Dr. Anjoom Mukadam and Dr. Sharmina Mawani organised the 2nd biennial Gujarat Studies Association (GSA) conference in Toronto, Canada on 23 – 24 May 2008. The theme of the conference, Identities: Reflections on Global Gujarati Communities, attracted delegates from North America, Europe, South Asia, the Far East, Australia and New Zealand.
From ancient times to the present, people have sought to understand their identities both from an individual as well as collective perspective. In so doing, not only do they define who they are, but also who they are not. In the mass migrations of the last 200 years, millions of people have left their ancestral homelands and cultures to settle in new places. The primary purpose of this conference was to explore the connections between ancestral homelands and new belongings, and focus on the complexities of shaping and reshaping linguistic, cultural and religious identities.