[URBANTH-L]Re: CORI (Committee on Refugees & Immigrants) Business Meeting at the AAAs

mahlers at fiu.edu mahlers at fiu.edu
Tue Nov 27 14:55:41 EST 2007

Dear Colleagues,

In response to the couple of comments by Jason Pribilsky (below)and others about CORI/SUNTA, I would like to weigh in.  

It has often crossed my mind that migration studies and refugee studies should be integrated better.  There are indeed differences but I see them as differences of degree more than of kind. There is value in examining border crossing along continua based on different criteria such as conditions of exit and entry, govt assistance and barriers, people's SES, etc.  Some twenty years ago I started my career studying refugees who were not accorded refugee status in the U.S. for old Cold War reasons; today I supervise a doctoral student researching intra-company transferees who are not accorded immigrant status despite the fact that, as she recently wrote, "the United Nations and the International organization for Migration define immigrant as a “non-resident intending to stay in a country for more than one year” (U.N. 1998:18; IOM 2004:31). Thus the term “immigrant” covers a plethora of people who cross international borders, including low-skilled workers, refugees, persons without legal documents, missionaries, diplomats, foreign language teachers, and the now widely increasing temporary skilled and professional workers, and international company transferees."

SUNTA is definitely the right home for these issues and care needs to be taken institutionally such that the juggernaut of migration studies does not ignore the differences of refugees' experiences, but I think it is time to restructure so that we align ourselves institutionally more in line with our intellectual understanding.

I will not be at the AAA but hope that this issue received the attention it merits.

Sarah J. Mahler

---- Original message ----
>Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2007 08:52:22 -0800
>From: "Jason Pribilsky" <pribiljc at whitman.edu>  
>Subject: [URBANTH-L] CORI (Committee on Refugees & Immigrants) Business Meeting at the AAAs    
>Dear Colleagues (old and new CORI members, scholars interested in issues
>concerning immigration and refugees): 
>CORI (Committee on Refugees and Immigrants) Business Meeting at the AAAs
>Saturday, December 1 (6:15 - 7:30 pm). 
>Contact Jason Pribilsky, CORI Chair for more details
>(pribiljc at whitman.edu)
>During a migration roundtable at the 2007 Applied meetings hosted by SUNTA
>president David Haines, a group of young and senior CORI members came
>together to discuss the future of the group. This discussion will be
>furthered at the AAAs in November and I strongly encourage all past and
>present members and anyone else whose research falls under the broad agenda
>of CORI to give their input. When CORI was founded as a group within GAD,
>its purpose was to serve as a networking conduit to bring together scholars
>researching and writing about similar issues. Over the years, CORI published
>an impressive collection of "Selected Papers" and was a leader in organizing
>panels and planning sessions on critical policy issues such as forced
>migration and refugee resettlement. In 2003, CORI joined SUNTA and found a
>natural home among likeminded scholars. Nearly twenty years later, we might
>ask ourselves what is the specific purpose of CORI today? Is it necessary,
>for instance, given the large volume of scholars who already work on
>migration-related issues, to have a separate group devoted to this topic
>within SUNTA? If the answer is yes, what should the new face of this group
>be? What should be its agenda for the next twenty years? I invite all who
>are interested in the future of CORI to attend a business meeting, Saturday,
>December 1 (6:15 - 7:30 pm). Questions? I can be reached at
>pribiljc at whitman.edu 
>Jason Pribilsky
>Assistant Professor and Chair
>Department of Anthropology
>Director, Latin American Studies Program Whitman College Walla Walla, WA
>509.527-5162 (tel)
>509.527-5026 (fax)
>URBANTH-L mailing list
>URBANTH-L at lists.ysu.edu

Sarah J. Mahler
Transnational & Comparative Studies Center
 and Associate Professor, 
Dept. Sociology/Anthropology
DM 368
Florida International University
Miami, FL 33199
(o) 305.348.6561
(fax) 305.348.6562
email:  mahlers at fiu.edu

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