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International Conference: Refugees in/from the Middle East

March 6 - March 7

Refugees in/from the Middle East:

Policy Implications, Education, and Artistic Representations

University of Wisconsin-Madison, March 6-7, 2020

 

This interdisciplinary conference brings together scholars from the social sciences and humanities who examine forced migration within the context of the Middle East.

 

Conference Program

Mohamad Hafez Keynote Lecture “HOMELAND inSECURITY”

Friday, March 6, 4-6pm

Nancy Nicholas Hall (co-sponsored with the School of Human Ecology, 1300 Linden Drive)

Syrian artist and architect Mohamad Hafez will offer a very personal view of what it’s like for an upper-middle class Damascene family to become forced migrants – their lives before and after, decision points, forced hands, and adjustment to new realities.  This will be an opportunity to better understand what the biggest humanitarian crisis since World War II looks like to an individual and family who have been through it. Mr. Hafez creates mixed and multi-media sculptures representing Middle Eastern streetscapes and buildings besieged by civil war, deliberately contrasted with hopeful verses from the Quran, audio recordings from his homeland, and other elements of his Islamic heritage.

 

Saturday, March 7 (313 Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St, Madison, 53706)

9:00 to 10:45: Panel 1. National, Regional, and Global Policy toward Refugees:

  • Marcia Inhorn (Yale University) “America’s Wars and Iraqis’ Lives: Refugee Vulnerabilities and Reproductive Exile in “Arab Detroit”
  • Yasemin Ipek (George Mason University) “Humanitarian Refugees in Turkey: Syrian Support for Syrians”
  • Sarah Alghamdi (York University) “Examining the Prospects for Refugee Rights in Tunisia”.

11:00 to 12: 45: Panel 2. Refugees, Education, and Identity:

  • Alyssa Bivins (George Washington University) “The Myth of Apolitical Education Development: The Politics of UNESCO’s Education Policies for Palestinian Refugees, 1950s-1980s”
  • Sara Farsiu (University of Wisconsin-Madison) “Understanding Ethnically-Framed Conflicts: An Analysis of the Portrayals of Arabs in Iranians’ Speech”
  • Eileen Kennedy and Elaine Chase (University College London) “How Can Digital Technology Support Transformative Education?”

1:00 to 2:30 lunch and break

2:30 to 4:15:  Panel 3. Refugees and Artistic Representations: 

  • Seref Kavak (École des hautes études en sciences sociales, France) “Cultural Security and Publicness: Syrian Musicians on the Streets of Istanbul”
  • Dina A. Ramadan (Bard College) “Refugees in the Art Museum”
  • Hakim Abderrezak (University of Minnesota) “Illiterature and the Seametery”.

4:30 to 5:30:  Round table: Refugees in the 21st century: Building Alternatives to Walls, Dehumanization, and Discrimination. Drawing on the experiences of refugees in/from the Middle East, panelists will reflect on practices and forms of solidarity that counter attempts to paint refugees primarily as a security or cultural threat and to deny them equal human rights.

While its geographical focus is the Middle East, the conference seeks to contribute to a better understanding of the challenges related to forced migration in the 21st century and to weigh in on attempts to find constructive solutions to these challenges. It aims to open up new ways of thinking about refugees and telling the many important and yet untold stories of migration.

For more information, please contact Prof. Nevine El Nossery at: elnossery@wisc.edu

Venue

AT&T Lounge, Pyle Center
702 Langdon St
Madison, WI 53706 United States
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