Writing on human migration will be explored at May conference

Refugees on train

Scholars across a range of disciplines will gather at the UO for a conference that looks at migrations, including the mass movement of refugees and others, and how they are represented in modern and historical writing.

Hosted by the Department of German and Scandinavian, the “Writing Migration” conference will be held May 3-4. The event is free and open to the public.

The evet takes place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 3 and  from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 4. All sessions will be in the  Knight Library Browsing Room, except for the session from 5:30 to 7 p.m. May 3, which will be held in Room 180, Prince Lucien Campbell Hall.

The session in PLC Hall will be the annual Bartolomé de la Casas Lecture on Human Rights, given by Father Alejandro Solalinde, an important human rights activist and intellectual guiding light who will be speaking on "The Migrant's Path/El Camino del Migrante."

The interdisciplinary conference is being held in light of the influx of recent migrations and their global importance. The conference will cover the writing of migrations, and migrations of writing, along crucial south-north and east-west regional pathways.

Talks will address themes as diverse as the contemporary political situation on the U.S.-Mexican border; contemporary migration writing, and literary migration, in the U.S., Germany, Sweden, North Africa and France; Mexican-American colonial culture in the 18th century; and the representation of 17th century war-induced migration in post-World War II German drama.

“We live in an age of mass migrations,” said Jeffrey Librett, professor of German and one of the principal organizers of the conference. “These migrations involve both immense suffering on the part of the migrants themselves, and challenges for host nations, but also the potential for cultural innovation and human emancipation as new voices enter spaces where they had been previously unheard, producing the broadening of intercultural understanding.”

Co-sponsors of the event include the departments of Romance Languages, Comparative Literature and Philosophy, along with the Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies, the Latin American Studies Program, the College of Arts and Sciences, Global Studies and the Oregon Humanities Center.

More information, including a schedule of each session and speakers, is available on the German and Scandinavian department website.