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International Conference “Migrations and Transnational Identities” Co-presented by Humanities Institute and D’Amato Chair in Italian Studies

International Conference “Migrations and Transnational Identities” Co-presented by Humanities Institute and D’Amato Chair in Italian Studies

Conference serves as launching pad for college-wide initiative on migrations in global perspective

STONY BROOK, NY, November 3, 2009 – The Humanities Institute at Stony Brook University, in collaboration with the Alfonse M. D’Amato Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies, presents an international conference, “Migrations and Transnational Identities:  Crossing Borders, Bridging Disciplines.” 

Raymond Depardon, Nigerian Immigrants Crossing into Libya, 2001.

The event will take place on the campus of Stony Brook University, in the Charles B. Wang Center and the Humanities Building on Thursday, November 12 from 1:00 to 5:30 p.m. and Friday, November 13 from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.



“Given the centrality of migration in transforming cultures internationally, this conference serves as a launching pad for what we hope will become a college-wide initiative dealing with migrations in global perspective,” said Professor E. Ann Kaplan, Director of the Humanities Institute at Stony Brook. 


“Migration is not a marginal dynamic in the lives of nations, but what informs the birth, growth and transformation of societies,” said Professor Peter Carravetta, the Alfonse M. D’Amato Chair.  “In this conference we intend to explore the relevance and significance of migrations in various parts of the world, and prospects for the 21st century,” he added.


The roster of speakers, representing a range of disciplines from painting to political science, includes:  Angela Biancofiore (University of Montpellier), Norma Bouchard (University of Connecticut), Peter Carravetta (Stony Brook University), Juan Flores (New York University), Armando Gnisci (University of Rome), Iona Man-Cheong (Stony Brook University), Yolanda Martinez-San Miguel (Rutgers University) and Martin A. Schain (New York University).  There will be two keynote speakers.  Frederick Buell (Queens College, CUNY) will speak on “Im/migration and the Environment:  Old Conflicts, Present Urgencies,” and Marcelo M. Suárez-Orozco (New York University) will close the conference with his lecture, “Rethinking Immigration in the Age of Global Vertigo.”


The conference is accompanied by a menu of related programming including a theatrical performance, “What Killed Marcelo Lucero?” on Thursday, November 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the Wang Center Theater.  This work, conceived and directed by Margarita Espada-Santos, Teatro Experimental Yerbabruja, is a provocative, bilingual production that explores the murder of a Salvadoran immigrant at the hands of teenagers on Long Island who singled him out because he was Hispanic. 


“It is a strong and moving production,” said John Lutterbie, Associate Professor of Theatre Arts and the Associate Director for Community Outreach of the Humanities Institute at Stony Brook.


A film-and-discussion series, “Migrations On-Screen,” features films introduced and presented by Stony Brook faculty.  La Promesse (1996), to be screened on Friday, November 6 at 11:30 a.m. in Humanities 1008, introduced by Professors Kaplan and Professor John Lutterbie, is a film by the Belgian Dardenne brothers that is an uncompromising coming-of-age story and a look at a Europe in conflict over immigrants and their often harsh treatment.  In This World (2002), to be screened on Friday, December 4 at 11:30 a.m. in Humanities 1008, introduced by Professor Gallya Lahav, is British director Michael Winterbottom’s ambitious road movie in which two young Afghani cousins travel overland from Pakistan to the United Kingdom in search of a better life.


An exhibition, “Images of the African Diaspora in New York City Community Murals,” is on view in the Humanities Institute Gallery, Humanities 1013, from November 2-December 18, 2009, Monday-Friday, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.


In addition to funding provided by The Humanities Institute and the D’Amato Chair, the conference is co-sponsored by the FAHSS Interdisciplinary Award and the Department of European Languages, Literatures and Cultures.  Additional sponsors include the Departments of Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies; English; Hispanic Languages and Literature; Political Science and Theatre Arts; and the Long Island Unitarian Universalist Foundation.


The conference is free and open to the public, but registration is required.  For more information please go to or or call Olivia Mattis at (631) 632-9957.

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