ISU Headlines

Immigration is focus of multi-disciplinary conference April 20-21

Posted April 17, 2007

Idaho State University will host a multi-disciplinary conference “Border Crossings: the Politics of Language and Identity,” featuring many prestigious experts who specialize in immigration and its impact on the economy, language, the arts, and popular culture, on April 20 and 21 in the ISU Pond Student Union Building.

Rubén Martinez, an Emmy-winning broadcast journalist and author, will give the plenary address at 7:30 April 20 in the ISU Pond Student Union Building Ballroom.

Martinez is the author of “Crossing Over: a Mexican Family on the Migrant Trail” and “The New Americans,” a companion volume to a PBS documentary series that follows the journeys to the United States of immigrants from Palestine, Nigeria, Mexico, India and the Dominican Republic.

 “We’re dealing with a topic of global importance,” Fogelquist said. “The idea of the conference is to discuss population movement, its causes and its repercussions in a world context. There are sessions on Armenia, France and its former North African colonies, Japan, Transylvania, and on the revitalization of the Shoshoni language. However, as one might logically expect, many of the sessions deal with the impact of Hispanic immigration on the United States.”

 “We’re hoping to educate people,” he said. “The debate over immigration policy is often driven by myths and stereotypes. What is often omitted is that population movement is produced by global economic forces.” Among those who will speak on Friday are:

    •    Leo Tanguma, “Mural Painting as an Expression of the Chicano/Mexicano Community”;

    •    Ramón del Castillo, poetry reading “From El Machete to El Molcajete”;

    •    Akio Egawa, “Japan’s Relations with the United States”;

    •    Chris Loether, “Language Revitalization and Manipulation of Language Ideologies: A Shoshoni Case Study”

    •    Misha Kokotovic, “Narratives of Violence and Migration in Central and North American Fiction”; and

    •    Rubén Martinez, plenary address.

Speakers on Saturday include: 

    •    Michel Laronde, “Toward a New National Habitus: Postcolonializing High Culture in France or African Immigration and its Literature”;

    •    Alan Christelow, “Oral and Literate Cultures in the Shaping of the Algerian Migrant Experience”;

    •    Manuel Morodo Fernández, “The Positive Economic Impact of Mexican Migration and the Services of Protection”;

    •    Juan Bruce-Novoa, “Translating the Polygot Text”;

    •    Andrés Guerra, “Immigration Myths: Reflections Through Brown Eyes”; and

    •    Naomi Leiserowitz and Jason Brown, “Immigrants and Law Enforcement.”

The conference is made possible by the Idaho Humanities Council, the ISU Hispanic Task Force, the ISU Cultural Affairs Council, the ISU Office of Research, the ISU Foundation and the ISU College of Arts and Sciences.

For more information, contact Jim Fogelquist at 282-3717 or 220-1685.