‘Labors of Love’
More than 300 scholars, health and social-service providers, attorneys, educators, immigrants and government personnel will gather at Connecticut College Oct. 16 -18 to address one of the most pressing issues of our time: undocumented Hispanic immigration. Presenters at the three-day conference, "Undocumented Hispanic Migration: On the Margins of a Dream," will speak about everything from the effects of U.S. economic and immigration policies on undocumented migration to the daily life of immigrants.
"This type of conference is unprecedented," Frank Graziano, the John D. MacArthur Professor of Hispanic Studies at Connecticut College, said. "Scholars in a range of fields-from literature to public health-will interact with professionals who work with immigrants daily. We hope that these participants will mutually enhance each other's understanding of the issues, and that everyone will come away with a comprehensive overview that will contribute to the national debate."
Graziano, who is organizing the conference, said more than 200 participants and 100 presenters are expected to attend from across the United States and from Mexico and Canada. The conference coincides with a renewed focus on potential immigration reform by the Obama administration and the U.S. Congress. Presenters include Border Angels, representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard, youth shelter directors, immigration lawyers, bilingual teachers and social workers from private and state agencies.
Panel discussions will feature immigrants speaking about their personal experiences, scholars discussing factory raids by immigration authorities and activists reporting on their advocacy. The conference will also feature 10 plenary lectures by leading experts, including Saskia Sassen, the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University, and Alejandro Portes, the Howard Harrison and Gabrielle Snyder Beck Professor of Sociology at Princeton University.
Sassen, author of "The Mobility of Labor and Capital," "The Global City" and "Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages," will give a talk titled, "Who is the 'Immigrant' Today? Reassembling a Subject," at 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 16.
Portes is the author and co-author of 30 books and special issues, including "City on the Edge - the Transformation of Miami," and "Immigrant America: A Portrait (Third Edition)." His talk, "No Margin for Error: Barriers to Success and Means to Overcome Them among Children of Unauthorized Migrants," is at 12:20 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 18.
Both talks will be in the 1962 Room, College Center at Crozier-Williams.
Connecticut College students and faculty members have been preparing for the conference since last year, and the issues of undocumented immigration have been integrated into 11 courses in various disciplines, including American studies, anthropology, economics, English, government, Hispanic studies, history and sociology.
"Undocumented Hispanic Migration: On the Margins of a Dream" received major support from Connecticut College's Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts. Additional sponsorship was provided by Connecticut College's president, dean of the faculty, dean of the college community, dean of studies and the freshman year, Office of Information Services, Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy, Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity, and the departments of and programs in American Studies, Anthropology, Education, Government, Hispanic Studies, History and Latin American Studies.
The general registration fee is $100. Residents of New London County can register for $40. Students are invited to attend any events for free and do not need to register.