Fall 2020: (Virtual) Refugee Crisis Workshop for Community-College Educators

The Growing Crisis of Refugees and Statelessness: A Practical, Pedagogical Workshop for Community-College Educators

We are excited to announce a new professional development workshop for community college educators coming this fall!

In this workshop, experts on refugees and statelessness across the globe — Latin America, Europe, Southeast Asia, and the United States — will discuss the causes and effects of rising tides of involuntary migration. Participants will be given opportunities to meet and work with colleagues in their disciplines and programs to develop new courses on refugees and statelessness, and they will learn new content to integrate in the courses they currently teach.

In a series of four sessions, the workshop will provide community college educators with ideas and information useful to teaching undergraduates about migration and both past and impending global transformations. It will explore two of the most pressing issues of our time—refugees and statelessness—through presentations by four experts on crises, causes and solutions. It will also provide opportunities to speak directly with each speaker in Q&A sessions. The events will conclude with small-group discussions among participants that focus on incorporating insights gained from the workshop into community college courses.

Individuals who participate in all four of the online seminars will receive a professional development digital badge from Madison College.

In addition, the first 20 registrants will receive a FREE copy of “Against the Deportation Terror: Organizing for Immigrant Rights in the Twentieth Century” by Rachel Ida Buff, our keynote speaker scheduled for October 7th!

OCTOBER 7, 4:00-6:00 P.M.

Keynote Address: “Thinking Like a Caravan: People on the Move in Crisis”

Presented by Rachel Ida Buff, Professor of History, UW-Milwaukee and author of Against the Deportation Terror: Organizing for Immigrant Rights in the Twentieth Century and A is for Asylum Seeker: Words for People on the Move / A de asilo: palabras para personas en movimiento


About the presentation: In this talk, Professor Rachel Ida Buff will deliver a brief reading and then talk about her new book A is for Asylum Seeker: Words for People on the Move / A de Asilo: Palabras para Personas en MovimientoAs millions are forced to leave their nations of origin as a result of political, economic, and environmental peril, rising racism and xenophobia have led to increasingly harsh policies. A mass-mediated political circus obscures both histories of migration and longstanding definitions of words for people on the move, fomenting widespread linguistic confusion. Under this circus tent, there is no regard for history, legal advocacy, or jurisprudence. Yet in a world where the differences between “undocumented migrant” and “asylum seeker” can mean life or death, words have weighty consequences. This talk will reframe key words that describe people on the move and offer a new perspective on the fascinating stories, challenges and aspirations of migrants in the world, with particular focus on the US.

OCTOBER 14, 4:00-6:00 P.M.

A Crisis of Migration Governance: Europe’s Failed Cooperation on Refugee Protection

Presented by Anna Oltman, UW-Madison Political Science Ph.D Candidate

About the presentation: Many Americans view Europe, with its common currency, accessible air and train travel, and “open” internal borders, as a continent of free movement. But for asylum seekers and other migrants seeking safety, Europe is a fortress built to keep people out. Efforts at pushing back migrant boats crossing the Mediterranean Sea, poorly resourced detention centers and migrant camps, and inconsistent cooperation across countries have all come to characterize the European treatment of refugees. In this workshop we will discuss the ways that European countries, both together and individually, have created barriers to prevent refugees from reaching the continent. We will also explore the unique ways that European countries have worked together to address the refugee crisis, the challenges of creating a fair international system for aiding refugees, and the prospects for future refugee protection in Europe and the world.


OCTOBER 21, 4:00-6:00 P.M.

 “The Spatial Nowhere of Rohingya Lives: How Myanmar’s Toxic Citizenship Regime Created a Stateless People “

Presented by Ingrid Jordt, Associated Professor of Anthropology, UW-Milwaukee

About the presentation: National identity has come to be the seat of human rights in the Global Era. The nation-state confers citizenship within a spatially distinct territory and polices criteria for belonging. Individuals denied a national identity, Hannah Arendt famously said, are reduced to a “bare life,” a presence defined by the absence of rights. In this presentation, I survey Myanmar’s deadly nation-state building project since Independence in 1948, with particular focus on its impact upon the Rohingya of Rakhine state. Myanmar nationalist ideology, state policy, and populist anti-Rohingya sentiment have combined to erase the Rohingya people through genocide, expulsion, and razing of the physical landscape where Rohingya rights, culture, and habitation existed. I recount historical and contemporary processes that reduce the Rohingya to a stateless people—the State implementation of a regime of “toxic citizenship” premised on the fictions of primordial identities and territorial belonging, and affirmed in political parables whose purpose is the defense of Burmese Buddhist cosmological spatialities and eschatologies.


OCTOBER 28, 4:00-6:00 P.M.

“Las Dos Fronteras (The Two Borders): Perspectives on Migrants and Asylum seekers in Mexico’s Southern and Northern Borders”

Presented by Almita A. Miranda, Assistant Professor in Geography and Chican@/Latin@ Studies and Alicia Barceinas Cruz, PhD Student in Environment and Resources

Fall 2020 Refugee Crisis Workshop for Educators

If you would like to attend this fall, virtual workshop, please register below.
  • You may provide your business or personal address.
    Please select each of the presentations you plan to attend.

If you have any questions about the workshop, please contact Mary McCoy in the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at UW-Madison. Mary can be reached at: mccoy2@wisc.edu.