RIT conference examines international migration

Thinking, framing and theorizing mass mobility in a globalized age

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Barber B. Conable

Thousands of people have been fleeing war-torn Syria in recent months, but is that migration a crisis?

The fifth annual Conable Conference in International and Global Studies, March 31 and April 1 at Rochester Institute of Technology, will explore what it means to frame human migration with sensational terminology such as “crisis.”

“Crisis language ushers in hasty responses, stimulates fraught political rhetoric and resonates with persistent national and international political, economic, social, cultural and religious tensions,” said Benjamin Lawrance, RIT’s Hon. Barber B. Conable Jr. Endowed Chair in International Studies. “But crisis language also mobilizes diverse resources, garners journalist and public attention and instantiates emotional, moral and ethical engagement.”

Topics at the conference include human rights rhetoric, migrant mobility, public responses to human mobility, history of mass mobility, border securitization and human trafficking syndicates.

Keynote speakers are Audie Klotz, a professor of political science at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, and Idil Atak, an assistant professor of criminology at Ryerson University in Toronto and president of the Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies.

The conference is free to RIT students, faculty and staff; $30 for others.

The conference is named for Barber B. Conable, a former state senator, 20-year U.S. representative and president of the World Bank. He died in 2003. An endowed chair in his name was formed at RIT with a donation from the Starr Foundation. It began in 2004 to help ensure his principled and innovative leadership in the national and international arenas will be preserved for all time.

For more information or to register, visit the conference website.