|| The world is experiencing an unprecedented refugee crisis. As many as 59 million people, responding to the savage increase of global violence and economic oppression are fleeing on foot, in small boats, and in suffocating transport containers in order to make a better life for themselves. The African continent has been an epicenter of the socio-economic impact of neoliberal policies that have blocked hundreds of thousands of young Africans from having a future and have thrown others into turbulent and violent conflicts. The Mediterranean Sea has become a turbulent site of this catastrophe, a perilous thoroughfare for African refugees seeking entry into the seeming haven of opportunity and safety on the European continent. European nation-states, facing the insuperable challenge of accommodating asylum seekers, are shutting down their borders, or trying to do so. For some, the presence of these refugees calls European identity into question, bringing to the fore numerous unresolved legacies of European colonialism on the African continent.
The Center for African Studies, the Center for European Studies, and the Department of Italian invite the Rutgers community and the public to join us in examining this overwhelming reality in a multidisciplinary symposium with the hope that our intellectual and artistic exploration will raise awareness of this global catastrophe, and stimulate some programmatic response to this ongoing crisis.
This unprecedented collaboration between Rutgers departments and units from across the New Brunswick campus and representing several of the world’s regions is a strong testament to the global nature of these contemporary crises. Rutgers is proud to be among the first universities to host a symposium that brings together scholars, artists, and activists who are working in Africa and Europe to explore the catastrophic contemporary migration from Africa to Europe.