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Language and Migration: Experience and Memory

19 April - 1 May

Free

Language and Migration: Experience and Memory Symposium

This interdisciplinary symposium will convene humanists and social scientists, field-workers and policy-makers, artists and writers, to think together about migrants as resourceful users, interpreters, and creators of language.

Language is a vital, but underexplored, factor in the lives of migrants, immigrants and refugees. It has a direct impact on the experiences and choices of individuals displaced by war, terror, or natural disasters and the decisions made by agents who provide (or fail to provide) relief, services, and status. Distilled through memory, it shapes the fictions, poems, memoirs, films and song lyrics in which migrants render loss and displacement, integration and discovery, the translation of history and culture, and the trials of identity.

The symposium will take place online between Monday, April 19 and Saturday May 1, 2021.

Special events: Our symposium will feature two keynote speakers: Prof. Sarah Dryden-Peterson of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, who will open our exchange with a lecture on Monday April 19; and ProfViet Thanh Nguyen, Aerol Arnold Professor of English, University of Southern California, and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for The Sympathizer, who will close the proceedings with a lecture on Saturday, May 1. On Friday evening, April 30, we are delighted to host a reading by Jhumpa Lahiri, Yiyun Li and Aleksandar Hemon, three distinguished members of Princeton’s Creative Writing faculty.

The symposium program can be found here.

Registration information can be found here. There will be one zoom link for the entire conference. (Panelists and chairs will also receive a special link for their sessions.)

Our primary sponsors are the Migration Lab of the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, and the Study Group for Language and the United Nations. We’d like to acknowledge additional support from the Center for Applied Linguistics, the Esperantic Studies Foundation, the Centre for Research and Documentation on World Language Problems, and Birkbeck, University of London. At Princeton, generous support has also come from the Lewis Center, the Humanities Council, the Department of English, the Department of Comparative Literature, The Department of African-American Studies, and the University Center for Human Values.

Please direct questions to Sam Evans at same@princeton.edu

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CoNGO Notes: CoNGO is currently in the process of constituting an NGO Committee on Language and Languages and is calling for endorsement of the creation of this important committee. For information on this new committee, visit here. For more information on the NGO Committee on Migration, please visit ngo-migration.org. For more information on the NGO Committee on Education, Learning, and Literacy, please visit facebook.com/NGOCELLatUN.