Second Migration Studies in Ireland Postgraduate Conference Series
28 April 2010
DCU’s Migration Initiative was delighted to host the very well attended Second Migration Studies in Ireland Postgraduate Conference Series, entitled ‘Migrant Lives: past present and future’, in the Helix on Thursday April 8th.
This interdisciplinary conference was opened by DCU President, Prof. Ferndinand von Prondzynski who shared his own experience of migration to Ireland with his family and emphasized the benefits of accepting the growing multicultural nature of Irish society. The President introduced the keynote speaker, Han Entzinger, Professor of Integration Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Erasmus University Rotterdam. At the Migration Seminar Series the previous evening Professor Entzinger spoke about the Netherlands’ historical experience of migration. To contextualise and open the conference he broadened his discussion to examine the complexities of defining integration.
The conference addressed three significant areas in migration studies: Identity and research, Community and Integration and Curriculum and Education. One of the main concerns that arose from the first panel was the issue of critically assessing the researcher’s motivations and role and ‘art of listening’, recording and sharing the stories of the ‘other’. Dr. Ronit Lentin, Head of the Sociology at Trinity College Dublin and co-founder of the Trinity Immigration initiative acted as discussant for this panel and drew our attention to the authentic need not to ignore the issue of racism in Irish society. The second panel concentrated primarily on the role of the church in the integration of migrants into Irish society. There was great audience participation in this topic and the comment from one audience member was particularly memorable where she spoke about the feeling that migrants like herself from Africa felt they were being silenced and referring to this as the ‘shut up’ phenomenon. Francesa Lorenzi, from the School of Education Studies, was the discussant for the final panel of the day on Curriculum and Education and she highlighted the significance of recognising the ‘landscape of needs and values’ of those integrating into the Irish education system. The conference closed with a visual presentation by Dr. Debbie Ging on the development of an interactive intercultural game, ‘Someone Else’s Shoes’.
On audio recording of the Conference proceedings and a selection of presentations from the day will be available shortly on the School of Education Studies web page. For information on this or any other elements of the Conference please contact John Lalor at the School of Education Studies: e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; tel: (01) 7007819