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RIT College of Liberal Arts
Conable Conference in International Studies

April 12-14, 2012


RIT ------ College of Liberal Arts ------ Program in International Studies ------ Conable Endowment in International Studies ------ The Department of Sociology and Anthropology ------ Cornell University Department of History

Refugees, Asylum Law, and Expert Testimony:
The Construction of Africa & the Global South in Comparative Perspective

Specialists are increasingly invited to comment on the petitions of asylum seekers and refugees from Africa and the comparative Global South. Commentary may take a variety of forms, including consultation, written reports, formal affidavits and ‘live’ oral testimony and cross-examination in court. The 2012 Conable Conference—convened jointly by the Rochester Institute of Technology and Cornell University—proposes exploring new research situated at the dynamic interdisciplinary intersection of law, scholarship and activism pertaining to African asylum petitions and refugee status determination in a comparative international context.

We are interested in new research exploring the construction of expertise and the emergence of ideas and the production of knowledge about Africa and the comparative Global South in the context of asylum petitions and refugee status determinations.

This conference has five goals: (1) to bring together into conversation scholars, practitioners, and activists producing expertise in the context of refugee and asylum law as it pertains to Africa and the Global South; (2) to explore new scholarship and research pertaining to the emergence of categories and identities deployed in refugee determinations and asylum petitions; (3) to publish an interdisciplinary collection of critical and rigorous scholarship on the emergence of categories and identities in asylum and refugee law; (4) to facilitate networking and interaction of conference participants and harness the potentials of collaboration for legal strategy, knowledge transfer and learning; (5) to inspire pedagogical and curricular development towards problem-solving competencies pertaining to asylum applicants and refugees from Africa and beyond.

Registration is required for all participants.

Convener: Benjamin N. Lawrance, Barber B. Conable, Jr. Endowed Chair of International Studies, RIT

The Conable Conference acknowledges the generous support of the Office of the Provost, the Program in International Studies in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and the College of Liberal Arts at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and the Weill Cornell Center for Human Rights, the History Department, and the Law School of Cornell University. The Conable Endowment in International Studies honors the Cornell Alumnus, and former Rochester-area politician and diplomat, Barber B. Conable, Jr., who served in the U.S. House of Representatives (1964-1984) and as president of the World Bank (1986-1991). The Conable Chair was made possible with a generous starting gift from the Starr Foundation.