Mount Holyoke Hosts Global Migration Experts

by February 26, 2010 0 comments

Goods, services, information and ideas all flow across the globe more easily than ever in the 21st century, yet today people face increased scrutiny and resistance in crossing the same borders. Why has migration become such a volatile issue for our world?

Scholars from different fields, perspectives, and countries will address this question – along with the political and ethical dilemmas that migration poses for communities and countries – when Mount Holyoke College’s McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives hosts the conference “Global Challenges: Migration” on March 5 and 6.


“Migration is one of the most volatile issues in politics today, whether in the United States, Europe, or the Middle East,” said Kavita Khory, acting director of the McCulloch Center and organizer of the conference.

“It excites deep passions and fears, revealing anxieties about economic and political security that transcend territorial boundaries. Unfortunately, so many debates about migration lack any sense of history or comparative perspectives. We are convening a group of scholars who will engage in precisely the kind of historically informed analysis that is required for sound policies.”

The conference opens Friday, March 5, at 8 p.m. with a keynote address by Aristide Zolberg on “Why Not the Whole World: Ethical Dilemmas of Immigration Policies.” Zolberg is the Walter P. Eberstadt Professor of Political Science at the New School for Social Research in New York City.

On Saturday, March 6, panel discussions will begin at 8:30 a.m. on security and migration, the political economy of migration, and citizenship and political engagement. The nine panelists will include Fiona Adamson, senior lecturer in international relations at the School of Oriental and African Studies at University of London, and Erik Bleich, associate professor of political science at Middlebury College, among others.

“This is a rare and exciting opportunity for students throughout the region and for the public to participate in a conference with some of the most prominent scholars in the field,” said Khory.

MHC’s Jon Western, Five College Associate Professor of International Relations; Calvin Chen, associate professor of politics; and Joan Cocks, professor of politics, will serve as moderators and discussants of the panels. The panel presentations will be published.

A full schedule and details of the conference topics are available at:

All events will take place in Gamble Auditorium in the Art Building at Mount Holyoke and are free, accessible, and open to the public. Mount Holyoke College is the oldest women’s college in the nation and one of the its finest liberal arts colleges. Its students come from 48 states and nearly 70 countries. Rigorous academics and an internationally diverse student body create an environment that prepares women to meet the challenges of our increasingly complex world.

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