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Migrations: Populations and Practices on the Move

The College Park Scholars annual theme brings our community together to engage in a shared intellectual experience. We take on a complex, multifaceted problem that demands thoughtful, creative, hands-on solutions. The annual theme and related programming afford us the opportunity to realize on a grand scale an idea that shapes everything we do in Scholars: We learn better when we learn together.

The Scholars theme for 2018–19 is tied to a campus-wide initiative, “Year of Immigration,” sponsored by the College of Arts and Humanities and the Office of International Affairs. We’ll keep you apprised of events and activities occurring all over campus, including an October lecture by Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of this year’s First Year Book, The Refugees.

Meanwhile, in Scholars, we will zero in on the related topic of Migrations: Populations and Practices on the Move.

Migration - the movement from one place or environment to another—has been happening for millions of years. People migrate. So do animals, plants, cells, and pathogens. Even data is said to migrate as it is transferred from one storage system or file format to another.

Over time, humankind has largely settled in place, creating borders, putting up infrastructure and, ultimately, birthing nations. In the past several years, however, we have witnessed a trend toward globalization with the increasing movement of ideas, goods and services around the world. Meanwhile, a variety of forces have prompted greater migrations of people and wildlife. These developments have put new pressures on national borders and identities and raised new questions about how to navigate a changing world.

  • What are the causes and effects of various types of migration?
  • How do population movements shape and reshape language, culture, folkways, and identity?
  • What role are climate change, multinational businesses, and the development of infrastructure and technologies playing in modern migrations?
  • As politicians and policymakers debate how to manage borders and the movement of people across them, what are the values and concerns that shape our own positions on complex, contentious issues?

A world on the move is both exciting and inevitable—but it can be confounding. How do we engage in dialogue around migration that is constructive rather than simply divisive? Join us as we embark upon a yearlong engagement with "Migrations" and explore the interconnected issues associated with migration. Through lectures, panel discussions, films and excursions, we'll create interdisciplinary conversation and intellectual community across Scholars programs—and across the Maryland community, both on campus and beyond.


Constitution Day, "Immigration and the Rule of Law in the Trump Administration”
Moderated by Robert Koulish, director, Justice and Legal Thought
Tuesday, Sept. 18, 9:30 – 11 a.m.
McKeldin Library Special Events Room 6137 

The Refugees cover.jpg

First Year Book Discussion & Dinner
Moderated by Executive Director Marilee Lindemann and James Glass, director, International Studies
Thursday, Sept. 27, 7 – 8:30 p.m.
1111 Cambridge Community Center


Climate Refugees: Documentary Screening and Talkback 
Talkback with Tom Holtz, director, Science and Global Change
Wednesday, Oct. 10, 7 – 9 p.m.
1111 Cambridge Community Center

Harriet Tubman Byway Excursion
Saturday, Oct. 20, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sign up

First Year Book Talk w/ author Viet Than Nguyen, The Clarice
Tuesday, Oct. 23, 5:30 p.m.
Kay Theatre, The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center

Conversation With Viet Than Nguyen & Michael Collier
Wednesday, Oct. 24, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Ulrich Recital Hall, Tawes

2nd Theme Film Screening
November (TBA)


3 Theme Questions With...

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      Tim Knight          Thomas Holtz