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 Immigration & Ethnicity - Study Tour 2009 

This study tour is a joint project of the American Studies Institutes of the University of Leipzig, Germany, and of the Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland. Professors of the two institutes have been cooperating during conferences for several years, and now students and faculty will become involved in exchanges, joint teaching, learning, and research. The study tour is an endeavor to continue a tradition that has emerged at the American Studies Institute at Leipzig during the past twelve years and that will now be extended to include students from Kraków in a new partnership.

The tour will target the Upper Midwest of the United States for several reasons. This region was the destination of millions of immigrants from Europe, and especially its urban centers continue to attract immigrants from Latin American countries and Asia. In addition it reflects significant internal migration patterns of specific ethnic groups.

Immigration and the integration of minorities into societies has increasingly become a global issue, and it is high on the European Union’s agenda as well. Thus information on how other countries have been dealing with this question can provide us with both a heightened awareness of its urgency and with models how to cope with it. It is therefore no coincidence that we want to look at the United States, a traditional immigration country with a long record of successfully integrating many of its minorities.

We want to talk to researchers at several universities but also to representatives of ethnic groups, local social institutions, religious congregations, citizens’ initiatives, think tanks, interest groups, the media, religious and secular voluntary associations, and neighborhood organizations.

Chicago will be included as the hub of the Midwest and as the city that once was the fourth largest German city, and now continues to be the second largest Polish city after Warsaw. It also began to accommodate a large African American community during the great migration of African Americans to northern cities, and for several decades it has been attracting large numbers of Latinos. It is a perfect example of the multiracial and multicultural nature of American metropolitan centers, and hosts the famous School of Sociology at the University of Chicago that has been engaging in urban studies for more than a century.

In Madison, Wisconsin, institutions of the state university will be visited to inform us of the patterns of immigration and specifically rural persistence of ethnic traditions.

Minneapolis, Minnesota, is the city to study the experiences of urban Native Americans. The University of Minnesota also hosts the important collections of the Immigration History Research Center.

Hartmut Keil

 

 

Tentative Schedule

Tuesday, September 15

6-9:15 am: Departure from Kraków and Leipzig airports

5-5:15 pm: Arrival at Chicago O’Hare, transfer to Chinatown Hotel 

Chicago

Wednesday, September 16

10 am: Session at the University of Chicago; discussion with Professor Kathleen Neils Conzen on historical immigration patterns to the rural and urban centers in the Midwest; talk by Professor Michael Conzen on the effects of changing patterns of mass immigration on Chicago’s metropolitan geography.

12:30 pm: lunch on the University of Chicago campus, followed by a guided tour of the campus

Thursday, September 17

9:30-11 am: Professor Lewis Erenberg, Loyola University: “American popular entertainment, popular music, and sports as a meeting ground for diverse peoples”

1-2:45 pm: Visit – organized by Professor Susan Hirsch – to a neighborhood elementary school on Chicago’s Northwest Side; discussion with teachers and students

Friday, September 18

10 am: Meeting with J.D. Bindenagel, Vice-President, DePaul University, Marisa Alicea (on the migration and settlement patterns within Latino communities, immigration issues for Mexicans, Puerto Ricans and Cubans) and Layla Suleiman Gonzalez (Impact of parents’ immigration problems on young children. Latino children, youth and families; Latino child welfare; Latino youth development; trends in bilingual education; cultural competence and social services; Latina images in the media, telenovelas)

Saturday, September 19

10 am: Dominic Pacyga: tour of Chicago’s ethnic neighborhoods 

In between: lunch in an ethnic restaurant

End of tour: about 4 pm

Sunday, September 20

11:15 am: Service at The Faith Community of St. Sabina Parish

Rest of day: free time

Monday, September 21

10 am: Meeting with President and staff of the “Chicago Defender”

Tentative: 12 noon: Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University 

3 pm: Joint meeting with Polish and German Consuls General, Zygmunt Matynia and Onno Hückmann, at the Polish Consulate General

Tuesday, September 22

10:30 am: Meeting with Jan Lorys, Director, Polish Museum of America

Tentative: Visit of Hull House and the Haymarket, with Leon Fink (University of Illinois, director of the project “History of Work, Race, and Gender in the Urban World”)

Tentative: Polish National Alliance

Tentative: Chicago Urban League

Tentative: NAACP

Madison, Wisconsin

Wednesday, September 23

Pick-up of vans at 9 am; drive to Madison/Wisconsin

2 pm: meeting with Gerhard Fischer, Ph.D., and experts, International Education Programs, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

Thursday, September 24

9:30am-5pm: Language & Immigration Workshop at the Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures, University of Wisconsin

9:30 am: Joe Salmons, Director of CSUMC, Introduction: Where language fits into understanding immigration history, and vice versa

9:45 am: The historical record: German‐language materials in Wisconsin, Antje Petty and Kevin Kurdylo (Max Kade Institute)

10:30 am: Mapping historical language data: German in Hustisford, Mark Livengood (Geography, Wisconsin)

11:15 am: Urban and Rural: Relative Rates of Language Shift, Felecia Lucht (Wayne State University) and Ben Frey (German, Wisconsin)

12 pm: Lunch

1:30 pm: Pomeranian immigrants and dialect shift in Wisconsin, Mark Louden (German and CSUMC, Wisconsin)

2:15 pm: West Frisian immigrants and language in Wisconsin, Joshua Bousquette and Todd Ehresmann (German, Wisconsin)

3 pm: Break

3:15 pm: How German immigration shapes Wisconsin English, Angela Bagwell (German, Wisconsin) & Mike Olson (Universiteit Amsterdam)

4 pm: Discussion: Rob Howell (Associate Dean, International Studies, Wisconsin), Joe Salmons (CSUMC, Wisconsin)

5 pm: Adjourn to the Wisconsin Union

Friday, September 25

10 am: Visit of Hustisford, a rural ethnic community in Dodge County

Afterwards: Drive to Horicon Marsh Wildlife Area

Minneapolis

Saturday, September 26

Drive to Minneapolis / St. Paul

Sunday, September 27

11 am: Weisman Museum: Exhibit on the Somali Diaspora

1 pm: Minneapolis Institute of Art (Native American)

4 pm: Shopping at Mall of America

Monday, September 28

10 am: Minneapolis American Indian Center

1-2:30 pm: Immigration History Research Center: current immigration research, Donna Gabaccia; guided tour through the cavern/storage areas

3:30 pm: Guided walk through the Somali neighborhood

7 pm: Andersen Library: Bruno Ramirez’s short video, “Sempre, Rudi”

Tuesday, September 29

10 am: Erica Lee, Asian-American Studies, University of Minnesota

1:30 pm: American Studies Department: immigrant cultures and identities, Elaine Tyler May and colleagues

3:30 pm: Dan Detzner: Somali and East African Community

Wednesday, September 30

8:30 am: Drive to Mille Lacs Indian Reservation, meeting with Travis Zimmerman and visit of Museum and Trading Post

Thursday, October 1

11:20 am-3:34 pm: Departure from Minneapolis

Friday, October 2

2:05-2:15 pm: Arrival at Kraków and Leipzig

200918Sep

"The Whole World in one School" – A Visit at One of the Most Diverse Schools in Chicago

The enormous babble of voices already sounded unsettling. When visiting Swift Elementary School on Chicago’s North Side we expected to meet some students, one class maybe, to learn about their experience at one of the most diverse schools of the city. But when we stepped into the cafeteria, more than 150 pairs of eyes looked at us expectantly. We were a bit surprised – to put it mildly. But the awe did not last long. Prof. Keil dauntlessly grabbed the mic.

by Anika Kreller, 0 comments
200918Sep

How Ethnic Groups Shaped Chicago's Look

The first impression: Buildings not unlike what you get to see of English universities like Cambridge or Oxford, surrounded by huge parks. The University of Chicago (UC), founded 1890 as a private university by John D. Rockefeller, has a beautiful campus.

by Ayke Lukas Suethoff, 0 comments
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