The Refugee Crisis: A Conference / DAY ONE

Date / Time

October 24, 2019

9:30 am - 5:00 pm


SCE room 605


The Refugee Crisis

October 24-25, 2019

Student Center East, Room 605
750 South Halsted, University of Illinois at Chicago


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.

9:30-10:30 Breakfast and Welcome

10:30-12:15 PM

  1. Refugee Histories: what can historicizing the crisis teach us about our current conditions?

Moderator: Adam Goodman (UIC)

Lynette Jackson (UIC)

Tara Zahra (University of Chicago)
“Family Separation in Refugee History”

Evan Taparata (University of Pennsylvania)


12:15-1 Lunch



  1. Keynote Address

Introduction: Andreas Feldmann

  1. Alexander Aleinikoff (The New School)


3-4:45 PM

III. Refugee Voices: Refugees speak of the crisis in their own words.

Omar Awadh (UIC)


5 PM Reception


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