This three day symposium at New York University will draw together academics and practitioners working on refugee-related issues to explore how crisis, sovereignty, representation and culture intersect in the figure of the refugee. By highlighting the social agency, political activism, and cultural expressions that refugees enact, we hope to trouble conventional representations of the refugee as the fearful subject, bereft of speech, for a more robust sense of the political aspirations of these subjects.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Conference Program

Thursday, September 23rd

Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, 4/F 20 Cooper Square

6:00pm          Opening Remarks
6:30pm          Documentary Screening: Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars
8:00pm          Discussion with filmmaker Zach Niles and Mohammed
                              Naseehu Ali, writer and musician

Friday, September 24th

Institute for Public Knowledge, 5/F 20 Cooper Square

9:00am         Breakfast
9:30am         Panel I:  Zones of Indistinction, The Production of Crisis
                       Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi, "Camp Cities: Material, Space,
                               and Architecture"
                       April Shemak, "Refugee Cartographies: Mapping the Zone of
                               Indistinction in Post-Earthquake Haiti"
                       Anne Cubilié, "Impossible Ethics: Justice, Protection and
                               Operational Practice"
                       Moderator: Jini Watson, English, NYU
11:00am       Break 
11:30am       Panel II: Pictures, Stories, Voices: Representations of
                      and by Refugees I
                       Louisa Schein, "Contested Images of Refugeehood
                                in Hmong American Cultural Production"
                       Sara Green, documentary screening and discussion about
                                Art for Refugees in Transition's programs
                       Moderator: Sangeeta Ray, English and Comparative Literature,
                                U Maryland
1:00pm          Lunch Break
2:30pm          Panel III: Maneuvering at the Margins of Refugeehood
                        Zenia Kish, "'A Devil's Bargain': Haitian Rice, Agricultural
                                Agricultural Restructuring and Hunger Refugees"
                        Susan Bibler Coutin, "Falling Outside: Excavating the
                                History of Central American Asylum Seekers"
                        Celina Su, "Between Migrant and Refugee, Evading
                                Categories: Pragmatic Lessons from Shan Burmese
                                Refugees in Thailand"
                        Moderator: Margaret Satterthwaite, Law, NYU
4:00pm          Break

Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, 4/F 20 Cooper Square

4:30pm          Keynote Lecture: Thomas Keenan
                       "'After Every War Someone Has to Tidy Up':
                        Some Thoughts on the Politics of Neutrality"
6 - 7:30pm     Reception

Saturday, September 25th

Institute for Public Knowledge, 5/F 20 Cooper Square

9:00am          Breakfast
9:30am          Panel IV: Pictures, Stories, Voices: Representations of
                       and by Refugees II
                       Nina Ha, "'Our Mothers and Their Lives of Suffer':
                                Examining Refugee Women's Lives Through
                       David Campbell, "Humanity in Motion: A Critical
                                Reading of Multimedia Stories from the Congo"
                       Miriam Ticktin, "Reading Refugee Claims: The
                                Politics of Biology and Fiction"
                       Moderator: Joseph Slaughter, English and Comparative Lit,
                                Columbia University
11:00am        Break
11:30am        Panel V: Naming Practices: Consolidating Nations and 
                       Eliot Borenstein, "Running in Place: Borders, Migrants, and the
                               Symbolic Geography of Post-Soviet Russia"
                       Jana Lipman, "'Give us a Ship': The Vietnamese Repatriate
                               Movement on Guam, 1975"
                       Ilana Feldman, "The Challenge of Eligibility: UNRWA and
                               the Definition of a 'Palestine Refugee'"
                       Moderator: Renato Rosaldo, Anthropology, NYU

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