Migration & Diaspora

Migration & Diaspora

Summer Institute for Community College Teachers

May 31 - June 2, 2018

The 2018 Summer Institute for Community College instructors will consider migration and diaspora from the standpoints of wide-ranging disciplines, including history, anthropology, sociology, journalism, and international law. Join your teaching colleagues in this exploration of human migrations of the distant past, causes of migration, the subjective experiences of both new migrants and those living in long-established diasporas, and current issues in global migration.

This institute is open to community college instructors and AP-level high school teachers. There is no cost to attend. Space is limited.

photo credit: Climatalk.in Refugees via flickr (license


Thursday, May 31

8:30 - 9:00 AM

Check in and breakfast

9:00 - 9:15 AM


9:15 - 10:35 AM

An Overlooked Migration of Great Import: The Austronesians (c. 3000 BCE to 1250 CE)
Rainer Buschmann

A frequently overlooked chapter in world history is the Austronesian expansion into the Indian and Pacific oceans. The Austronesians take their name from a language family that comprises roughly 1,200 languages and 270 million speakers ranging from the island of Madagascar to the Hawaiian Archipelago. The talk will highlight this vast early migration by illustrating the archaeological, ethno-botanical, and linguistic evidence underpinning the expansion. It will also investigate navigational techniques that enabled this large-scale maritime migration. In this context, the presentation will pay special attention to navigational experiments ranging from Thor Heyerdahl (1947) to that of the Hokule'a (1976), which was captained by Nainoa Thompson and Mau Piailug. Lastly, the past will be linked to the present by tying the Austronesian expansion to the current cultural revival occurring in the Polynesian Triangle.

10:45 AM - 12:05 PM

The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life
Lauren Markham

In Oakland, throughout California and nation-wide, the number of young migrants fleeing violence, poverty and political unrest from Central America is on the rise. Over the past few years, hundreds of thousands of unaccompanied minors have crossed our southern border, and they are now working to carve out a tenuous life for themselves in the United States while fighting their deportation proceedings, enrolling in school, looking for work, and forging a sense of identity. Focusing on her work at Oakland International High School and her extensive reporting on Central American youth in her book, The Far Away Brothers, educator and writer Lauren Markham will discuss the on the ground causes of migration in Central America, the difficult journeys young people take to make it to the United States, and their struggles and triumphs building a life in the United States. This session will also focus on how we forge connections with the students in our classroom, and our responsibilities as educators to respond to changing demographics in our classrooms.

12:05 - 1:00 PM


1:00 - 2:30 PM

Facilitated Discussion
Alan Karras

Friday, June 1

8:30 - 9:00 AM

Check in and breakfast

9:00 - 10:20 AM

The Indian Ocean Slave Trade from Africa
Edward Alpers

This talk will survey the Indian Ocean slave trade from the Red Sea and down along the coast of eastern Africa to southern Mozambique from ancient times until the early twentieth century, with a focus on the heyday of slaving during the nineteenth century. Professor Alpers will discuss both sources in Africa and destinations in the Indian Ocean World, including their somewhat different chronologies, as well as the process of abolition of slave trading and slavery. The talk will be illustrated with numerous maps and photographs.

10:40 AM - 12:00 PM

Muslim Refugee Migrations from Russia to the Middle East
Vladimir Hamed-Troyansky

This talk will focus on migration of Muslim refugees from Russia to the Middle East in the late nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries. In the fifty years before World War I, about a million Muslims (Circassians, Chechens, Daghestanis) from Russia immigrated in the Ottoman Empire. Most of them arrived as refugees and subsequently became Ottoman citizens. They founded hundreds of new agricultural villages; some of them turned into vibrant urban settlements, whereas others economically failed. The talk will examine the political economy of Muslim immigrants in Ottoman Anatolia and the Levant and will also explore such issues as "refugee" identities, slavery, and sectarian conflicts in the late Ottoman Empire.

12:00 - 1:00 PM


1:00 - 2:20 PM

The Journey to Arabia: An Ethnographic Portrait of Migration in the Indian Ocean World
Andrew Gardner

This presentation will provide an overview of the transnational migration system that shuttles labor migrants from the distant reaches of South Asia to the boom cities of the Arabian peninsula. This journey commences with a portrait of the circumstances and situations that oftentimes compel migrants' departures from their homes. It continues with a description of the labor brokers, recruiting agents, employers, and other stakeholders who profit from these transnational migrations. The journey concludes with a discussion of the conditions and circumstances labor migrants encounter during the years they spend in Arabia. Altogether, this presentation seeks to provide a foundation for comparatively assessing migration and mobility from a diverse and global vantage point.

2:30 - 3:30 PM

Facilitated Discussion
Alan Karras

Saturday, June 2

8:30 - 9:00 AM

Check in and breakfast

9:00 - 10:20

Digital Refuge
Law Professor, Katerina Linos, will be presenting on the EU and the current migration crisis in the Mediterranean.

10:30 AM - 11:50 AM

Between Colonization and Globalization: Korean Diaspora in Japan
Hwaji Shin

In this presentation will address a history of the Korean minority in Japan and their struggle to achieve civil rights from the colonial period (1910 and 1945) to the present. Contrary to the popular image of Japan as an ethnically homogenous nation-state, Japan has always had a history of diversity. The Korean minority was among the biggest minority group in Japan for much of the 20th century. Their experience of racism and fight to achieve civil rights in Japan serves as an important lens to understand the impact of colonization and globalization on citizenship and immigration policies in Japan as well as other contemporary societies.

12:00 - 1:00 PM


1:00 - 2:20 PM

"I have a Filipino": Gender, Migration, and Filipinx Intimate Labors
Kasturi Ray
The colonial relationship of dependency between the Philippines and the US, Israel, Lebanon, and China has structured the policies, experiences, and stereotypes of Filipinx workers in care industries such as nursing, domestic work, and entertainment. We will take a feminist and historical approach to Filipinx gendered labor by examining the case of Filipinx nurses in 1960s Chicago as well as in the contemporary US, and Filipinx domestic workers in Beirut, Tel Aviv, and Hong Kong. We will focus on how particular representations of gender and sexuality continue to sustain public and private understandings of the morality, practicality, and persistence of Filipino labor worldwide.

2:20 - 3:30 PM

Facilitated Closing Discussion
Shane Carter

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When & Where

Where: The Institute will be held at the ORIAS office, at 1995 University Ave, Suite 510, in downtown Berkeley.

When: See the agenda to the left for daily schedule information. Please arrive during the breakfast and check-in period or at breaks.

Registration: The Institute is currently full. If you would like to be added to a waiting list, please email orias@berkeley.edu.

Transit & Parking: ORIAS is located close to several AC Transit bus lines and only three blocks from the Downtown Berkeley BART station. If at all possible, it is recommended that you take public transit. If you drive, you can learn about parking options here.


Attendees have access to a shared folder containing recommended readings. Please also see the links below as either pre-readings or follow-up resources.


"Stitching Together a New Life" by Lauren Markham

Immigration Course from University of Minnesota (mostly US focus)


Global Migration Flows map using data from the International Organization fro Migration 


"Across the desert and the sea" from Reveal, a podcast from the Center for Investigative Reporting

"American Exodus" from Backstory, a podcast about US History from Virginia Humanities

"Digital Migration" from The Documentary, a podcast from BBC

Episodes about slavery and diaspora in the Ottoman World from Ottoman History Podcast

"The Late Roman Army, Barbarians, and Frontier" from the Fall of Rome podcast

"Malik Ambar: The Dark Fated One" from Incarnations, a BBC podcast about the history of India

"Morocco's New Migrant Class" from Ottoman History Podcast

"Virtual Mothering" from The Documentary, a podcast from BBC