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A 40th Anniversary Conference

On June 23rd, 1985, a bomb detonated on Air India Flight 182, enroute from Toronto to Delhi. All 329 passengers and crew aboard were killed, most of whom were Canadians of South Asian descent. Though this tragedy remains the largest mass murder in Canadian history and resulted in Canada’s longest and most expensive criminal investigation, it is little known in national public memory (Angus Reid Institute 2023). Institutional narratives and failings have framed the Air India bombing as a “non-Canadian tragedy involving non-Canadian citizens” (Seshia 2017), leaving the victims’ families suffering and ignored in the wake of such loss. In remembrance of the 40th anniversary of this tragedy, the “Air India Flight 182: A 40th Anniversary Conference” will be a 2-day event held at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, May 23-24, 2025.

In memory of those lost and in recognition of the ongoing grief and activism of those left to mourn and seek recognition of this loss, this conference will center the Air India Flight 182 tragedy within broader conversations on Canadian history, diasporic cultures, collective/public mourning, politics of grief, South Asian racialization and belonging in North America, resistance, community activism and archival practices. The conference will create a space for conversation and knowledge exchange between Air India family members, scholars, archivists, students, and the wider community. Non-traditional presentations in the form of workshops, roundtable discussions, short presentations (oral/visual) followed by a panel discussion, or other alternative formats are encouraged, as well as creative and artistic projects.

Air India Conference (30th Anniversary) Group Picture from Conference

Information Box Group

Presentations may address, but are not limited to, topics including:

  • The Air India Flight 182 tragedy
  • Air India and national history/global history/public memory
  • Grief, loss, memory and mourning
  • Creative responses to the Air India bombing
  • Memorials of the Air India bombing, in Canada and beyond
  • Archive making and nation making, in Canada and beyond
  • Grief, memory and affect in the archives; the affective role of records and recordkeeping
  • Archives of South Asian diasporas in North America
  • Building community archives; community archives as spaces of resistance
  • Counterarchives and ethical archival praxis
  • Race, minoritized histories and belonging/unbelonging in Canada; the silencing/exclusion of minority voices
  • Resistance, survival and community activism
  • Transgenerational and transnational memories and experiences
  • Reconciliation and redress

If you are interested in presenting, please send the title of your presentation, a 250-word abstract or short description of your presentation, workshop, panel, etc., and a 100-word biography (for each presenter), to by May 1, 2024.

For more information about the conference, please email us:


Angus Reid Institute. “Air India Anniversary: 60% of 18- to 34-year-olds have ‘never heard of’ nation’s deadliest terror attack.” June 22, 2023.

Seshia, Maya. “From Foreign to Canadian: Air India and the Ongoing Denial of Racism.” Remembering Air India: The Art of Public Mourning, edited by Chandrima Chakraborty et al., The University of Alberta Press, 2017, pp. 55-84.