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