Conferences (2019-2020)

The 2018-2019 academic year begins with the Humanities Frontiers (Formerly known as Cutting Edge in the Humanities) conference "Political Futures." This two day event takes place at Room 302 in Tower, Student Center East on October 12-13 and is organized by .

These are the conferences for the 2019-2020 academic year.

The Refugee Crisis: A Conference

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October 24 and 25, 2019
Institute for the Humanities

Conference Description:
The world is in the grip of an international refugee crisis. Over 68 million people have been displaced from their homes due to wars, state collapse, persecution, terrorism, poverty, and climate catastrophes. While these numbers have never been greater, many refugee destination countries have responded with restrictionist and anti-immigrant policies. Those seeking refuge are treated as unwelcome intruders and are subject to marginalization, dehumanizing detention, or deportation. The precarious position of refugees is further exacerbated by unstable conditions in host states. This conference gathers scholars, activists, and artists to examine the refugee crisis from a comparative regional perspective. Through panels, storytelling, lectures, and performances, it will interrogate the conditions that have led to the crisis; critically examine existing legal definitions of refugees; analyze responses to the crisis by governments, organizations, activists, and refugees; and explore new
strategies for protecting and accommodating precarious populations.

October 24

9:30-10:30 Breakfast and Welcome

10:30-12:15  Refugee Histories: what can historicizing the crisis teach us about our
current conditions?
Moderator: TBA
Lynette Jackson (UIC)
Evan Taparata (University of Pennsylvania)
Tara Zahra (University of Chicago)

12:15-1 Lunch

1-2:45 Keynote Address
Introduced and moderated by Andreas Feldmann
T. Alexander Aleinikoff (The New School)

3-4:45 PM Refugee Voices: Refugees speak of the crisis in their own words.
Participants TBA.

5 PM Reception

6:30 PM Conference Dinner, Location TBA

October 25

8:30-9:00 Breakfast

9-10:45 Refugees in a Global Context: how can different regional contexts illuminate
the urgent challenges presented by the crisis? Issues to be discussed in this
context could include restrictionism, populism, etc.
Moderator: Lynette Jackson (UIC)
Andreas E. Feldmann (UIC)
Amal Hassan Fadlalla (University of Michigan)
Kemal Kirişci (Brookings Institution)

11-12:45 Refugees and Precarities–A conversation: how are precarious conditions in
origin and destination nations/regions affecting the conditions of refugees and the
possibilities for protection and aid?
Sultan Tepe (UIC), moderator
Noelle Kateri Brigden (Marquette University)
Ogenga Otunnu (DePaul University)

12:45-1:30 Lunch

1:30-3:15 Refugee Writing/Writing Refugees: how are creative artists responding to the
refugee crisis?
Introduced by Daniel Borzutzky (UIC)
Daniel Borzutzky (UIC)
Faisal Mohyuddin (Highland Park High School)
Horacio Castellanos Moya (University of Iowa)

3:30-5:15 New Futures: What possibilities can be found–within or outside
governments, NGOs, and activist communities—to address the refugee crisis?
Moderator: TBA
Maria Cristina Garcia (Cornell University)
Melineh Kano (RefugeeOne)
Sarah Dávila-Ruhaak (UIC John Marshall Law School)

5:30 Reception

Conference Organizers: Mark Canuel, Andreas E. Feldmann, Lynette Jackson, Sultan Tepe

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