Past Events

Past events and speakers of interest to the Citizenship, Rights and Cultural Belonging Transdisciplinary Area of Excellence

Spring 2019

Thursday, Feb. 28
Reading Group - Human Trafficking
11 a.m.-noon in the Human Rights Institute, LN-G100

Sally Engle Merry's The Seductions of Quantification

Friday, March 8
Seminar on Human Rights and Literary Studies in an Age of Neoliberalism, Authoritarianism, and Precaritization

Babson College Executive Center, Babson, Mass.

Wednesday, March 13
Reading Group – Race in International Human Rights Law
3 p.m. in the Human Rights Institute, LN-G100

Anghie's Imperialism, Sovereignty and Making International Law

Refugee Journeys, Lifeworlds, and Futures
4:30 p.m. in the IASH Conference Room, LN-1106

Join us for the first talk in the English Department Spring Speakers Series as Sonya Posmentier, assistant professor of English at New York University, speaks on "Catastrophic Refuge: The Flood Blues of Sterling Brown and Bessie Smith."

Drawing on her 2017 book "Cultivation and Catastrophe," this talk will turn to one historical example of internal environmental displacement as it was represented particularly in song, poetry, art and media by African American artists and writers: the 1927 Mississippi River floods. Within the U.S. the history of forced migration that was transatlantic slavery (itself an environmental disaster) has vexed the category of citizenship from the start, such that we can identify a long-standing, internal demand for "climate refuge." At the same time, communities affected by state violence, environmental change, and other forms of displacement have responded not only materially but creatively to reimagine the borders of community. Reading and listening to the modern lyrics of Bessie Smith and Sterling Brown, we'll learn to hear and see in them formations of refuge or sanctuary beyond the state.

Posmentier is at work on a new book, "Black Reading," about the intersecting histories of black cultural studies and modern lyric theory. Her essays and articles have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, American Literature, American Literary History, Public Books and elsewhere.

This talk is co-sponsored by the Human Rights Institute.

Tuesday, April 9
Marlon Weichart, deputy federal ombudsman, Office of the Federal Attorney for Citizens' Rights, Federal Prosecution Service of Brazil
Noon-1:30 p.m. in the Human Rights Institute, LN-G100: A TAE lunch, RSVP required to

A federal prosecutor in Brazil for more than 20 years, Weichart was the first scholar and prosecutor to publicly argue that the Amnesty Law of 1979 was contrary to international law and that crimes against humanity were perpetrated during the dictatorship. He headed the program to search and identify the remains of victims of dictatorship-era crimes. He has spearheaded the Brazil Never Again Digital Project and served on the Amnesty Commission, granting reparations for victims of human rights violations during the dictatorship.

Wednesday, April 10
Refugee Journeys, Lifeworlds, and Futures
4:30 p.m. in the IASH Conference Room, LN-1106

Join us for this English Department Speakers Series talk as Angela Naimou, associate professor of English at Clemson University, speaks on "Given Time, Stolen Time: Refuge and Expulsion in the Global War on Terrorism."

How do refugee and immigrant lifeworlds reckon with the capacity of the state to grant refuge and order expulsion? How have the writings and politics of Vietnamese and Iraqi diasporas shaped each other as part of broader discussions of war and migration? This talk considers these questions through readings of contemporary literature, theory, and ongoing deportation cases.

Naimou teaches and writes about contemporary literature and its capacious engagements with histories of law, empire, race, migration and the state. She is currently at work on a book project titled "Refugee Futurity: Global Forms of Refuge and Refusal." She is co-editor of Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development (U Penn Press) and associate editor of the journal Contemporary Literature (U Wisconsin). She currently serves as treasurer for the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present (ASAP).

This talk is co-sponsored by the Human Rights Institute.

Friday and Saturday, April 12-13
Binghamton University Art Museum
Technologies of Human Rights Representation: A SUNY Conversation in the Disciplines
(Binghamton University faculty plus participants from SUNY Albany, New Paltz, Brockport, Purchase)

Panels will run both days, and keynote speakers will be announced soon.

Technology workshop led by John Cheng, associate professor of Asian and Asian American studies
Student research presentations 2:45-3:15 p.m. Friday

2016 Dr. Han-Jyun Hou Conference: The Human Rights Implementation Gap

8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Oct. 14, 2016
Binghamton University Union West, Room 325
Poster session at 1 p.m. in University Union, Old Union Hall
Hosted by the Binghamton University Department of Political Science and co-sponsored by the the University's Citizenship, Rights and Cultural Belonging Transdisciplinary Area of Excellence and the Graduate Student Organization.

Traffic, Territory, Citizenship : Framing the Circulation of People and Goods between Asia and the Americas in the Long 19th Century Symposium

Friday and Saturday, April 15-16, 2016
Binghamton University Downtown Center, 67 Washington St., Binghamton, N.Y.
The symposium will feature two keynote sessions, led by guest senior scholars Madhavi Kale, professor of history at Bryn Mawr College and an expert on Indian indentured labor migration and domesticity, and Robert Hellyer, associate professor of history at Wake Forest University, a specialist on international trade in Japan and the global tea trade.
This symposium is being organized by John Cheng, assistant professor of Asian and Asian American Studies, and Dael Norwood, assistant professor of history.

"A Multiracial and Multicultural Europe: The Plight of Roma"

April 6, 2016
The aim of this workshop is to discuss radicalization in contemporary Europe, particularly those parties and movements that divide the world into culturally distinct and incommensurable entities.

"Human Migrations and Borders" — A Conversation in the Disciplines Symposium

Held Friday and Saturday, Nov. 13-14, 2015
This symposium is sponsored by the SUNY Conversations in the Disciplines Program and the Binghamton University Citizenship, Rights and Cultural Belonging Transdisciplinary Area of Excellence.

"Challenges of Structural Injustice" Workshop

Held Friday, Nov. 20, 2015
The concept of structural injustice plays a prominent role in recent debates on the global
economic order but also on sexism and racism. It promises to uncover the way in which injustices are deeply rooted in the constitution of social spheres and not reducible to individual acts of injustice. However, man-made structures are constituted by institutions, which, are perpetuated by individual and collective agents who are, in turn, fundamentally shaped by these institutions. This interdisciplinary workshop will discuss
the complex interplay of these dimensions with regard to economic, cultural, social and political structures.

Quick Conversations: Research and Scholarship event

The Citizenship, Rights and Cultural Belonging Transdisciplinary Area of Excellence is sponsored a faculty networking event for faculty interested in its research topics and themes Friday, April 25. See our research themes as an introduction or reminder of the themes. The event, which includes lunch, is modeled on "speed dating." Come prepared with a 120-second "elevator pitch" description of your current or future research or scholarship ideas. Read more

"A Common Denominator? The Making of Religious Peace in Sixteenth-Century Augsburg"

Sean Dunwoody, visiting assistant professor of medieval and early modern studies at Binghamton University, spoke on "A Common Denominator? The Making of Religious Peace in Sixteenth-Century Augsburg" Wednesday, March 5.The German city of Augsburg offers an interesting case study that confounds familiar stories about religious violence in the early modern period. In the sixteenth century, when religious identity and religious bigotry drove communities across Europe into civil and religious war, Augsburgers — Catholic and Protestant — remained largely at peace. Realizing that religious uniformity was impossible in their town, Augsburgers felt their way toward a means of mutual toleration and the civic peace that, in the end, offered a common ground between the religious and other differences. In this talk, Dunwoody will offer an introduction to some of the ways in which this was done — with a focus on the importance of spatial management and on the relations between civil authorities and the clergy. In both cases, we will see how and why Augsburgers saw in differentiating religion and politics the means for achieving the common, worthy goal of civic peace.