Program Information

Part I: New York City, Location TBA

Keynote Speaker: Prof. Sarah Dryden-Peterson, Harvard Graduate School of Education
May 7, 2020: 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

8:00-9:00 Registration

9:00-9:15 Welcome Address

Humphrey Tonkin, Director, Center for Research and Documentation on World Language Problems

9:15-10:15 Keynote Address

Sarah Dryden-Peterson, Associate Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education

10:15-10:30 Break

10:30-12:10 Session 1: Education

Carol Benson, Associate Professor, Teachers College, Columbia University

Applying principles of L1-based multilingual education to refugee and immigrant programs: An exploration

Celia Reddick, Ph.D. Candidate, Harvard University

Language for an unknowable future: Language of instruction and refugee children’s experiences of exile

Mohammed Jaber Thalgi, Associate Professor, Yarmouk University, Jordan; and Özgür Aslankiliç, Ph.D. Candidate, Osman Gazi University, Turkey

Language education problems related to Syrian refugees’ education in Turkey and Jordan

Rosemary Salamone, Kenneth Wang Professor of Law, St. John’s University School of Law

Language rights, education and migrant children: a view from India and South Africa

Chair: TBC

12:10-1:00 Lunch

1:00-2:15 Session 2: Interpretation & Translation

Morven, Beaton-Thome, Professor for the Theory and Practice of Interpreting (English), University of Applied Sciences, Cologne, Germany

Superdiversity in institutional contexts: Language use and language contact in the lives of migrants—what role(s) do interpreters play?

Maria Bo, Lecturer, Department of English, Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, Columbia University

Equality on the Move: Translating Linguistic Rights and the False Equivalents of Language Justice

Anisa Rahim, Civil Rights Lawyer, National Language Access Advocates Network (N-LAAN))

Translation, Interpretation, and Language Rights

Chair: TBC

2:15-2.30 Break

2.30-3.20 Session 3: Linguistic Human Rights

Nikos Gogonas, Associate Lecturer in Intercultural Communication and Language Education, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens; and Effrossyni Fragkou, Associate Lecturer, Faculty of English Language and Literature, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

Providing linguistic services to LGBTI refugees in Greece: What are the challenges for interpreters?

Eve Haque, Associate Professor, Language, Literatures, and Linguistics, York University

The Limits of Integration for Non-Official Language Rights

Chair: TBC

3:20-4:20 Panel discussion

4.20-4.30 Day 1 Closing statement & opening of poster session

4:30-5.30 Poster Session

Tatyana Scheila Friedrich, Visiting Fellow, Fordham University; Professor of Private International Law and Migration and Refugee Law, UFPR – Feder University of Paraná, Brazil; and Bruna Ruano, Professor, UFPR – Feder University of Paraná, Brazil

The Linguistic Approach of a Program that Welcomes Migrants and Refugees at a Brazilian University (UFPR)

Leonie Schulte, Ph.D. Candidate, Linguistic Anthropology, University of Oxford

The German You Need to Know: Ideologies of the Standard and Translingual Practices in the Margins

Cosette Maiky, Expert on Conflict and Post-Conflict Governance

The Intersection between Language and Global Health: Conflict-Affected Arab Countries as a Case Study


Friday, May 8, 2020: 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

8:45-9:00 Day 2 Welcome

Humphrey Tonkin, Director, Center for Research and Documentation on World Language Problems

9:00-10:00 Keynote (UN speaker tbc)

10:00-10:50 Session 3: Linguistic Human Rights (cont’d)
Yael Peled, Research Associate, Institute for Health and Social Policy, McGill University

Multilingual Selfhood and the Political Ethics of a Linguistic In-Betweenness

Timothy Reagan, Professor of Applied Linguistics, School of Learning and Teaching, University of Maine

Identifying & Responding to Linguistic Abuse: Toward a Conceptual Model

Chair: TBC

10:50-11:05 Break

11:05-12:20 Session 4: Asylum seekers/Refugees

Tommaso Manfredini, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of French, Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, Columbia University

Can the Migrant Be Translated? The Politics of Translation in Italy’s Refugee Status Determination Interviews

Forough Ramezankhah, Lecturer, School of Law, Keele University, U.K.

Achieving Asylum: language and the dominant discourse of the state

Shahzaman Haque, Associate Professor of Urdu, Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales

Language Practices and Linguistic Landscapes in the Asylum Camps of Paris and its Suburbs: Focus on Urdu Speakers

Chair: TBC

12:20-1:00. Concluding remarks


Part II: Princeton, NJ: Princeton University

Keynote Speaker: Viet Thanh Nguyen, Aerol Arnold Professor of English, University of Southern California, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for The Sympathizer
Friday, May 8, 2020: 7:30 p.m.
Readings by Princeton Creative Writing Faculty:

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri received the Pulitzer Prize in 2000 for Interpreter of Maladies, her debut story collection. She is also the author of The Namesake, Unaccustomed Earth, and The Lowland, a finalist for both the Man Booker prize and the National Book Award in fiction. Lahiri is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including the PEN/Hemingway Award, the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story, the Addison Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Vallombrosa Von Rezzori Prize, the Asian American Literary Award, the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. In 2014, she was awarded a National Humanities Medal. Lahiri’s fifth book was a collection of essays she wrote in Italian while living in Rome, titled In Altre Parole (In Other Words).Lahiri continues to write and publish in Italian (The Clothing of Books, 2016, was originally published in Italian) and translate both her own work and the work of others from Italian to English. Her translation of Domenico Starnone’s novel Trick was published by Europa Editions in March 2018. She also translated Starnone’s novel Ties, which was named a New York Times Notable Book and Best Foreign Novel by the Times of London in 2017. Her novel written in Italian, Dove mi trovo, will be published in Italy in Fall 2018. The Penguin Classics Book of Italian Short Stories, edited and introduced by Lahiri, with selected translations, is forthcoming in Spring 2019.

Yiyun Li

Yiyun Li is the author of six books, including two story collections, A Thousand Years of Good PrayersGold Boy, Emerald Girl, three novels, The VagrantsKinder Than SolitudeWhere Reasons End, and an essay collection, Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life. Her work has been translated into more than twenty languages.

Li was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow in 2010, and was chosen by The New Yorker as one of the 20 fiction writers under 40 to watch. Awards for Li’s work include: Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, PEN/Hemingway Award, the Guardian First Book Award, Asian American Literary Award for fiction, Benjamin H. Dank Award from American Academy of Arts and Letters, Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award, and others. “A Thousand Years of Good Prayers,” an independent film directed by Wayne Wang and adapted by Li from her short story, was the winner of Golden Shell for best film, 55th San Sebastian International Film Festival.

Aleksandar Hemon

Aleksandar Hemon is the author of The Lazarus Project, which was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award, and three collections of short stories: The Question of Bruno; Nowhere Man, which was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and Love and Obstacles. His other works include two books of nonfiction, My Parents: An Introduction and The Book of My Lives, the novel The Making of Zombie Wars, journalism, screenplays, and content for the Netflix original show Sense8. Born in Sarajevo, Hemon visited Chicago in 1992, intending to stay for a matter of months. While he was there, Sarajevo came under siege, and he was unable to return home. Hemon wrote his first story in English in 1995. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2003 and a “genius grant” from the MacArthur Foundation in 2004. Hemon has taught at Northwestern University and New York University.

Saturday, May 9, 2020: 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.


Session 1: “Voices”

Grace K. Tran, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Toronto, Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies

“I Did Not Know What ‘Refugee’ Meant, But I Knew…It Was a Bad Word”: Intersections of Refugee Subject Formation with Language Loss and Acquisition”

Laila Omar, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Sociology, University of Toronto

Between Memory and Anticipation: Exploring the Role of Language in Shaping Refugee Mothers’ Perceptions of Past, Present, and Future

Briana Nichols, Ph.D. Candidate, Departments of Anthropology and Education, University of Pennnsylvania

No Son Libres Allí / They Are Not Free There

Aleksandra Olszewska, Ph.D Candidate and Research Assistant, School of Teaching and Learning, College of Education, University of Florida

Counter-stories from Poland: Identities and Language Identities of Adolescent Refugee-background Students

Delores Inés Casillas, Associate Professor, Department of Chicano and Chicana Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

Listening to Migration on U.S. Spanish-Language Radio

Coffee Break

Keynote Address: “Language and Migration: From Representation to Decolonization," Viet Thanh Nguyen, Aerol Arnold Professor of English, University of Southern California, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for The Sympathizer

Lunch for all participants

Session 2: “Media and Representation”

Jewlia Eisenberg, Musician / Composer; and Jeremiah Lockwood, Musician / Ph.D. Candidate, Stanford University

Migration Mixtape: Encounters from the Emily Sene Archive

Argyro Nicolau, Postdoctoral Fellow, Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies, Princeton University

Performing Migration in Video Art: Bouchra Khalili’s Mapping Journey Project

Max Cavitch, Associate Professor, Department of English, University of Pennsylvania

Self Translations

Somita Sabeti, M.A. Candidate, Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s Degree; Visiting Researcher, Migration Research Center (MiReKoc) of Koç University in Istanbul

Between Liminality, ‘Ghorbat-hood’ and Belonging: mapping the experiences of young Afghan migrants ‘in transit’ in Istanbul

Rahul Bjørn Parson, Assistant Professor of Hindi/Urdu Literature and Culture, Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Colorado, Boulder

Seizing the Telling: Deterritorialized Hindi Literature in Kolkata

Coffee Break

Session 3: “Migrants and the State”

Jean-Pierre Gauci, Arthur Watts Senior Research Fellow in Public International Law and Director of Teaching and Training at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law

From Law to Policy: Language, Categorisations, and Migrant Rights

Francisco Robles, Assistant Professor, Department of English, University of Notre Dame

Ofelia Zepeda’s Poetic Languages of Creation and Inhabitation

Zrinka Bralo, Chief Executive, Migrants Organize, London

Xenophobic Language: the Media, the State, and Public Policy in the UK

Saida Hodžić, Associate Professor, Departments of Anthropology and of Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Director of Undergraduate Studies, Cornell University

On Uncertain Ground: Language Displacement and Experimentation in the Aftermath of War

Clara Beccaro, M.A. Candidate, Department of Anthropology, The New School

The Discursive Production of Worthiness: LGBTQ+ Refugees and the French Asylum Procedure


To find more resources on Language and the United Nations, visit the Language and the UN Bibliography.