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Refugees, Migrants, Citizens: Political Socialization across Borders

Event Type
Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies; European Union Center; Centers for East Asian & Pacific Studies and Global Studies; Departments of Political Science, Sociology, and Spanish and Portuguese; Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities; and Women & Gender in Global Perspectives
Levis Faculty Center; 2nd Floor; 919 W. Illinois St.; Urbana
Dec 6, 2019   9:00 am - 5:30 pm  
Free and open to the public.
Terri Gitler
Originating Calendar
CSAMES events

The world currently counts with over 70 million displaced persons worldwide, the largest figures since World War II. In many places, immigration has once more become the subject of not only acerbic debates, but also of a new upsurge in racist propaganda, systematic violation of rights, and even terror attacks. As migrants and refugees are either regarded as a threat or as helpless victims, their political subjectivities tend to be ignored in public discourse. The academic scholarship also has important gaps in this respect: political socialization research has paid little attention to migration and the effect of mobility between geopolitical spaces; research on migration, on the other hand, has only rarely applied a political socialization perspective. Moreover, political socialization processes in the Global South remain largely under-researched.

Given the rising political tensions, economic hardship, and violence in many other regions of the Global South, and their impact on rising migration and refugee movements, this topic is currently of great relevance not only for the MENA region and Europe, but also for Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, South East Asia, and North America. Thus, a global and comparative perspective is required to understand which impacts of migration processes on political subjectivities can be considered rather universal, and which are specific to particular regions and their political culture and history, i.e. differing ideas of the nation state, colonial heritage, and typical patterns of (forced) migration.

This symposium brings together a number of leading scholars from several universities across the US who work on the nexus of migration, political socialization, and citizenship in different regions of the world, and from different (inter)disciplinary perspectives. It explores experiences of migration, transnational biographies, and the hybridity of identities. The symposium emphasizes how a comparative perspective is required to understand which impacts of migration on political subjectivity represent generalizable tendencies, and which are specific to the political culture and history of particular regions.


9:00                        Introduction


9:15                        Panel 1: Paradigms Lost? Political Socialization Research in a World of Mobilities

Chair: Jonathan Xavier Inda (U of I, Latina/Latino Studies)

Tawnya Adkins Covert (Western Illinois University, Sociology): Structure AND Agency: Overcoming Fragmentation in the Study of Political Socialization

Diana Owen (Georgetown University, Political Science): Media and the Political Socialization of Migrant Communities in the Digital Age

Liv Dávila (U of I, Education): Reconceptualizing Citizenship and Civic Engagement from the Perspectives of Newcomer Immigrant and Refugee Youth

10:45                Coffee Break

11:00                Panel 2: Migration, Citizenship, Activism

Chair: Dara J. Goldman (U of I, Spanish/Portuguese Studies)

Veronica Terriquez (UC Santa Cruz, Sociology): The Political Socialization of Latinx Youth in a Conservative U.S. Political Context

Amal Hassan Fadlalla (Univ. of Michigan, Anthropology, African Studies, WS Studies): Affective Violence: Diaspora, Revolution, and the Making of Global Citizens

Terri Barnes (U of I, History, Director of Center for African Studies): A Good Story and the Death of an African Migrant in Italy, 1989

Jonathan Xavier Inda (U of I, Latina/Latino Studies): Illegality, Organ Transplants, and Migrant Biosociality

12:30                  Lunch  

1:30                    Panel 3: Human Rights and Border Regimes

Chair: Rakesh Bhatt (U of I, Linguistics)

Jessica Greenberg (U of I, Anthropology) Counter-Pedagogy, Sovereignty and the Challenges of Migrant Human Rights in Europe

Lauren Aronson (U of I, Immigration Law Clinic): Portrait of a Migrant

Christoph Schwarz (U of I, CSAMES Visiting Scholar): Homeland Politics, European Citizenship, Trans-Mediterranean Political Socialization: The Hirak Protests and the Diaspora

3:00                    Coffee Break

3:15                    Panel 4: Space, Time, Memory

Chair: Valerie Hoffman (U of I, Religion)

Rakesh Bhatt (U of I, Linguistics): Mobility, Diasporic Morbidity, and the Chronotope of Victimhood

Dara J. Goldman (U of I, Spanish / Portuguese Studies): A Shtetl Apart: The Place of Cuban Jews in Configurations of Cuban Citizenship 

Cynthia Buckley (U of I, Sociology): Making International Migrants in Place? Migrating Borders, Identity and Security in Estonia

4:45-5:15          Conclusions


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