International Conference
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
Conference Organizers


[This schedule is subject to change]

    Friday, September 29th, 2017

8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Registration Check-in
School of Global & International Studies (SGIS) Atrium

9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Welcome & Introductions

9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
Panel 1: Puerto Rican Migrations
SGIS Auditorium

Carlos Vargas-Ramos, Hunter College (CUNY)/Columbia University
“The Role of State Actors in Puerto Rico’s Long Century of Migration (1899-2015)”

Vivian Halloran, Indiana University-Bloomington
“Competing June Agendas: Pride, Diaspora, Immigration”

Edgardo Melendez, Hunter College
“Puerto Rican Postwar Migration to the United States and the Colonial State”

Ed Chamberlain, University of Washington Tacoma
“From Father to Humanitarian: Charting the Intimacies and
Discontinuities of Ricky Martin’s Social Media Presence”

10:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Coffee Break

11:00 a.m.- 12:45 p.m.

Panel 2: Cuban Diasporas: The Last Wave and the Next Wave
SGIS Auditorium

Jorge Duany, Florida International University
“The Last Wave: The Cuban Diaspora during the ‘Wet Foot/Dry Foot’ Policy, 1995–2017”

Iraida López, Ramapo College
”Returning to Cuba, a Work in Progress: The One-and-a-Half Generation and Beyond”

Rafael Rojas, CIDE, México City
“La generación flotante. Artistas y escritores cubanos de hoy”

12:45 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Keynote Address
SGIS Auditorium

Yolanda Martínez-San Miguel, Rutgers University
“Terripelagoes: Archipelagic Thinking in Culebra (Puerto Rico) and Guam”
SGIS Auditorium

3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
Coffee Break
SGIS Atrium

3:15 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Panel 3: Constructions of Race and Space: Cultural Exchanges between the Caribbean and the United States
SGIS Auditorium

Daylet Domínguez, University of California-Berkeley
“Travel Writing in the Caribbean: From Nature to History and Types in Cuba with Pen and Pencil’s Samuel Hazard”

Devyn Benson, Davidson College
“Afro-Cubana Feminisms: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Havana”

Emily Maguire, Northwestern University
”New Points of the Rhizome: Rethinking Caribbean Relation in U.S. Latino Poetry”

Jerome Branche, University of Pittsburgh
“Translocal Subjectivities: Maroonage, El Gran Caribe, and the Racial State”

Saturday, September 30, 2017

8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
SGIS Atrium

9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Panel 4: Visual Iconography and Representation of Migration in Media

Jossianna Arroyo, University of Texas, Austin
“Mediascapes: Race, Visuality and Representation in the Caribbean”

Jane Bryce, University of West Indies at Cave Hill
“Beyond a Boundary: Diaspora Connections in Contemporary Anglophone Caribbean Cinema”

Anke Birkenmaier, Indiana University, Bloomington
“Migration and Its Discontents: The Dominican Films of Laura Amelia Guzmán and Israel Cárdenas”

10:30 a.m.- 10:45 a.m.
Coffee Break
SGIS Atrium

10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Panel 5: Languages of Haiti: From (Post)Colonialism to the Diaspora
GA 1134

Rebecca Dirksen, Indiana University, Bloomington
“Mobility Lessons: Rap Kreyòl, Linguistic Cartography, and Way-Finding in Haiti and the Haitian Diaspora”

Michel DeGraff, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT-Haiti Initiative
“300+ Years of Exclusion and Resistance: Creole Languages & Creole Studies as Traces of Migration and of (Neo-, Post-, and De-)colonization”

Roosevelt Saillant, BIC

12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

SGIS Atrium

1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Panel 6: Migration and Public Policy
GA 1134

Manuel Orozco, Harvard University
“Transnationally Integrated or Not? Migrants from the Caribbean and Their Struggles to Belong”

Alejandro Portes, Princeton University
”Bifurcated Immigration and the End of Compassion”

2:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Coffee Break

2:45 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

Roundtable: The Jones Act, 1917-2017

Luis Fuentes-Rohwer, Indiana University, Bloomington