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About the Symposium|Simpson Symposium

About the Symposium

Immigration touches on crucial issues of our changing work force, the role we want to play in the world, and our cultural identity.  The discussions on September 18, 2014 will, among other things, explore the themes of nationhood, citizenship, and belonging; values, and social otherness; borders; questions of social justice; individual, national, and cultural identities; and the ways in which people reinvent themselves, their cultures, and their worlds in new contexts, as well as the role language plays in controversial conversations such as assimilation and education.

On a national and a state level, we will probe such basic questions as: how significant is the illegal alien situation?  How has immigration historically been treated by established populations?  Where is immigration having the largest impact?  How important should economic need (of the immigrants and of the employers) be in discussing immigration issues?  Do employers/established communities have an ethical obligation to provide affordable housing to immigrants, and if so how close to the job sites? 

Also, on September 17, 2014, the AHC and the UW student organization Movimiento Estuduantil Chicano de Aztlan (MEChA) will host an evening event that will look at immigration through different angles related to the humanities including culture, art, and music.  This event will be held at the American Heritage Center.  More details to come!

Our intended audience for both events includes the immigrant communities themselves (specifically UW students), policy makers, the University of Wyoming academic community, employers, educators, citizens, as well as a diverse collection of Wyoming stakeholders who will convene to discuss immigration reform, the economic implications of the current debate, and the question of what it means to be "American" in the 21st century. We expect the symposium to better educate the Wyoming community about the parameters, threads, and nuance of immigration issues in the state and nation.

 

Schoolchildren

Rock Springs schoolchildren, ca. 1900.  In the early 1900s, more than 50 different nationalities were represented in Rock Springs due to Union Pacific Coal Department recruitment for laborers.  

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