case studies of the Coptic Orthodox and Syriac Orthodox denominations in the UK, the paper explores the spiritual and practical services provided by these churches, identifies challenges faced by the clergy and gives an overview of community responses to these efforts.

  • Galal, Lise Paulsen, Between transnational, national and local regulations of ritual practices in Middle Eastern migrant churches in Denmark, Global Dynamics Workshop: Regulation of Religion? Limits of Law? What law regulates what religion? Roskilde University, Roskilde, Denmark, 23rd – 24th April 2014.

The paper explores how Middle Eastern Christians experience and navigate challenges when they wish to form a congregation in Denmark as access to clerics and spaces for practicing religion are regulated by several actors and laws.

  •  McCallum, Fiona, Middle Eastern Christians in Europe: faith, identity and integration, Invited Speaker, Centre for Eastern Christianity, Heythrop College, University of London, London, UK, 2nd April 2014.

The lecture gives an overview of the Middle Eastern Christian presence in the UK and includes some initial observations regarding the fieldwork conducted for the DIMECCE project.

  • Wozniak, Marta, Middle Eastern Christian Communities in Europe:  Survey Objectives and Perspectives, First DIMECCE Project Workshop, Roskilde University, Roskilde, Denmark, 16th January 2014.

This presentation explains the purpose of constructing an electronic multilingual survey, highlights the DIMECCE experience of designing such a survey and indicates some of the preliminary findings.

  • Galal, Lise Paulsen and Sara Lei Sparre, Middle Eastern Christian Communities in Europe: Danish Case Study, First DIMECCE Project Workshop, Roskilde University, Roskilde, Denmark, 16th January 2014.

This presentation outlines the situation of the Danish case study communities within the wider context of Egyptian and Iraqi migration to Denmark.

  • McCallum, Fiona and Alistair Hunter, Middle Eastern Christian Communities in Europe: UK Case Study, First DIMECCE Project Workshop, Roskilde University, Roskilde, Denmark, 16th January 2014.

This presentation provides an overview of the case study communities in the UK, key concepts and the UK migration context.

  • Wozniak, Marta, Middle Eastern Christian Communities in Europe: Swedish Case Study, First DIMECCE Project Workshop, Roskilde University, Roskilde, Denmark, 16th January 2014.

The presentation provides an overview of the situation of Assyrians/Syriacs, Iraqi Christians and Copts in Sweden with particular focus on their places of worship and symbols.