Conversations Across Borders: A Workshop in Transnational Studies

This seminar is open to the public.

Transnationalism is the subject of a growing, but fragmented, body of scholarship. The researchers who study businesses, social movements, NGOs, artistic production, and families or religions that cross borders rarely see themselves as part of the same conversation. This seminar attempts to bridge these gaps by identifying the common themes, structures, ideas, and institutions that characterize transnational social dynamics and processes in different arenas, and understanding how, in response, we must rethink conventional notions about identity, citizenship, community, and society.

In 2013–2014 our seminars will focus on the theme of "global social protections" available to more than 200 million migrants worldwide. Where and how will people on the move be protected and provided for? What new institutional arrangements are emerging to provide social protections and social provisions across borders? How might these new forms affect the ability and willingness of nation-states to provide social welfare to citizens and non-citizens? Faculty and graduate students from Harvard as well as other Boston-area institutions are invited to present their ongoing research. We also invite two outside speakers each year. All workshops 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. Co-Director, Transnational Studies Initiative, Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations, Harvard Kennedy School; Chair; Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, Wellesley College.

Jocelyn Viterna

Faculty Associate. Assistant Professor of Sociology and of Social Studies, Department of Sociology, Harvard University.

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See also: Open Seminars