poster with text 

Immigration has been a vital political issue in both the United States and globally for decades, with economic, security, and humanitarian implications. The current federal administration has sharply increased the number of children separated from their families while seeking entry into the United States, and has limited immigration through capping refugee admissions at the lowest levels since 1980. President Trump has repeatedly expressed an intention to take actions including denying immigrants entry if they are likely to need public assistance, eliminating birthright citizenship, constructing a border wall with Mexico, aggressive deportation of undocumented immigrants, and temporary bans on Muslim immigration. The plight of migrants internationally has gripped the United States and Europe, as images of children in cages at the United States border and overloaded boats in the Mediterranean have become media fixtures.

This Provost’s Lecture on Diversity will illuminate political and practical concerns related to immigration as Michael Jones-Correa, the President’s Distinguished Professor of Political Science, explores “What Borders Do.” We often think of borders as walls. Borders are much more than that. In response to increased asylum seekers from around the world, developed nations are reconceiving their borders, pushing them out, and pulling them in. Professor Jones-Correa highlights the difficult issues raised by the re-imagination of borders and the trade-offs policymakers face. He will be joined by the Thomas O’Boyle Lecturer in Law, Fernando Chang-Muy, who will moderate audience questions. Professor Chang-Muy returns to Penn from a recent education campaign in Honduras to educate people about the legal obstacles, rights, and landscape of the trip to the north. The reception that follows the lecture, in Silverman Hall, will feature the photography of Mexican-American artist Ada Trillo, documenting the lives of asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Precarious Statuses of Migrants

Thursday, May 23, 2019, 9 am – 5 pm

University of Pennsylvania
Perry World House
World Forum
3803 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Keynote Speaker, 4:30 pm: Michel Gabaudan, Former President, Refugees International

Many migrants around the world inhabit precarious statuses: living either partly or fully outside the boundaries of legal membership in their countries of residence, with consequences for their access to social services, rights and membership. This workshop explores ways migrants navigate incomplete membership and gaps in access with international participants addressing types of migrant precariousness and temporary statuses; how migrant precarity affects access to rights and services, ranging from education to health, to land ownership and local voting; how migrants have obtained pathways to membership; and the spaces in which migrants have pushed to acquire both rights, services and membership through civic engagement.

Workshop Participants

Amada Armenta, University of California, Los Angeles

Osman Balkan, Swarthmore College

Tanya Basok, University of Windsor, Canada

Heide Castañeda, University of South Florida

Nicola Delvino, University of Oxford, England

Angela Garcia, University of Chicago

Natasha Iskander, New York University

Nnamdi Iwuora, International Organization for Migration, Senegal

Barbara Laubenthal, University of Texas at Austin

Froilan Malit, Gulf Labour Markets and Migration (GLMM) Programme

Thulisile Mphambukeli, University of the Free State, South Africa

Ruxandra Paul, Amherst College

Kamal Sadiq, University of California, Irvine

Stephanie Schwartz, University of Pennsylvania

Paloma Villegas, California State University, San Bernardino

Sarah Willen, University of Connecticut 

Antinomies of Democracy

Friday, November 16, 2018, 9 am – 5 pm

University of Pennsylvania
Ronald O. Perelman Center
for Political Science and Economics
133 South 36th Street

Philadelphia, PA  19104

With the resurgence of fascism and xenophobia in the world, scholars and pundits have declared that democracy is in crisis. However, history reveals that democracies have always existed amidst systems that thrive on inequality.

This symposium will focus on two questions:

    • Are certain forms of exclusion intrinsic to the practice of democracy?
    • How distinct is contemporary democracy’s relationship to inequality from earlier periods in history?

Conference Participants

Anne Norton / University of Pennsylvania

Tulia Falleti / University of Pennsylvania

Jeffrey Winters / Northwestern University

Michael Hanchard / University of Pennsylvania

Ariane Chebel D’Appollonia / Rutgers University

Christopher Parker / University of Washington

Demetra Kasimis / University of Chicago

Sophia Rosenfeld / University of Pennsylvania


9:00 – 9:15 AM

9:15 – 10:45 AM
Panel 1: Demetria Kasimis, Jeff Winters

11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Panel 2: Christopher Parker, Tulia Falletti

1:30 – 3:00 PM
Panel 3: Ariane Chebel d’Appollonia, Sophia Rosenfeld

3:00 – 4:30 PM
Panel 4: Michael Hanchard, Anne Norton

4:45 – 5:00 PM
Concluding Remarks

This symposium is sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania Marginalized Populations Project, Center for Africana Studies, and Department of Africana Studies and co-sponsored by the Center for the Advanced Study of India, the Political Science Department, and the Center for the Study of Ethnicity, Race and Immigration.