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Executive Department for
Press, Communication and Marketing

Adolf-Reichwein-Straße 2a
Gebäude AVZ (Gebäudeteil AR-NA)
57068 Siegen

Phone:    +49 (0)271/740-4915
Fax.:    +49 (0)271/740-4911
E-Mail:  presse@uni-siegen.de

Transatlantic Research Cooperation

For almost ten years, scientists from the University of Siegen and the American Norfolk State University have been researching together on the topics of "migration" and "immigration". Now, an interdisciplinary symposium was held in Siegen.

As a classic immigration country, the USA has been shaped by migration right from the start. From the 16th century until today, people come to live in the United States for a variety of reasons. In Europe, too, there have always been large migration movements - with the arrival of hundreds of thousands of refugees from 2015 on, the topic gained new relevance in these parts. Scientists from the University of Siegen and the Norfolk State University, in the state of Virginia, have been researching together for many years on the topics of "migration" and "immigration". At the University of Siegen, researchers from both universities have now taken part in the interdisciplinary symposium "Migration and Immigration in Europe and the Americas".

"We look at the topics 'migration' and 'immigration' in a very broad historical and geographic context," explains Prof. Dr. med. Daniel Stein from the Department of English at the University of Siegen, who organized the symposium. Scientists from Siegen and Norfolk examined very different aspects of migration and immigration, as well as different viewpoints, during the two-day event. One of the lectures dealt with the documentary "Seefeuer", which shows everyday life on the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa, the destination of hundreds of thousands of African refugees. Another article dealt with the current situation of Turkish scientists and artists who had to leave their home country due to state pressure and now live in Germany.

Migration and immigration on the American continent were also discussed at the symposium, from the arrival of the first slave ships in Virginia in 1619 to the situation of migrants in New York after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. "Although there are very different situations and contexts, there are amazing parallels - certain motives that repeat themselves regardless of time and place," says Prof. Stein. To confront this together with American researchers leads to a changed view of Europe and the American continent: "We are not as different as we always believe, after all."

Scientists from very different disciplines participated in the symposium: Americanists and sociologists as well as film scholars or historians. The event was supported by funds from the Dean's Office of the School of Arts and Humanities, as well as the Research Alumni Program of the University of Siegen.

In the future, the Universities of Siegen and Norfolk State would like to expand their research partnership initiated by Cathy Waegner (University of Siegen) and Page Laws (Norfolk State University). In the fall of 2019, a conference on "slavery" is planned at the Norfolk State University, in which scientists from the University of Siegen will actively participate. If possible, students from the field of American Studies should also travel to Virginia to attend the conference. Also planned are joint studies and publications, as well as further guest stays of scientists at the respective partner university.

Prof. Dr. Daniel Stein (Seminar for English Studies, University of Siegen)
E-Mail: stein@anglistik.uni-siegen.de
Tel.: +49-271-740 4040