On Migration: Stephen Macedo and Sandra Bermann Discuss Its Interdisciplinary Nature

Aug. 23, 2017

University Center for Human Values Faculty member Stephen Macedo and UCHV Executive Committee member Sandra Bermann held a coffee conversation on migration issues. Having met with colleagues from across campus, Bermann noted how learning, talking, and sharing with each other in innovative ways could lead to "a ripple effect on campus, through teaching, gathering student affiliates - both graduate and undergraduate - and over time changing the public discourse on the topic." 

"This is an issue that does not divide along the left-right cleanly," added Macedo, making it very interesting." An issue that needs more attention, both in terms of policy and law.

Migration narratives are extensive and expand across disciplines.

Anna Stilz, Professor of Politics and the UCHV and Director of the Center's Values and Public Life (VPL) certificate program, will be teaching a fall VPL seminar on migration called, "The Ethics of Borders and Migration." The class will conclude with a field trip to Buffalo, NY to explore migration issues first-hand, as it will visit several refugee-resettlement organizations including: Jericho Road Community Health Center, Jewish Family Service of Buffalo and Erie County, and Journey's End Refugee Services, Inc.

VPL students have also participated in other migration-related events or studies through other centers and departments across campus, such as the summer course "Reporting on the Front Lines of History in Greece," where students accompany Ferris Professor of Journalism Joe Stephens to Greece to report on the refugee crisis from the front lines. 

This year, Princeton's Institute for International and Regional Studies established an interdisciplinary research community to explore issues of migration.

Bermann, coordinator of the research community, "Migration: People and and Cultures Across Borders," hopes an interdisciplinary approach will provide opportunities for changing the public discourse.