Tentative Schedule

All events unless otherwise noted will take place in the Lower-Level Conference Room of the Center for European Studies, Adolphus Busch Hall, 27 Kirkland St., Cambridge.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

2:00-4:00pm Panel I

  • Pierre-Emanuel Bachelet (ENS Lyon), “From Smugglers to Middlemen: The Early Modern Japanese Diaspora in Southeast Asia” [Comment: Prof. David L. Howell]
  • Tim Soriano (U. of Illinois – Chicago), “The Royal Navy, Legal Pluralism, & Authority in Early Colonial Sierra Leone” [Comment: Prof. Maya Jasanoff]
  • Isha Dubey (Aarhus University), “Once Migrant Always Displaced? Exploring Diasporic Consciousness and Shifting Narratives of Belonging across Three Generations of Urdu Speakers in Bangladesh” [Comment: Prof. Shubhankita Ojha]
  • David Krueger (Harvard University), “A Community on the March: The Mormon Battalion and the Militancy of Migration” [Comment: Prof. Laurel Thatcher Ulrich]

4-4:30pm Coffee break

4:30-6:00pm Keynote Address: Prof. Paul Kramer, Associate Professor of History, Vanderbilt University

6:30-8:30pm Dinner for Conference Participants

Friday, March 10, 2017

9:30-10:00am Light breakfast

10:00am-12:00pm Panel II

  • Shaonan Liu (Michigan State University), “From China to Nigeria: The Migration of Chinese Industrialists and Nigerian Industrialization in the 1960s” [Comment: Prof. Violetta Ravagnoli]
  • Alasdair Grant (University of Edinburgh), “Aichmalosia: Captivity, Ransom, & Letter Writing in Byzantium and Its Neighbors, c. 1204-1453” [Comment: Prof. Dimiter Angelov]
  • Genie Yoo (Princeton University), “Lives and Letters in a Time of Transition: The Legal Papers of Baghdadi-Jewish Migrants in Surabaya, Rangoon, & Singapore, 1948-1950” [Comment: Prof. Elizabeth Shlala]
  • Hui Hui Wang (Chinese University of Hong Kong), “Sojourners and Transnationalism: Emigrant Communities in Chaozhou, 1949-1958” [Comment: Prof. Emma Teng]

12:00-1:00pm Lunch

1:00-3:00pm Panel III

  • Abraham Trejo Terreros (Colegio de Mexico), “Corruption, State Agents under Surveillance, and the Business of Human Smuggling in 1920s Mexico Borderlands” [Comment: Prof. Megan Black]
  • John Bardes (Tulane), “Idle and Dangerous: Vagrancy Policing in a Southern Port City, 1852-1868” [Comment: Prof. Walter Johnson]
  • Sarah Gilkerson (U. of California – Davis), “Memory and Resistance at a Western Saharan Phosphate Mine from 1973-1976” [Comment: Prof. Nathaniel Powell]
  • Courtney Cain (U. of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign), “A Dispersed Diaspora: Haitians in Chicago, 1935-2010” [Comment: Prof. Robert Hall]

3-3:30pm Coffee break

3:30-5:00pm Plenary session

  • Sunil Amrith, Mehra Family Professor of South Asian History, Harvard University
  • Genevieve Clutario, Assistant Professor of History and History & Literature, Harvard University
  • Emma Teng, T.T. & Wei Fong Chao Professor of Asian Civilizations, MIT


Click here to read the 12 abstracts selected for this year’s conference.


We are pleased to announce that the 2017 keynote speaker will be Paul Kramer, Associate Professor of History at Vanderbilt University.

Professor Kramer’s primary research interests are in modern U. S. history, with an emphasis on transnational, imperial and global histories, American social thought, and the politics of inequality. His first book, The Blood of Government: Race, Empire, the United States and the Philippines (University of North Carolina Press; Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2006), explores the imperial politics of race-making between U. S. and Philippine societies in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. It was awarded the Organization of American Historians’ James A. Rawley Prize and the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations’ Stuart L. Bernath Book Prize, and was a finalist for the Philippines’ National Book Award in the Social Science category.

Prof. Kramer writes for the New Yorker and Slate on themes relating to the history of the United States in the world. His forthcoming book is on intersections between immigration policy and US foreign relations.

Prof. Kramer has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, Harvard University’s Charles Warren Center, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Fulbright program and the Smithsonian Institution, and was named a Top Young Historian by History News Network. He is co-editor of Cornell University Press’ series “The United States in the World: Transnational Histories, International Perspectives” and was program chair for “The United States in the World/The World in the United States,” the 2009 annual conference of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. He has served on the editorial boards of Diplomatic History, Labor: Working-Class History of the Americas, and Philippine Studies.