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About the Symposium

The Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, TransAtlantic Masters, and the Curriculum in Global Studies master’s programs are excited to announce our second annual joint symposium exploring the complex interplay between identity and the nation-state. In an era of global interconnectedness, understanding the dynamics of national identity is crucial. This symposium aims to provide a platform for interdisciplinary dialogue and research, shedding light on how national identities are constructed, claimed, and contested in various contexts. We seek to understand the role of gender, cultural practices, social norms, and borders/migration in shaping national identities and the concept of the nation-state itself.


Morning Agenda | March 1, 2024

Faculty Panel

  • Dr. Michal Osterweil: Teaching Professor, Curriculum in Global Studies
  • Dr. Morgan Pitelka: Bernard L. Herman Distinguished Professor, Department of Asian
    and Middle Eastern Studies
  • Dr. Priscilla Layne: Director of the Center for European Studies, Department of German
    and Slavic Languages

Student Panel I: Identity and Nationalism

  • Discussant: Dr. Jonathan Weiler, Teaching Professor (Global Studies)
  • Sophia Brown (Global Studies): I Claim No Nation That Does Not Love My Mother
  • Jac Bailey (Global Studies): Unlearning Colonial Bounds: What the River Taught Me of
  • Marcos Echevarria (Political Science): Do Length and Type Matter? Student Mobility,
    Intergroup Contact, and European Identity
  • Dale Seufert-Navarro (TAM): Towards Full Citizenship: Welfare States, Social Rights,
    and Inclusion

Afternoon Agenda | March 1, 2024

Student Panel II: Historical and Cultural Intersections

  • Discussant: Dr. Robin Visser, Professor (DAMES)
  • Ivy Janson (DAMES): Shifting Relationalities: Iban Sovereignty Production in the Sibu
    Settler-Colonial Environment
  • Helen Richard (DAMES): Korean American Identity in Past Lives
  • Victoria Pickle (DAMES): An Analysis of Wu Zetian in video games
  • Sylvie Hack (DAMES): Dogu in Conversation

Poster Session

  • Han Chen (DAMES): Silence: From Rupture in Bei Dai’s Poetry to The Absence of
  • Xinming Liao (DAMES): National Subjects Bounded by Patriarchy and Colonial Racism:
    Lo(o)sing Women’s Footing in The Yellow Embroidered Earth
  • Ella McCalip (Global Studies): Catholic Response to Global Migration and Refugee
  • Neil Sharma (DAMES & Public Policy): How the Japanese Government is Tackling
    Death by Overwork

Student Organizers

  • Katelyn Shadowens, Global Studies
  • Sylvie Hack, DAMES
  • Paola Andreu-Sanz, TAM

Faculty Organizer:

  • Dr. Banu Gökarıksel | Chair, Curriculum in Global Studies

Staff Facilitators:

  • Kayla McManus-Viana | Student Services Manager, Curriculum in Global Studies

About the Symposium

The inaugural joint graduate student symposium was held in March 2023 and co-organized by the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, TransAtlantic Masters, and the Curriculum in Global Studies master’s programs.

Broadly, the first joint symposium’s theme aimed to address the global crisis of liberal democracy. Across the world, liberal democracies are struggling to respond to manifold crises, and authoritarian forces are seeking to exploit these struggles to seize power. What are the trends or common threads across these events? Are there historical or contemporary case studies that help make sense of our current moment? What can be done to retake the ground lost to authoritarians and extremists? How can we better understand and address the challenges of the current day: climate catastrophe, skyrocketing inequality, and far-right extremism? What strategies are resistance movements employing in the defense of democracy? What alternative political systems or communities are emerging?

Thanks to everyone who showed up, presented their work, asked questions, and participated in this exciting event! For newcomers, stay tuned for information on next year’s symposium!

Symposium flyer

Keynote Speaker

Image of Dr. Urban Strandberg

Associate Professor Urban Strandberg is a graduate of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, where he also received his PhD in Political Science, and serves as a Senior Lecturer and Director of Master Program’s Double Degree Tracks. Strandberg is Managing Director of the IYTT-International Youth Think Tank, hosted by Lindholmen Science Park, which he cofounded in 2019. Strandberg has a longstanding endeavor to span academic disciplinary boundaries, with the overall aim of contributing to lifelong learning and the maintenance of public spaces for open deliberation around democracy and pressing societal matters. Due to his passion for art and his strong belief in combining various academic disciplines, Strandberg organizes innovative transdisciplinary projects, in which young scholars and artists from numerous disciplines come together to explore the complexities of humanity and democracy.

Agenda | March 2-3, 2023

Keynote Presentation
Dr. Urban Strandberg: “Youth for Democracy! Meeting Democratic Backsliding with Empowerment and Democracy Renewal”
Panel I

  • Chair: Dr. Yaron Schemer
  • Discussant: Dr. Jonathan Weiler
  • Anshu Shah (Business Administration): Abstract presentation
  • Samir Sefiane (DAMES): The roots of leftist movements in Morocco
  • Eleni Econopouly (Global Studies): Making refuge: Radical adaptation and community resilience in anarchist Athens
  • Alexander Weber (Global Studies): Nations of the South Caucasus as an active battlefield for Russian and European influence

Panel II

  • Chair: Dr. Banu Gökarıksel
  • Discussant: Dr. Jessie Barton-Hronešová
  • Jordyn Cooper (Global studies): The US visa immigration system as a tool that upholds global apartheid
  • Daniel Liberatore (TAM): Conditionality and the safeguarding of the rule of law in the European Union
  • Cate Small (TAM): Pandemic backsliding and the European Union
  • Sophia Brown (Global studies): An investigation into mass incarceration and mass deportation: How the concerted creation of “the other” corrodes citizenship rights

Student Organizers

  • Sinan Arda | TAM
  • Tarek Elsayad | DAMES
  • Nika Mukasashvili | Global Studies

Faculty Organizer:

  • Dr. Banu Gökarıksel | Chair, Curriculum in Global Studies

Staff Facilitators:

  • Erica Johnson | Director of Graduate Studies, Curriculum in Global Studies
  • Zach Ward | Student Services Manager, Curriculum in Global Studies