On October 16, 2015, the SAS Department of Italian and Centers for African and European Studies organized a one day multidisciplinary and multimedia symposium with the support of the Rutgers GAIA Centers, the School of Arts and Sciences, and every unit involved in modern African, European, and Middle Eastern Studies. The symposium addressed the ongoing enormous migration crisis bringing refugees across European borders. The symposium included both academic and artistic explorations of the crisis from a variety of perspectives.
The full symposium website, including the program and speaker links, may be found at:
The world is experiencing an unprecedented refugee crisis. As many as 59 million people, responding to the savage increase of global violence and economic oppression are fleeing on foot, in small boats, and in suffocating transport containers in order to make a better life for themselves. The Mediterranean Sea has become a turbulent site of this catastrophe, a perilous thoroughfare for African refugees seeking entry into the seeming haven of opportunity and safety on the European continent.
European nation-states, facing the insuperable challenge of accommodating asylum seekers, are shutting down their borders, or trying to do so. The presence of these refugees has challenged European identity, bringing to the fore numerous unresolved legacies of European colonialism on the African continent.
The Center for African Studies, the Center for European Studies, and the Department of Italian invite the Rutgers community and the public to join us in examining this overwhelming reality in a multidisciplinary symposium with the hope that our intellectual and artistic exploration will raise awareness of this global catastrophe, and stimulate some programmatic response to this ongoing crisis.