Geneseo to host second diasporas conference

Geneseo will host the second First World Diasporas of Color Undergraduate Conference with SUNY New Paltz on April 25 and 26. This conference invites students to present papers and posters that are concerned with all issues relevant to the diasporas of color of Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and the United States. It is free and open to the public.

The first-ever First World Diasporas of Color Undergraduate conference was held at New Paltz. For the conference, associate professor of Spanish Rose McEwen received three submissions and took two students to New Paltz to present their panels.

For the 2014 conference, McEwen has taken on the task of organizing and hosting here at Geneseo, and the rate of participation has gone up.

“At this point, we have about a dozen submissions,” she said, adding that this is a significant increase from last year.

McEwen noted that the national conference is hoping to add another institution by the next conference. Presentations are not limited to visual projects; participants may offer scholarly research or participate in panel discussions from different academic disciplines and social sectors.

“The kind of submissions we are looking for are any dealing with the topic of diasporas of color. So far, we’ve mostly had paper presentations, but there are a few posters,” McEwen said.

Submissions are not limited to students and many faculty members will also serve on panels. Faculty members take aspects of their subject material that deal with the topic of diasporas of color to create their presentations.

“In the case of [professor of English Maria Lima], her topic will be literature of the diaspora because that is what she teaches,” McEwen said.

There will be a portion of the conference devoted to professor and Chair of Anthropology Rose-Marie Chierici, who will step down from the department chair in May. A number of her former students are coming back to present a professional panel at the conference.

Among these is John Mazzeo, now an assistant professor of anthropology at DePaul University, one of the conference’s keynote speakers.

“The professionals that she has inspired even to this day will be participating in this panel from not an undergraduate but a professional point of view,” McEwen said.

The conference is funded in part by a 2013-2014 Explorations in Diversity and Academic Excellence support grant from Geneseo’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.