ICS Lecture: “Internal Migration of Ethnic Minorities in China: Perspectives, Problems and Policies”

Friday, January 26, 2018 – 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Mendenhall Lab 191 (125 S Oval Mall)

The Institute for Chinese Studies presents the Re-Imagining China’s Past and Present Lecture Series:

Shengyu Pei
Associate Professor, College of Ethnology and Sociology
South-Central University for Nationalities

“Internal Migration of Ethnic Minorities in China: Perspectives, Problems and Policies”

Event Page

Abstract: Internal migration in China grew to include 245 million people in 2016. More than 20 million of these migrants belong to one of the 55 different ethnic minorities in the country. My talk will focus on these minority groups, the challenges they face and how the government organizes policies to support their development. First, I examine internal migration and why people move. Second, I discuss the challenges that stereotype, “closed-doorism” and community development create for ethnic minorities in places of destination and as internal migrants. Finally, I analyze the government’s policies to solve some of the challenges these community face and new potentials for solutions.

Bio: Shengyu Pei is an Associate Professor at College of Ethnology and Sociology, South-Central University for Nationalities. He received his ethnology PhD at Minzu University of China. His research interests include development of multi-ethnic communities and Chinese ethnic issues, with a special focus on internal migration of ethnic minorities. Dr. Pei is currently working with Dr. Jeffrey H. Cohen as a visiting scholar at the Department of Anthropology, OSU.

Free and open to the public

This event is sponsored by OSU’s Global Mobility Project and by a U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant to The Ohio State University East Asian Studies Center. 

Vampire Nation

by Lisa Beiswenger, PhD candidate in Anthroplogy

 

On October 10, 2017, Professor Tomislav Longinovic visited Dr. Cohen’s Anthropology 7805: Human Mobility: The Anthropology of Migration.  In preparation for the visit, the students read Longinovic’s Vampire Nation: Violence as Cultural Imaginary.   The discussion meandered through a variety of themes from popular culture, mythology, and politics.

Through the book, Longinovic explores the vampire as a metaphor, pointing to the Gothic associations of violence, blood, and soil in the writings of many intellectuals and politicians during the 1990s, especially in portrayals by the U.S.-led Western media of ‘the serbs’ as a vampire nation, a bloodsucking parasite on the edge of European civilization” (Longinovic).

The class discussion began with a question about how refugees are treated in Serbia.  While on the surface this question is simple, it actually has some deep cultural ties.  First, some Serbians feel solidarity with refugees because they would also like to move to one of Europe’s wealthier countries.  Second, stories of exile are written into the culture and thus tie into national identity.  Finally, there are Biblical and mythological overtones at play: one must be hospitable because one never knows who the guest really is.

Next, the students discussed how the vampire myth ties into nationalism.  Vampirism is the perfect metaphor for nationalism because it is the past consuming the future.  The vampire does not consume the old and enfeebled; he eats the young, the healthy, and the intelligent.  The vampire further exemplifies nationalism because of his ties to blood and soil.  Myths of vampires spring up along the zones of cultural transition, the borders, where there is ethnic mixing – people who are not one or the other.

As the class concluded, we discussed how portrayals of vampires have changed over time.  Early vampires are dust and dead bodies.  It wasn’t until they were aestheticized by the Gothic imagination that they transformed into something attractive and graceful.  Today, there is the “vegan” vampire (ex. Louis from Interview with the Vampire, Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Edward from Twilight), a vampire of remarkable beauty who can live indefinitely but who drinks from humans begrudgingly.

Longinovic, Tomislav.  Vampire Nation.  eDuke Books Scholarly Collection.  http://read.dukeupress.edu/content/vampire-nation 

A Chat with Tomislav Longinovic

On Monday, October 9, Yana Hashamova sat down with Tomislav Longinovic to discuss the migration of refugees through the Slavic route.  They also discussed how migrants make a new home in their destination countries.  You can listen to the episode below or listen on iTunes.

 

The Book of My Lives

by Lisa Beiswenger, PhD candidate in Anthropology, GAA for The Global Mobility Project

On Wednesday, October 11, I joined Dr. Dragostinova’s History 4650 class.  On this day, the class was visited by Tomislav Longinovic (University of Wisconsin), Scholar-in-Residence for The Global Mobility Project, to discuss Aleksandar Hemon’s The Book of My Lives.  Both Longinovic and Hemon were born in Yugoslavia and watched from the United States as their homeland dissolved into war.


The students, Longinovic, and Dragostinova touched on many themes in their discussion.  After briefly explaining Longinovic’s personal journey to America, they discussed the value of memoir in providing a unique personal narrative that offers context to statistics and cold data that come along with global mobility and immigration.  This book provided the unique perspective of describing the experience of war vicariously through friends, family, and through the television screen.

Next, they discussed the atmosphere of Yugoslavia prior to the war.  Following World War II, Yugoslavia was set up as a federation of six republics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia. Two autonomous provinces were established within Serbia: Vojvodina and Kosovo.  In the 1950s, Josip Broz Tito, Prime Minister of Yugoslavia (1953-1963) and later President for Life (1963-1980), was ejected from the communist block by Stalin.  Unlike Stalin, he believed that politics should not dictate aesthetics, and thus abandoned socialist realism which demanded that all writers and painters followed certain guidelines.  Yugoslavia allowed writers to write whatever they wanted.  Also in contrast to other countries in the Communist bloc, uncensored American movies were permitted, presenting audiences with additional perspectives.

In the 1960s, joint ownership of companies allowed foreign capital into Yugoslavia.  This and other economic reforms led to high unemployment forcing workers to leave the country to find other employment opportunities, leading to student demonstrations in 1968.

Throughout the following decades, revolution continued on the margins and became mainstream.  Young people were trying to present alternatives to Communism.  It was part of the youth subculture that moved as the culture changed.  These youths, took political symbols and played with them out of a desire to provoke without necessarily thinking about the consequences of toying with such powerful symbols.  One example was the band Laibach, an avant-garde music group which was part of the Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK) collective.

Following Tito’s death in 1980, federal government was left unable to cope with economic and political challenges, including increasing nationalism and a demand for more autonomy by the republics within Yugoslavia.  In the early 1990s, Yugoslavia broke up along its republics’ borders leading to increased ethnic tensions and the Yugoslav Wars.

For both Hamon and Longinovic, watching the war from a distance took an emotional toll.  Footage from the war-torn country showed areas that should have been familiar but were left unrecognizable.  Ultimately, reading the account from Hamon and hearing the experience of Longinovic demonstrated how the past and present can meld together into multiple lives.

Tomislav Z. Longinović: The Balkan Route: Space, Translation, Imagination

 

Tomislav Z. Longinović: The Balkan Route: Space, Translation, Imagination
Date: October 9, 2017, 1:30-3:00 pm
Location: Knowlton Hall 190

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Middle East into Europe has challenged the existing notion of national boundaries and demonstrated an increased need for a public policy that would take into account problems arising from the forced movement of population on such a large scale. Media reporting of the crisis focuses on the plight of miserable migrants who are using Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and Hungary as transition points to reach the wealthier countries in Europe. Needless to say, countries comprising the European Union have had vastly differing responses to the issue of national boundaries and their permeability in the ongoing migration crisis.

This paper uses the innovative methodology of cultural translation to analyze this phenomenon by calling for a new understanding of trauma, space and identity in the Balkans in particular and Europe in general. Translation is understood here not only as a practice that transfers meaning in the narrow linguistic sense of the word, but also as the process by which broader social and political formations are carried over from one culture to another. Or, as the eminent Spanish language translator Gregory Rabassa said: “Every act of communication is an act of translation.” As global subjectivity becomes increasingly dominated by communication across languages and cultures, as well as between geographical and virtual spaces, the universe emerging among the interacting economies is characterized by processes of translation that alter the simplified imaginary perceptions of “others” that are currently built into the cultural unconscious of particular national imaginaries.

Posted by The Global Mobility Project at Ohio State on Monday, October 9, 2017

Tomislav Z. Longinović: The Balkan Route: Space, Translation, Imagination

Tomislav Longinović (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
The Balkan Route: Space, Translation, Imagination
Date:
October 9, 2017, 1:30-3:00 pm
Location: Knowlton Hall 190

Watch the lecture

Sponsors: The Office of International Affairs, The Global Mobility Project

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Middle East into Europe has challenged the existing notion of national boundaries and demonstrated an increased need for a public policy that would take into account problems arising from the forced movement of population on such a large scale. Media reporting of the crisis focuses on the plight of miserable migrants who are using Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and Hungary as transition points to reach the wealthier countries in Europe. Needless to say, countries comprising the European Union have had vastly differing responses to the issue of national boundaries and their permeability in the ongoing migration crisis.

This paper uses the innovative methodology of cultural translation to analyze this phenomenon by calling for a new understanding of trauma, space and identity in the Balkans in particular and Europe in general. Translation is understood here not only as a practice that transfers meaning in the narrow linguistic sense of the word, but also as the process by which broader social and political formations are carried over from one culture to another. Or, as the eminent Spanish language translator Gregory Rabassa said: “Every act of communication is an act of translation.” As global subjectivity becomes increasingly dominated by communication across languages and cultures, as well as between geographical and virtual spaces, the universe emerging among the interacting economies is characterized by processes of translation that alter the simplified imaginary perceptions of “others” that are currently built into the cultural unconscious of particular national imaginaries.

“Zionist Vipers and Jewish Pseudo-Nationalists:” Anti-Zionism, Liberalism, and Slavophobia in Interwar Greece

Paris Papamichos Chronakis
University of Illinois at Chicago

Tuesday, October 3, 2017
214 Denney Hall
3:30-5:00 pm

Please note this event co-sponsored by the Global Mobility Project, together with the Departments of History, Classics, and History of Art.

The Question of Refugees: Past and Present

by Peter Gatrell

This article was originally published on Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective, created by the History Departments at The Ohio State University and Miami University. Professor Gatrell recently spoke as part of our Immigrants and Refugees: Comparative Experiences Lecture Series.  You can watch his lecture here.

A great deal of ink—and much blood—has been spilled during the current “refugee crisis.” But what do we mean by that phrase?

It describes what has happened recently when Syrian, Afghan, and other refugees attempted the difficult journey to member states of the European Union in their ongoing search for safety. By extension, it describes the response of governments and the media to the refugees on Europe’s doorstep, a response many call inadequate.

The desperation of these refugees and asylum seekers and the challenges they face should not be minimized. But the shorthand of “refugee crisis” (meaning, in effect, “a crisis for European states,” rather than a crisis for refugees) neglects two fundamental issues.

One consideration is that, since 2011, most Syrian refugees either remain in Syria as internally displaced persons outside the scope of international legal conventions, or have found shelter in adjacent states such as Turkey and Lebanon.

Likewise, Afghan refugees are mainly sheltering in Pakistan: only a minority attempt the hazardous journey to Europe.

Continue reading on the Origins website.

OSU History

Refugees in Modern History: A European Perspective

peter-gatrellRefugees in Modern History: A European Perspective
By Peter Gatrell, Manchester University
Date: Monday, January 23, 2017
Time: 2:00-3:30 PM
Location: Enarson Classroom Building, Room 100
OSU Event
Sponsors: The Office of International Affairs
OSU EVENT

We have just finished editing the higher definition video of the lecture.  You can watch it here:

Synopsis: The plight of refugees has again become a dominant focus of public debate as it was in the aftermath of the two world wars. It seems to speak to the desperation of displaced people and the intransigent stance adopted by many governments. In reflecting on the stance and role of historians, this talk proposes a history of population displacement that is attentive to the circumstances, actions and trajectories of refugees in different times and places, and what it means for refugees to encounter government officials and aid agencies, and to interact with one another as well as with people who had not been displaced. In thinking about refugees as agents rather than as flotsam and jetsam, the talk considers how refugees have expressed themselves, including as historians of their own predicament. My talk draws upon my own research and upon the growing historiography on key sites and moments of displacement in the 20th century. Ultimately it invites the listener to think about the category of ‘refugee’ and the contours of ‘refugee history’.

Peter Gatrell is at professor of history at Manchester University, UK.  He primarily a historian of population displacement in the modern world. Most of his current research activity is devoted to a monograph on the history of Europe since 1945, with a focus on migration in/to Europe. This will be published by Penguin Books and Basic Books.

His latest book is entitled The Making of the Modern Refugee (Oxford University Press, 2013; paperback 2015). http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199674169.do#.Um2DOBC7TK0

Video recorded on January, 23, 2017.

Produced and edited: Lisa Beiswenger
Introduction: Theodora Dragostinova
Speaker: Peter Gatrell
PowerPoint: Peter Gatrell
The Global Mobility Team: Vera Brunner-Sung, Jeffrey Cohen, Theodora Dragostinova, Yana Hashamova, and Robin Judd
Produced with the assistance of the Office of International Affairs

Gatrell Lecture – Refugees in Modern History: A European Perspective

Watch the Gatrell lecture Refugees in Modern History: A European Perspective here:

Video recorded on January, 23, 2017.

Produced and edited: Lisa Beiswenger
Introduction: Theodora Dragostinova
Speaker: Peter Gatrell
PowerPoint: Peter Gatrell
The Global Mobility Team: Vera Brunner-Sung, Jeffrey Cohen, Theodora Dragostinova, Yana Hashamova, and Robin Judd
Produced with the assistance of the Office of International Affairs