Seeking Refuge in a Changing World: a series of events in 2017-2018

August 23, 2017

Seeking Refuge in a Changing World is a collaborative project that investigates a world of people in flux. In a series of multidisciplinary explorations, the collaborative will investigate the global developments forcing people to seek refuge, the motivations and experiences of refugees themselves, the impact of these migrations on sending and receiving communities, and the political, social, environmental and cultural responses to mass migrations around the globe. Events will span the 2017-2018 academic year and will include public lectures, panels, educator workshops, and arts exhibitions, culminating in a daylong symposium on April 19, 2018.

Join us for the Seeking Refuge in a Changing World symposium on April 19, 2018.  Keynote and panels on refugee resettlement, climate refugees, and Islamophobia.  To be followed by a performance and reception.

Seeking Refuge in a Changing World is a joint effort of the Institute for Global Studies, African Studies Initiative, Center for Austrian Studies, Center for German and European Studies, Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Human Rights Program, and the Immigration History Research Center. Collectively, these centers support interdisciplinary research and facilitate community outreach.

Series Events





Wednesday, September 13

Kick-off Event

Multiple interactive activities designed to engage audiences and provoke dialogue on immigration and refugee issues took place along the pedestrian walkway. Multimedia artist Ifrah Mansour performed and invited participants to contribute to “Somalia's Balloon," a show that educates about Somalia and the importance of everyone needing a home. Additional activities included printmaking, typewriting, an exhibit showcasing photojournalism from WWII Displaced Persons Camps and videos from the Immigrant Stories project.

11:00 am - 2:00 pm

Washington Bridge

Wednesday, October 11

"New Era of Refugee Response"

Bringing extensive experience directly from the field, Kevin Hartigan discusses the challenges of implementing the emergency response and development programs in 20 countries affected by the Syrian Refugee Crisis. Damir Utržan brings a local perspective examining how Syrian refugees navigate the asylum process and resettle in the United States.

Featuring Kevin Hartigan, Regional Director for Catholic Relief Services who oversees the implementation of emergency response and development programs in 20 countries affected by the Syrian refugee crisis.

*Free and Open to the Public*

4:00 - 5:30 pm

120 Andersen Library

Tuesday, November 14

"Journeys to Our Classrooms: How Newcomers and Refugees Arrive"

This workshop for educators will be an introduction to some of the journeys some of our students go through before they reach our Minnesota classrooms. Educators will learn about immigration policy and why newcomers come to Minnesota as well as what happens when they get here. Participants will also receive resources on the new immigration curriculum developed by the Advocates for Human Rights. Guest speakers include Micaela Schuneman, Director of Refugee Services at the International Institute of Minnesota as well as from Tanya Bowen at United States Citizen and Immigration Services.

*Free and Open to the Public*

5:30 - 7:30 pm

120 Andersen Library

Tuesday, Feb 6

"Cambodian Americans and the Myth of Refugee Resettlement"

*Free and Open to the Public*

This talk bridged scholarship and activism with Eric Tang, Associate Professor at University of Texas - Austin and author of Unsettled: Cambodian Refugees in the NYC Hyperghetto, and was followed by a conversation with activists with the Release the Minnesota 8 Campaign, a community-based organization that began as a campaign in August 2016 in response to the unjust detainment of eight Cambodian Minnesotans (known as the MN8) by Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE). Through the work of the campaign, three of the MN8 were released back to their families, while five were deported. Release MN8 has grown with active participation of other grassroots volunteers and impacted family members, expanding their mission to advocate and organize for all Southeast Asian immigrants and refugees facing unjust detention/deportation.  

4:30 - 6:30 pm

120 Andersen Library

Tuesday, March 6

"Inheritance Trouble: Migrant Archives of Holocaust Remembrance"

*Free and Open to the Public*

How should we think about the transmission of Holocaust memory more than seventy years after the defeat of Nazi Germany? What lessons do the events of the Shoah bear for a moment in which far-right political movements are once again on the rise? In order to address such questions, Michael Rothberg considers immigrants’ engagement with the Holocaust in contemporary Germany. The works of art, literature, and performance that he will discuss model alternative ways of remembering the Nazi genocide in the twenty-first century and suggest possibilities for an ethically and politically engaged memory work.

5:00 - 6:30 pm

120 Andersen Library

April 4-6

Award for best "Seeking Refuge" paper

At the Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Conference. 


Thursday, April 19

"Seeking Refuge in a Changing World" Symposium

Symposium with panels on Refugee Resettlement, Climate Refugees, and Islamophobia, and keynote address "Should the United States Have a Climate Refugee Policy?" by Professor Maria Cristina Garcia, Cornell University.

*Free and Open to the Public*


9:00 am - 4:15 pm

120 Andersen Library