Sept. 29-30, 2017
Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies
Indiana University, Bloomington
A Hundred Years of Migration (1917-2017): Stories of Caribbean Exile and Diaspora
With mass migration changing the political landscape of nations from Europe to Central America, this conference studies the cultural, political, and economic impact of the movement of people between North America and its geographically closest region, the Caribbean. It focuses on one hundred years of Caribbean migration to point out the need for studying migration as a long term, recurrent phenomenon that has shaped nation states and hemispheric relations decisively. The Jones-Shafroth Act of 1917 represents for us more than a legal measure declaring Puerto Ricans citizens of the U.S. while maintaining their cultural and political separateness. It stands for the way in which neo-colonial power has brought generations of migrants from south of the border to the U.S., challenging at home and abroad notions of national space, economic and political sovereignty, linguistic unity, and acculturation or assimilation. Caribbean migrants have come to the U.S. propelled by special circumstances, yet their stories can tell us something about the long history of forced and unforced displacement and its effects on nation states, both on the sending and the receiving side. This international conference will bring together renowned scholars from the social sciences and the humanities and policy experts to study the long-term effects of migration, exile, and diaspora cultures on the Caribbean as well as the United States and Canada.
Panels will touch on topics such as the construction of racial difference; past and future waves of Cuban migration; the long century of Puerto Rican migration; visual iconography and media representation of migration; language and postcolonialism in Haiti and its diaspora communities, and public policy. Speakers are drawn from the fields of Linguistics, literary and cultural Studies, History, Sociology, Anthropology, Africana and Diaspora Studies, and Public Policy.
“A Hundred Years of Migration” wants to bring together a community of Caribbeanist and Latinx studies scholars from the United States and abroad. There is little truly interdisciplinary research on the long-term effects of migration on both migrating subjects and receiving countries. This conference is meant to create the foundation for such a collaborative research project here at Indiana University, using the Caribbean as a case in point.
Anke Birkenmaier and Vivian Halloran