World on the Move Roundtable: Perspectives on Immigration, Migration, and Displacement
November 30, 2017
NYU Washington, DC welcomed professional staff from the Smithsonian Institution and the Library of Congress to discuss issues around the topics of immigration, migration, and displacement globally. The open format discussion focused on case studies and examples from the federal cultural agencies regarding archival collections that are available for scholars researching the topic, programs that provide training in documentation methods to communities struggling against displacement, digital interventions, and other initiatives that resonate with the overarching conference theme.
Topics included contemporary political analysis of these issues as they occur around various sites in addition to the special collections, materials and historical research that each institution holds in their vaults. A particular emphasis was placed on demonstrating how each institution has made or is seeking to make these collections available to assist anthropologists interested in these topics as a type of show-and-tell approach during the roundtable. Other specific projects and case studies that the Library of Congress and Smithsonian Institution are involved with as U.S. federal cultural agencies were discussed including language retention and maintenance work among migrant speakers, documentation techniques among populations struggling with displacement and other programs among vulnerable populations.
Meet the Panel
Leo Chavez, University of California, Irvine
Professor Chavez received his Ph.D. from Stanford University and is currently a professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine. In addition to scores of academic articles, he is the author of Shadowed Lives: Undocumented Immigrants in American Society (1stedition 1992; 3rd Edition, Wadsworth/Cengage Learning 2013), Covering Immigration: Popular Images and the Politics of the Nation (University of California Press 2001), and The Latino Threat: Constructing Immigrants, Citizens, and the Nation (Stanford University Press, 1st edition 2008; 2nd edition 2013). Chavez received the Margaret Mead Award in 1993, the Association of Latina and Latino Anthropologists’ Book Award for The Latino Threat in 2009, and the Society for the Anthropology of North America’s award for Distinguished Achievement in the Critical Study of North America in 2009.
Amalia Córdova, Smithsonian Institution
Amalia Córdova is the Latinx Digital Curator for New and Emerging Media at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. She is a former Latin American specialist for the Film + Video Center of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in New York City. She joined New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study as part-time faculty in 2011 and later served as assistant director of NYU’s Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Her essays have appeared in New Documentaries in Latin America (2014), Film Festival Yearbook 4: Film Festivals and Activism (2012), American Indian magazine (2010), Global Indigenous Media (2008), and Cultural Survival Quarterly (2005). She directed First Voices (2010) and co-produces the web series Urban Indians. She holds an MA in performance studies and a PhD in cinema studies from NYU. She is from Santiago, Chile.
Matthew Durington, Towson University
Matthew Durington is a Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice at Towson University. He is the co-author of Networked Anthropology: A Primer for Ethnographers (Routledge) alongside collaborator Samuel Gerald Collins. He is the incoming President of the Society for Visual Anthropology.
Todd Harvey, Library of Congress
Dr. Todd Harvey is a reference archivist and curator of the Alan Lomax Collection at the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress. He also coordinates acquisitions for the Center. His e-book Michigan-I-O: Alan Lomax and the 1938 Library of Congress Folk-Song Expedition was published in 2013 by Dust-to-Digital records and the Library of Congress.
Jake Homiak, Smithsonian Institution
Jake Homiak received his Ph.D. in anthropology from Brandeis University in 1985. He is currently the Director of the Anthropology Collection & Archives Program at the Smithsonian's Museum Support Center in Suitland, Maryland. He has general oversight for the Department of Anthropology's nearly two and a half million cultural artifacts and archaeological specimens as well as the manuscript, photographic, and film holdings of its National Anthropological Archives and the Human Studies Film Archives. This project engages many of the thorny issues of voice and representation that accompany contemporary cultural collaborations and initiatives. Homiak's publications include "Images of the Sacred, Embodiments of the Other: Representing Religious Experience on Film and Video," in Stephen Glazier and Charles Flowerday, eds., Selected Readings in the Anthropology of Religion: Theoretical and Methodological Essays, (New York: Praeger Books, 2003).
Guha Shankar, Library of Congress
Guha Shankar is a staff member (Programs & Research section) at the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress. His responsibilities include curating and providing access to research collections, working with indigenous communities on projects involving digital repatriation of cultural heritage materials, and providing training in ethnographic documentation methods and processes for a range of individuals and institutions. He holds a PhD in Anthropology from UT-Austin, through the Américo Paredes Center for Intercultural Studies of Folklore and Ethnomusicology (now the Américo Paredes Center Cultural Studies), and a B.A. from UNC-Chapel Hill.
Adam Silvia, Library of Congress
Adam M. Silvia is Assistant Curator of Photography in the Prints & Photographs Division of the Library of Congress. He obtained his Ph.D. at Florida International University, specializing in United States, Latin American and Caribbean history. Previously an archivist, Silvia processed the collection of TIME journalist Bernard Diederich and authored Diedierich & the Americas: The Story In-Between the Lines. In cooperation with Digital Library of the Caribbean, Silvia also created the documentary history, Haiti: An Island Luminous, which combines primary sources scanned by libraries and archives in Haiti with expert commentary by 100 scholars at universities around the world