Conversations Across Borders: A Workshop in Transnational Studies

This seminar is open to the public.

[  Seminar Website  ]

Transnationalism is the subject of a growing—but fragmented—body of scholarship because many researchers who study businesses, social movements, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), migrants, or artistic and cultural production that crosses borders do not see themselves as part of the same conversation. This seminar attempts to bridge these gaps in a few ways: first by identifying the common themes, structures, ideas, and institutions that characterize transnational social dynamics and processes in different arenas, and second by rethinking conventional notions about identity, citizenship, community, and society in response.

In 2015–2016, the seminar focuses on the theme of "global social protection." In a world where there are an estimated 232 million migrants, where and how are people on the move protected and provided for? What new institutional arrangements are emerging to ensure social protections and provisions outside the framework of the nation-state? What does it mean to be a global citizen or to participate in a global civil society? What role do institutions like universities, the media, NGOs, and museums play in creating global citizens and how do they change what they do in response?  

Faculty and graduate students from Harvard as well as other Boston-area institutions are invited to present their ongoing research. We also host a working group which meets before the seminar where members are invited to present their work in progress in a more informal setting. Both are open to the public. The seminar is co-chaired by Jocelyn Viterna, associate professor of sociology, Harvard University, and Peggy Levitt, professor of sociology, Wellesley College.


Peggy Levitt

Associate. Chair; Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, Wellesley College.

Jocelyn Viterna

Faculty Associate. Associate Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, Harvard University.

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See also: Open Seminars