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

Lucia Ann McSpadden lmcspadden at psr.edu
Tue Nov 27 18:55:44 EST 2007

Dear Colleagues,

I appreciate Jason raising these questions prior to the meetings [which
I will not be able to attend].  I, like Jim, am an 'older' member of
CORI, actually one of the founders.  I agree with Jim that it is time to
revisit the decision to join refugee studies/research with migration
studies/research as well as appreciating his eloquence in laying out
issues.  I also appreciate what Sarah says about the similarities in the
realities of those who migrate whether refugees or for other reasons.
However, the uniqueness of the refugee situation within the
international as well as national refugee systems easily gets lost when
the primary focus is migration.  Additionally, in keeping with the
protective legal aspects of "refugee" designation, implying danger,
internally displaced persons are often, and to my mind correctly,
included in refugee studies -- witness the internally displaced in
Darfur and the Congo. As Jim notes, when one focuses upon refugees and
the internally displaced, human rights quickly comes into focus. Studies
engaging violence, social reconciliation,and peace become germaine to
the exploration of refugee issues.

Institutionally within AAA many scholars are working on
migrant/immigrant issues from many vantage points and research concerns.
Yet, most of these scholars do not relate to CORI, or at least have not
in my experience.  They connect more to a subdiscipline, e.g.,
education.  If one of the reasons to bring immigrant studies within CORI
was to broaden the membership and have a cross-fertilization of ideas,
it would be appropriate to investigate whether or not this goal has been

I send you all warm regards and wishes for a productive CORI meeting.

Lucia Ann/Shan 

Lucia Ann McSpadden, Ph.D.
Coordinator of International Student Support 
Adjunct Faculty
Pacific School of Religion
1798 Scenic Avenue
Berkeley, CA  94709
1-510-845-8948 [fax]
lmcspadden at psr.edu
check our website at www.psr.edu

-----Original Message-----
From: urbanth-l-bounces at lists.ysu.edu
[mailto:urbanth-l-bounces at lists.ysu.edu] On Behalf Of James Phillips
Sent: Monday, November 26, 2007 10:51 AM
To: urbanth-l at lists.ysu.edu; Jason Pribilsky
Subject: Re: [URBANTH-L] CORI (Committee on Refugees &
Immigrants)Business Meeting at the AAAs 

As an "older" member of CORI, I'll suggest that it may be time to
revisit the discussions we had some years ago when CORI moved from a
focus entirely on refugee studies to a broader inclusion of migrant
populations.   Is it time to return to an exclusive focus on refugee
populations?  Or, perhaps more effectively, a focus on displaced
populations?  Refugees and forcibly displaced people share certain
characteristics with other "migrant" populations, but their experience,
legal status, and the situations that commonly generate refugee
populations are in many ways different from those of many other
"migrant" populations, and they bring us directly into contact with
certain other areas of anthropological inquiry, e.g., conflict and peace
studies, human rights issues, etc. I think a new discussion that
critically explores both the connections between refugee-ness or
forcible displacement and other forms of human movement, as well as the
uniqueness of refugee situations may be in order. In this, we may
discover new linkages to the work of colleagues in areas of peace and
conflict studies, human rights, environmental justice, etc.

James Phillips
Graduate Social Science Coordinator and Adj. Prof. of Anthropology and
Latin American Studies Southern Oregon University  

>>> "Jason Pribilsky" <pribiljc at whitman.edu> 11/19/2007 8:52 AM >>>
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)

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