Refugees in/from the Middle East: Policy Implications, Education, and Artistic Representations

March 6-7, 2020
University of Wisconsin-Madison.

This interdisciplinary conference brings together scholars from the social sciences and humanities who examine forced migration within the context of the Middle East. It seeks presentations from scholars whose work aligns with one or more of the following themes:

- National, regional, and global policy toward refugees: The Middle East is currently both the source of and host to some of the largest forcibly displaced populations in the world. What has been the response to this displacement on the part of national, regional, and global actors? What discourse about refugees and immigration have emerged from these various responses? How have these responses impacted and been impacted by refugees in/from the Middle East?

- Refugees, education, and identity: Within the context of current massive displacements, schools (and education at large) play a very important role in shaping young people’s identity through education policies, teaching practices, content of knowledge taught and learned, and language of instruction. How have teaching practices in the realms of socio-political analysis, scientific inquiry, and language impacted and been impacted by refugees in and from the Middle East? How is refugee identity transformed by and transforming the education practices geared toward integration into the host state?

- Refugees and artistic representations: Contemporary artists and writers have used a wide range of mediums to not only to capture experiences of forced displacement, but also to bring awareness to the healing power of artistic expression in relation to the trauma of forced displacement, and to highlight the role of art in transcultural communication in host countries. How have contemporary artists and writers responded to the recent refugee crises within and emanating from the Middle East?

While its geographical focus is the Middle East, the conference seeks to contribute to a better understanding of the challenges related to forced migration in the 21st century and to weigh in on attempts to find constructive solutions to these challenges. It aims to open up new ways of thinking about refugees and telling the many important and yet untold stories of migration.

Please send a 300-word abstract electronically to Nevine El Nossery ( and Nell Gabiam ( by July 30, 2019, using the subject heading “Conference: Refugees in/from the Middle East.” Please provide your name, affiliation, and paper title, along with the abstract. Please circulate the CFP within your academic circles and don’t hesitate to contact us for any question.


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