Post-Nationalism or Transformative Transnationalism: Beyond Cosmopolitanism and Narratives of Change Across Borders Among Australian Students and Volunteers in India

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 4:18 PM
Room: F202
Oral Presentation
Peter GALE , Education, Arts and Social Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia , Australia
This paper is a case study on the possibilities of personal transformation through transnational experiences based on the narratives of Australian students and volunteers working in India. It examines the possibilities of change through transnational experiences with a focus on Australia young people and their experiences of India and challenges to commonly held ideas and understandings of the Other. The research is based on a methodology of participants telling personal stories of experiences across national borders. The paper contrasts the many different narratives exploring what contributes to a transformative experience and the circumstances that contribute to what can be identified as post-nationalist, or an ethic of transnationalism. The paper is part of a project supported by the Australia India Council that focuses on the relationship between Australia and India through Australians involved in aid and development projects in India. The project particularly focuses non-Government aid organizations and Australian students and volunteers who have been visiting and working as volunteers in India over the past 25 years.