Women and Migrations

UPDATE: Women and Migration: Responses in Art and Historyedited by Deborah Willis, Ellyn Toscano and Kalia Brooks Nelson, is now available on Open Book Publishers to read or download here. High-quality ebook or printed editions can also be purchased to support Open Book Publishers not-for-profit initiative and scholar-led Open Access publishing.

The “Women and Migration” working group is an interdisciplinary project that examines motives for migration, issues of cultural identity relative to women and global political and cultural movements, with global travel defined in its various forms by participating scholars, journalists, artists and activists.  During the three-day meeting, we explore a diverse range of topics. We consider comparative perspectives the role photography, art, film, and writing played in identifying and re-membering the migratory activities of women.  Paper topics include: The Impermanence of Place: Migration, Memory and Method; Globalization and the Profitable Vagueness of LatinX & Latin American Art; Sparkle and Flow: Women, Photography, and the Mobility of Vision on the Swahili Coast; We Travel and we Care About Home: The Global Travels and Activism of Black Millennial Women; Sing A Black Girl’s Song: Black Femme Insurgency in the Era of #BlackLivesMatter; Diasporic Bronxness: Cardi B and New Embodiments of Black Feminist Futures; Migrant Kitchens/Migrant Women; Refugees and Remittances: Women, the Caribbean Diaspora, and the Long Cold War; Small Acts: Mobilizing Memory Across Borders; ‘So the Sexes May Be Equal’: Gender and Slave Sale as Ending and Beginning in the Forced Migration of the Middle Passage; Displaced Bodies: Perceptions of Migrant Women; Migrations of the Spirit and the Heart: the Religious Roots and Nationalistic Foundations of Black American Women’s Internationalism; Global Travelers: Reframing Black Women’s Political and Cultural Engagement; Migration as a Woman’s Right: Views from History; Diaspora, Indigeneity, Queer Critique: Tracey Moffatt’s Aesthetics of Dwelling in Displacement among many others.

Each International and U.S.-based participant will engage in exchanges related to the interpretations, conceptualizations and theories presented in the individual papers, and will discuss ideas to be integrated into a forthcoming conference and publication.  Further, each will present her individual research paper or artist’s project and address questions and concerns raised by other workshop participants.  We believe that all participants will benefit from this collaboration as we build on the current scholarship and theoretical debates focusing on migration and citizenship. Additionally, we hope to expand perceptions of migrations, identity, race, gender, and work by exploring the global movements of women.

The initial workshop will take place at Villa La Pietra, an ideal place to initiate this discussion, as this site has been instrumental in engaging in discussions about migration. About forty academics, artists, museum specialists, writers, and activists who individually and collectively examine contemporary scholarship, creative expressions, historical trajectories, and pedagogies on gender, race, ethnicity, and migration have been invited with the aim of sharing, comparing, and building paradigms. We envision this working seminar to be a collaborative project that will broaden the current writings and artwork that focus on women and migration.