Conable Conference in International Studies

Migration Crisis? What Crisis? Why Crisis?

Thinking, Framing, and Theorizing Mass Mobility in a Globalized Age

March 31 and April 1, 2016

Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York

The Fifth Conable Conference in International and Global Studies will explore the conceptualization of contemporary global mass mobility as a “crisis.” What does it mean to frame human migration with sensational terminology, such as crisis? How does language often associated with intractable problems, such as humanitarian or environmental disasters, or political stalemates, shape the responses to rapidly expanding transnational human mobility? The Conable Conference proposes to examine the nature of the “crisis,” the implications of framing migration as a “crisis,” and the history and present of “crisis” frameworks, management theories, and problem-solving. Employment of the “crisis” conceptualization is global in scope, but it is often applied regionally and nationally, such as the Australian response to refugee movements in the oceans north of the island-nation, the Mexico-US border, or the Mediterranean and Balkan overland routes into the Europe Union. Crisis language ushers in hasty responses, stimulates fraught political rhetoric, and resonates with persistent national and international political, economic, social, cultural, and religious tensions. But crisis language also mobilizes diverse resources, garners journalist and public attention, and instantiates emotional, moral, and ethical engagement.



8.00-8.45:                    REGISTRATION & BREAKFAST (Student Activities Union - SAU - 1829)

9.00-9.15:                    RIT WELCOME (Student Activities Union - SAU - 1829)

Jeremy Haefner, Provost, RIT

James Winebrake, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts

Benjamin N. Lawrance, Conable Chair of International Studies


9.30-11.00:                  PANEL ONE – MIGRATION AS CRISIS     (SAU 1829)

Chair: Audie Klotz (Syracuse)

Anahit Gomtsian (Univ. of Illinois Chicago) “Framing “the Other”: Perceptions of national identity and refugee policy in Australia and Israel”

Serdar Değirmencioğlu (Doğuş University) “Mass Migration as Crisis or Business as Usual: An Analysis from the Global South”

Fabricio Souza (Pontifícia Univ. Católica do Rio de Janeiro), “Subjects in escape: The Refugee as a Crisis”

Ludvik Girard (IOM) “Migration crisis and Human Rights”


11.15-12.45:                PANEL TWO – MANAGING CRISES    (SAU 1829)

Chair: Lamis Abdelaaty (Syracuse)

Bennett Sherry (Pittsburgh) “No Permanent Solution: Refugee Transit Migration and the Expansion of the UNHCR in Turkey”

Malay Firoz (Brown) “Liminal Sovereignty: The Humanitarian ‘Crisis’ in Jordan and Lebanon”

Niovi Vavoula (Queen Mary, University of London) “Managing Mass Mobility or Heading to Mass Surveillance? - The Case of the EU 'Smart Borders' Package”


1.00-1.45:                    LUNCH


 2.00-3.30:              PANEL THREE – STATE POLICY & RESPONSE TO CRISES    (SAU 1829)

Chair: Silvia Benso (RIT)

Charles Gomes (Casa Rui Barbosa) “The Brazilian Political Response to a Purported 'International Migration Crisis'.”

Elzbieta Wiacek (Jagiellonian Univ) “Poland’s Refugee Policy and Polish Citizen’s Response: Between Rejection and Acceptance”

Aubrey Grant (George Mason) “The European Response to Unaccompanied Child Migrants”


3.45-5.15:              PANEL FOUR – CRISIS AND CAUSE     (SAU 1829)

Chair: Rebecca Scales (RIT)

Heather Alexander (Tilburg) “Statelessness and the Crisis in Northern Mali: Looking Beyond “Islamic Extremism” as the Driver of Conflict”

Sierra Kraft (Columbia) “Mobility Gap: Restrictions to the Freedom of Movement”

Isabelle Saurioll (Immigration Lawyer) “My Crisis is Better than Yours: Case Studies”




6.30-7.30:                KEYNOTE  (VIGNELLI CENTER GALLERY)              

IDIL ATAK, Department of Criminology, Ryerson University & President, Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies

Framing Migration as Crisis in an Era of Global Mobility: Human Rights Challenges



8.15-9.00:                BREAKFAST    (SAU 1829)


9.00-10.30:              PANEL FIVE – CRISIS DISCOURSE    (SAU 1829)

Chair: Vincent Serravallo (RIT)

Loubna Abi Khalil (Rhur Univ. Bochum) “Questioning Discourses on Conflict Diffusion through Refugee Movement: The Case of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon”

Shawna Shapiro (Middlebury) “Deficit Discourse and the Education of Refugee-background Students”

Keren LG Snider (Univ. of Haifa) “The Potential Danger of Framing - Asylum Seekers in Israel at Times of Violent Conflict”

Jeffrey Jurgens (Bard) “The Affective Work of ‘Crisis’: Pluralism, Citizenship, and Racialization in Germany”


10.45-12.15:                PANEL SIX –SOUTH-NORTH MOBILITY     (SAU 1829)

Chair: Kijana Crawford (RIT)

Mark Reeves (UNC-Chapel Hill) “Troublemakers or Global Thinkers? Anticolonial Migrants in Britain, France, and the United States, 1930-1945”

Melissa Casagrande (Universidade Positivo) “Haitian migration to Brazil following the 2010 earthquake: exceptional implementation of a visa on humanitarian grounds”

Yomi Olukolu (Univ. of Lagos), “The Impact of Internal Armed Conflicts on African Emigration to Other Continents: Foes Within, Enemies Without”

Stephani Richards-Wilson (Independent scholar) “Germany and Migration: Here Come the Germans, There Go the Refugees”


12.30-1.30:                  LUNCH KEYNOTE    (Liberal Arts Hall-Bldg 6-A205)               

AUDIE KLOTZ, Department of Political Science, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs,  Syracuse University

Should Security (Ever) Trump Rights?


1.45-3.15:                    PANEL SEVEN – SOUTH-SOUTH MOBILITIES    (SAU 1829)

Chair: Christine Kray (RIT)

Maayan Ravid (Oxford Ctr for Socio-Legal Studies) “Crossing Borders- from Exceptional to Criminal”

Karijn Nijhoff (Hague Univ of Applied Sciences), “Footloose, Nomadic, Drifting, Liquid Migration: Marginal Men in 2015”

Michael Ferguson (SOAS) “The Perception of Crisis: Displacement in Izmir, 1875-Present”

Meral Acikgoz (IOM) “Turkey’s Integration Policy Development Process and its Impact on European Migration Crisis”


3.30-5.00:                   PANEL EIGHT – CRISIS AND MEDIA     (SAU 1829)

Chair: Andrea Hickerson (RIT)

Alexander Caviedes (SUNY Fredonia) “European Media Coverage of Refugees and Asylum seekers: Results from a Five Country Study"

Alyssa Jackson (RIT), "Syrian Refugees and Global Media: Trends Found Among Human Interest Stories"

Gabriel Haddad Teixeira (Centro Univ. de Brasília), “The Refugee As You Can See: A brief survey of Brazilian media discourse on refugees”

Amanda Schartau (RIT), "Breaking the Story: Crisis Coverage in the Western Media"


5.15-6.00:      CLOSING PLENARY  (SAU  1829)