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A workshop organized by Professor Nouri Gana, UCLA.

Thursday, March 05, 2009
3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
314 Royce Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095

North African migration continues to reverberate across the Mediterranean basin, from its western boundaries bordering Spain and France, northward to Holland, and to its eastern shores touching Italy and Israel alike. And while our common perception of migration is shaped by images of dangerous crossings, social and economic upheavals, and religious controversies, it is noteworthy that the origins of the movement of people from and to North Africa can be traced back to hundreds of years before the present global era and can be viewed broadly in the context of the circulation of populations in the Mediterranean.  
This push-pull phenomenon in a broadly modern historical sense will be explored in a March 5 symposium entitled North African Migration in Global Context, organized by Professor Nouri Gana from the UCLA Departments of Comparative Literature & Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. The program examines the history of migration in the Mediterranean basin, including migration to the Maghreb in late medieval and 16th century Europe and migration from the Maghreb in modern times. Particularly, the symposium will shed light on the historical dynamics and politics of Maghrebi migration from various perspectives, historical, anthropological and literary.

Speakers include:

Circulations before Borders: La longue durée of migratiuon in the Pre-Modern Mediterranean


“Hidden Migration” in Sight: Hrig in Moroccan Literature and Film


Moroccans in Israel: Between Arabs and Jews: the search for a lost voice


Adnan Husain from Queen's University (Circulations before Borders: La longue durée of migratiuon in the Pre-Modern Mediterranean) examines the complicated history of movement of people through exile, captivity, commerce, and conversion, among other processes, that negotiated the boundaries of language and culture in the pre-modern Mediterranean, particularly the western half of the Maghreb and the Iberian peninsula.

Sami Chetrit from Queens College/City University of New York, (Moroccans in Israel: Between Arabs and Jews: the search for a lost voice) discusses the sociopolitical dimensions of Moroccans in Israel--the largest Mizrahi ethnic group and the most racially mistreated. Through literature (mainly poetry) and music, he examines the undercurrents of rebellion and demonstration for more than 50 years including workers strikes, the Black Panther movement and uprising, and ballot revolts via the religious flank of Israeli politics.

Hakim Abderrezak from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (“Hidden Migration” in Sight: Hrig in Moroccan Literature and Film) will analyze Moroccan literary and cinematographic representations of h'rig (clandestine migration) in the historical and sociological context of migration from the Maghreb to Europe from the second half of the twentieth century until now. Through close readings of novels and a film, he will explore Moroccan fictional accounts of undocumented crossings of the Mediterranean.

 The overall objective of the symposium is to inform and educate the public about the historical origins and political forces that shape the monumental movements of people from and to the Maghreb. From an academic perspective, this symposium examines the phenomenon of Maghrebi migration across disciplines--anthropology, history, literature—in order to grasp both the material, historical and political constellations that inform it.

Sponsored by the Center for Near Eastern Studies in conjunction with the Center for Jewish Studies, with funds from the UCLA International Institute and the Social Science Research Council.

Cost : Free and Open to the Public

(310) 825-1181

Sponsor(s): , Center for Jewish Studies

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