The IES Migration & Diversity Speaker Series: Donna Gabbacia

Donna Gabbacia, University of Toronto

“From Immigration History to Mobility Studies”

This talk is co-sponsored by Green College, the Departments of French, Hispanic, and Italian Studies; Geography; Sociology; History; Asian Canadian and Asian Migration Studies; and the Institute for European Studies’ Migration & Diversity Speaker Series.

Once concentrated almost exclusively in North American departments of Sociology and History as the study of “immigration,” the production of knowledge about mobile people has over the past three decades both widened – spatially, temporally, and conceptually– and found new institutional homes across university disciplines. In her presentation, Donna Gabaccia will briefly survey the shift from studies of “immigration” to studies of mobility in the discipline of history. Her purpose, however, is not a disciplinary one. Instead, she uses the shift in attention from immigration to mobility to focus on a number of fundamental questions that have emerged simultaneously across disciplines. These questions focus on relationships among movements of people, ideas, and things and tensions between understandings of humans and their cultures as naturally sedentary or mobile and as bounded or fluid. These questions point in turn toward the necessity of new histories, historiographies, and genealogies of scholarship itself. Finally, a richer and more complex understanding of the scholarly origins of the contemporary moment in mobilities studies opens opportunities to ask how emerging concerns with populist nationalism and localist and indigenous movements may be working to re-shape disciplinary life and cross-disciplinary dialogue even as we engage with the study of mobility.

Tuesday, February 13
12.15pm – 1:45 pm
C.K. Choi, Room 120
Lunch will be available from 11:45 am; Please RSVP by February 8, 2018