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Conference Report – Migration Without Boundaries

On October 5 & 6, 2012, Michigan State University hosted its first annual graduate student on migration, “Migration Without Boundaries.” This conference drew student presenters from MSU and 11 other institutions from the United States and Canada. MSU participants included students and faculty from the Department of History, Sociology, Anthropology, Chicano/Latino Studies, African American and African Studies, International Relations, the College of Education, and the College of Communication Arts and Sciences. The generous contributions of 16 sponsors from the MSU community supported 31 presenters in 9 panels, a keynote address, and a plenary session. Topics included the intersection of migration with gender, youth, education, the state, health, development, and coercion. The Friday night keynote, an address by Dr. Rhacel Parrenas (Sociology, University of Southern California) entitled “Sponsored Migration: The Bound Labor of Migrant Workers,” was attended by more than 60 individuals, while Saturday events, including a plenary panel of MSU faculty, drew more than 80 attendees. This conference was conceptualized and organized by an interdisciplinary cohort of graduate students under the guidance of Dr. Leslie Page Moch.

The conference showcased the strength of Migration Studies at MSU, offered student participants at various stages in their careers an opportunity to present their work and receive feedback from well-known scholars in their field, and forged strong connections among participants from multiple institutions. With the overwhelmingly positive feedback received from attendees and participants, organizers look forward to maintaining this conference as an annual event.

For more information and updates on future events, please see the conference website, http://migrationconferencemsu.wordpress.com/