Somali Studies International Congress

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Title: Somali Studies International Congress
Creators: Mohamud, Abdinur; Kraybill, David; Joseph, Laura
Keywords: Somali
Issue Date: 2007-08-15
Series/Report no.: Mershon Center for International Security Studies. Conferences
Abstract: Welcome to the Somali Studies International Congress in what is a truly historic year for Somali scholarship and the premier association created for that purpose. We are pleased to welcome you to the city of Columbus and the campus of the Ohio State University, and we are looking forward to four days of fellowship and scholarship. The 10th Triennial International Somali Congress will explore the reasons why the intersection between an endless political crisis and an unprecedented massive global dispersion, buttressed by high speed Internet and affordable communication, has made Somalia a very different society than it was just a decade ago. The social transformations that resulted from these forces have challenged the traditional Somali ways in which individual, group, political, and social identities have been historically understood. One important challenge facing Somali Studies investigators and practitioners is how to critically propose new ways of understanding the social and economic impacts of globalization on Somali communities and, more important, how to describe and analyze the link between Somali Diasporas in Australia, Europe, and North America and those in homeland. Some of the critical issues that need immediate attention include analysis of the social and structural barriers that Somali immigrants face as they attempt to assimilate and integrate into the social and economic fabric of their host communities. By focusing on these challenges, opportunities, and their implications, Somali Studies can suggest appropriate methodological and epistemological frameworks for critically understanding the link between transnational Somali communities and their politically contested homeland. It is an especially opportune time for scholars of Somali societies as well as practitioners to reflect on these transformations and ask new questions with contemporary political relevance and policy implications. It is fitting that we will explore these topics in Columbus, a city that is home to the second largest Somali community settlement in the United States and also is a state, regional, and continental center for government, education, and private industry. For the 10th Triennial Conference, we have invited social scientists, policy makers, community leaders, and social activists to offer fresh perspectives about how Somali communities both in the homeland and in the Diaspora are coping with the social dynamics of the twenty-first century. We welcomed papers that use diverse approaches and viewpoints as our guiding principle is to foster wide ranging discussions. "Somali Studies in the 21st Century: Local and Global Perspectives" is the theme of the conference, but not all papers or presentations will focus on this overall theme. Papers reflecting a variety of sub-themes that explore issues pertinent to any aspect of Somali life both in the homeland and in the Diaspora were welcomed. We are pleased to welcome to the Congress several distinguished scholars who will lead plenary sessions: Dr Jendayi Frazer, Assistant Secretary of State for Africa; Mayor Michael Coleman, City of Columbus; Hussein Adam, College of the Holy Cross and SSIA Founding Father; Lee Cassanelli, University of Pennsylvania and SSIA Founding Member. In addition, we have a full line-up of session panelists who bring an unparalleled wealth of knowledge and expertise in the field of Somali Studies.
Description: The University Archives has determined that this item is of continuing value to OSU's history.
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