Conference--In Search of Fortune: Migration and Risk in the Pacific World

Mar 9, 2018Mar 10, 2018
211 Dickinson Hall



Event Description

Migration brings with it a particular set of risks. There is a danger to traveling into the unknown, leaving behind the privileges of membership, and becoming an outsider. Some migrants set out, in spite of these risks, in search of fortune. Others find themselves trafficked, displaced, or exiled in the name of someone else’s profit. This conference will consider the history of migrants’ precarious lives, with a specific focus on the Pacific World in the 19th and 20th century.

 Discussion will be centered on three primary lines of inquiry:
1)    What made migration hazardous? We will discuss how mobility created risk and how the nature of that risk changed over time due to shifting markets, new technology, and state/imperial border-making.
2)    How did migrants define and manage risk? We will consider migrants’ conception of risk and the strategies they used to mitigate it, including building transnational networks, maintaining ethnic identities, adapting family structures, and making bids for immigrant rights.
3)    What role did migration play in shaping the Pacific Rim? We will consider whether migration helped to create a “Pacific World” and, if so, when and why. Finally, we will discuss whether the “Pacific World” is a meaningful category in the history of migration.

March 9 : 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

March 10: 9:30 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Mae Ngai, Columbia 
Moon-ho Jung, UW-Seattle 
Jason Oliver Chang, UConn 
Bryna Goodman, University of Oregon 
Quinn Javers, UC Davis 
Emma Teng, MIT 
Grace Pena Delgado, UC Santa Cruz
Anne Giblin Gedacht, Seton Hall 
Eiichiro Azuma, UPenn 
Matt Matsuda, Rutgers
Andrew Alan Johnson, Princeton
June Kim, NYU 
Catherine Choy, UC Berkeley

Hosted by the Davis Center, Co-sponsored by PIIRS and East Asian Studies Program