Past Seminars

During each academic year, the committee sponsors a seminar series on international migration, held at MIT's Center for International Studies (CIS). In fall 2005, the series was re-named The Myron Weiner Seminar Series on International Migration in honor of the late founder of the Inter-University Committee and former director of CIS. The seminars explore factors affecting international population movements and their impact upon sending and receiving countries and relations among them.


Fall 2023 Seminars

October 16, 2023

3:00pm-4:15pm ET
E40-496, Pye Conference Room

Cuban Privilege: The Making of Immigrant Inequality in America

About the speaker:

Susan Eckstein is a Professor in the Pardee School of Global Studies and in the Sociology Department at Boston University. She has written numerous books and articles on Mexican urban poor, political-economic developments in Cuba, Cuban immigrants, immigration policy, impacts of Latin American revolutions, and edited books on Latin American social movements and social rights, and on immigrant impacts in their homelands. Her books include How Immigrants Impact Their Homelands (co-editor), The Immigrant Divide: How Cuban Americans Changed the U.S. and Their Homeland, What Justice? Whose Justice? Fighting for Fairness in Latin America (co-editor), Struggles for Social Rights in Latin America (co-editor), Back from the Future: Cuba under Castro, Power and Popular Protest: Latin American Social Movements (editor), The Poverty of Revolution: The State and Urban Poor in Mexico, The Impact of Revolution: A Comparative Analysis of Mexico and Bolivia. In January 2022 Cambridge University Press will publish her most recent book, Cuban Privilege: The Making of Immigrant Inequality in America. She is the recipient of fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the American Council on Learned Societies, the Ford Foundation, John D. and Catherine MacArthur Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Tinker Foundation, and Christopher Reynolds Foundation. She has received a number of awards for her publications.

Spring 2023 Seminars

February 10, 2023

12:00pm-1:00pm EDT
E40-496, Pye Conference Room

Refugees Revitalizing Emptied Spain

About the speaker:

Susan Akram is a Clinical Professor at the Boston University School of Law and the Director of the International Human Rights Clinic. Her research and publications focus on immigration, asylum, refugee, forced migration, and human and civil rights issues, with an interest in the Middle East, the Arab, and Muslim world. She is currently leading the "Refugees Revitalizing Emptied Spain" project, which would place refugees and asylum seekers in municipalities that are struggling to survive in the face of massive population loss, as young people move to larger cities in search of economic opportunities.

March 1, 2023

12:30pm-2:00pm EDT
Room 09-255

Enhancing the benefits of human mobility through development interventions

About the speaker:

David Khoudour (he/him) is Global Human Mobility Adviser within the Recovery Solution and Human Mobility Team at the UNDP Crisis Bureau in New York City, where he coordinates UNDP work on migration and forced displacement. Prior to his current assignment, David worked as Regional Human Mobility Adviser at the UNDP Regional Centre for Latin America and the Caribbean in Panama and, before that, as Adviser for Migration and Development at the UNDP Colombia Office, supporting the Presidency of the Republic of Colombia in its response to the Venezuelan displacement crisis. He is also the co-chair of the KNOMAD Thematic Working Group (TWG) on Special Issues. Before joining UNDP in 2018, David was the Head of the Migration and Skills Unit at the OECD Development Centre, in Paris, and the chair of the KNOMAD TWG on Policy and Institutional Coherence. Until 2010, he was a researcher at the CEPII, a French economic think tank, and a lecturer at HEC Paris, the University Paris Nanterre and Sciences Po, from where he holds a PhD in Economics. David was also a Fulbright scholar at the University of California-Berkeley, as well as a professor of economics and the head of the Observatory on international migration at the Universidad Externado de Colombia in Bogota.

March 15, 2023

1:00pm-2:00pm ET
E40-496, Pye Conference Room

Crossing the Divide: Rural to Urban Migration in Developing Countries

About the speaker:

Robert E.B. Lucas is Professor of Economics at Boston University. His research has focused largely, though not exclusively, on developing countries. Most of the contributions are empirical with a few theory papers, encompassing international and internal migration, employment and human resources, income distribution and inter-generational inequality, international trade and industry, sharecropping, and the environment. External service has involved being Chief Technical Adviser to the Malaysia Human Resource Development Program, a member of the Advisory Committee to the India US Business Council, the Delegation to India by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the G8 Global Remittances Working Group, the Steering Committee for the Global Research Competition of the Global Development Network, and as Chair of the Inter-University Committee on International Migration. A recipient of a Kennedy Scholarship from the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the Chanan Yavor Prize for the best paper in development economics, and the Gitner Prize for excellence in teaching (twice). Professor Lucas has also worked with the World Bank, ADB, FAO, ILO, OECD, USAID, the Governments of Botswana, Bolivia, and Sweden, and is a Research Affiliate at the MIT Center for International Studies. His publications include seven books, the most recent of which are Migration and Development: The Role for Development Aid (2019) and Crossing the Divide: Rural to Urban Migration in Developing Countries (2021).

April 21, 2023

12:00pm-1:15pm EDT
E40-496, Pye Conference Room

About the speaker:

Justin Gest is an Associate Professor of Policy and Government at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government. He is the author of six books, primarily on the politics of immigration and demographic change—all from Oxford University Press or Cambridge University Press. His research has been published in journals including the British Journal of Politics and International RelationsComparative Political StudiesEthnic and Racial StudiesGlobal GovernanceGlobal PolicyInternational Migration ReviewMigration StudiesPolity, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He is the editor of Silent Citizenship: The Politics of Marginality in Unequal Democracies (Routledge, 2016), and special issues of Citizenship Studies and the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.

Spring 2022 Seminars

April 15


The Ongoing Crisis for Afghan Refugees
Haseena Rahman, Visiting Lecturer/Scholar at Boston University School of Law; International Tax Associate at PWC; former Director of Economic Zones Integration at the Presidential Palace in Kabul
Nilofar Sakhi, Professorial Lecturer in International Affairs at the George Washington University
Omar Sharifi, Assistant Professor of Social Sciences and Humanities at the American University of Afghanistan

April 29


Design to Live: Everyday Inventions from a Refugee Camp
Azra Akšamija, Associate Professor in the MIT Department of Architecture, Program in Art, Culture and Technology, where she directs the Future Heritage Lab
Raafat Majzoub, architect, artist, and writer, Director of The Khan: The Arab Association for Prototyping Cultural Practices and Lecturer in the Architecture and Design Department of the American University of Beirut
Melina Philippou, architect and urbanist, Program Director of the MIT Future Heritage Lab and Research Associate in the Department of Architecture at the University of Cyprus
Watch Video

Fall 2021 Seminars

November 5


Uprooted: How post-WWII Population Transfers Remade Europe
Speaker: Volha CharnyshAssistant Professor of Political Science, MIT

December 3


Immigrant entrepreneurship in startup cities — what works in which context?
Speaker: Luisa Seiler, Fulbright fellow & Visiting PhD candidate, Harvard University
Watch Video | Read Transcript

Spring 2021 Seminars

March 4


Immigrant Incorporation in East Asian Democracies
Speaker: Erin Aeran ChungAssociate Professor, Charles D Miller Chair in East Asian Politics, Department of Political Science, Johns Hopkins University
Watch Video | Read Transcript

March 11


Millionaire Mobility and the Sale of Citizenship
Speaker: Kristin Surak, Assistant Professor in Sociology, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Watch Video | Read Transcript

March 18

Race, Refugees and Europe: A look back at the last decade
Speaker: Eddie Bruce-Jones, Deputy Dean, School of Law, Head of Department & Reader in Law & Anthropology, Department of Law, Birkbeck University of London
Watch Video | Read Transcript

Fall 2020 Seminars

October 20

Future Aspirations among Refugee Youth in Turkey between Integration and Mobility
Speaker: Ayşen Üstübici, Assistant Professor at Koç University Department of Sociology and the Department of Political Science; member of the executive board and vice-director of the Migration Research Center at Koç University (MiReKoc)

October 30

Immigration and Epidemics: An Historical Perspective​
Speaker: Alan Kraut, Distinguished Professor of History, American University; Past President, Organization of American Historians
Watch Video | View Transcript

November 5

Offshore Citizens: Permanent Temporary Status in the Gulf​
Speaker: Noora Lori, Assistant Professor of International Relations, Boston University; Committee Member, IUCIM

November 20

One Mighty and Irresistible Tide
Speaker: Jia Lynn Yang, Deputy National Editor, The New York Times
Watch Video | View Transcript

Spring 2020 Seminars

February 4

Open Borders, Local Closures: Municipal Curfews and the Lebanese Response to the Syrian Refugee Influx
Speaker: Lama Mourad, Postdoctoral Fellow at Perry World House, University of Pennsylvania, and a SSHRC-Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University and University of Pennsylvania
Watch Video | View Transcript

February 25

The Failed Accession of Turkey to the European Union and the Migrant Crisis
Speaker: Mario Zucconi, Princeton Faculty, and a Visiting Lecturer in Public and International Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School
Watch Video | View Transcript

Fall 2019 Seminars

October 16

Ethnic Identity: Developing a Latina/o identity
Speaker: Silvia Pedraza, Professor of Sociology and American Culture, University of Michigan

October 29

Our Hidden Borders: Guantanamo, Interdiction, and the Rise of Offshore Migration Policing
Speaker: Jeffrey Kahn, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Davis

November 4

America’s Immigration Dilemma
Speaker: Cristina Rodríguez, Leighton Homer Surbeck Professor of Law at Yale Law School

Spring 2019 Seminar

March 18

Our Hidden Borders: Guantánamo, Interdiction, and the Rise of Offshore Migration Policing
Speaker:Jeffrey S. Kahn; Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Davis

Fall 2018 Seminars

October 2

Current State of U.S. Immigration: Trends, Policy Issues, and Public Opinion
Speaker: Neil G. Ruiz, Associate Director of Global Migration and Demography, Pew Research Center

December 4

Asian Americans and Affirmative Action Policy
Speaker: Van C. Tran,  Assistant Professor of Sociology, Columbia University

Spring 2018 Seminars

March 6

The Israeli Asylum System - from Social Exclusion to Deportation
Speaker: Dr. Tally Kritzman-Amir, Visiting Fellow, Harvard Law School Human Rights Program, Scholar in residence, Hadassah Brandeis Institute

April 3

Land Use Planning Innovations in the Midst of a “Migration Crisis”: Transitioning to Long Term Refugee Housing in Hamburg, Germany
Speaker: Jessica Wolff, Master of City Planning Candidate | 2018, MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning, USAID/OFDA Graduate Student Fellow in Humanitarian Shelter and Settlements

Fall 2017 Seminars

October 24

Another History of the Refugee Convention's Additional Protocol
Speaker: Itty Abraham, Assistant Professor, Department of South East Asian Studies, National University of Singapore

November 7

The Migrant Passage: Survival Plays and Clandestine Journeys from Central America
Speaker: Noelle Brigden, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Marquette University

Spring 2017 Seminars

February 27

Starr Forum: Fight Over Foreigners: Visas & Immigration in the Trump Era
Speakers: Baher Azmy, Legal Director at the Center for Constitutional Rights
Laura Rotolo, Staff Counsel at the ACLU of Massachusetts
Jia Lynn Yang, Deputy National Security Editor at the Washington Post
Justin Steil (Moderator), Assistant Professor of Law and Urban Planning at MIT

April 27

China's 'Refugee Policy Divide' and the Predicament of North Korean Defectors
Speaker: Shin-wha Lee, Professor, Department of Political Science and International Relations, Korea University

Fall 2016 Seminars

September 20

Immigration, Democracy, and Discrimination in Small Town America
Speaker: Justin Steil, Assistant Professor of Law and Urban Planning at the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning

November 1

State DAPA? And Other Thoughts on US Immigration Policy in the New Administration
Speaker: Michael J. Wishnie, Deputy Dean for Experiential Education at Yale Law School

Spring 2016 Seminars

February 9

Migrants’ Rights in the UN Human Rights Committee
Speaker: Gerald Neuman, Co-Director of the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School

March 15

Understanding the Impact of War and Displacement in Cities:
an Information Approach for Urban Settings

Speaker: Karen Jacobsen, Acting Director, Feinstein International Center, Tufts University

April 19

Panel Discussion: Refugees and migrants: the current crisis in Greece and Europe
Speakers: Jackie Bhabha, Professor of the Practice at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Lecturer in Law at Harvard Law School
Katerina Sokou, Washington DC correspondent of Kathimerini Greek Daily Newspaper

Fall 2015 Seminars

September 29

Cash, Corn, and Coffins: Mobility, Remittances and Social Protection in Zimbabwe
Speaker: Loren Landau, University of the Witwatersrand

October 27

Muslims in Europe: Transnational Integration Politics
Speaker: Riva Kastoryano, Sciences-Po, Paris

December 8

Still Waiting for Tomorrow: The Law and Politics of Unresolved Refugee Crises with particular emphasis on the refugees in the Middle East
Speaker: Susan Akram, Boston University

Spring 2015 Seminars

March 6

Theorizing International Migration: Towards a Unified Field of Study
Speaker: James F. Hollifield, Southern Methodist University

March 31

Dreaming Europe in the Wake of the Arab Revolts: Causes and Consequences of Migration from the Middle East and North Africa to Europe
Speaker: Philippe Fargues, European University Institute

April 28

Migration, National Security, and New forms of Policing: Dubai and Abu Dhabi
Speaker: Noora A. Lori, Boston University

Fall 2014 Seminars

October 7

African Migration
Speaker: Robert Lucas, Boston University

November 4

40th of the Inter-University Committee on International Migration (IUCIM)
Speakers: John R. Harris, Boston University; Peggy Levitt, Wellesley College; Michael Teitelbaum, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation; Kelly Greenhill, Tufts University

December 2

Conditions of violence in Central America and their effects on emigration from that Region
Speaker: Louisa Reynolds, CIS Neuffer Fellow

Spring 2014 Seminars

February 4

Seeking Harmony between the Formal and Informal: Integrating Migrant Remittances for Post-Conflict Development
Speaker: John R. Harris and Daivi Rodima-Taylor, Boston University

April 15

Syrian Refugees in Jordan and Lebanon: Current and Looming Problems
Speaker: Jennifer Leaning, Harvard University

Fall 2013 Seminars

September 17

Survival Migration: Failed Governance and the Crisis of Displacement
Speaker: Alexander Betts, University of Oxford

October 22

Making their Way -- Women Migrants in Southern Mozambique, 1945 - 1975
Speaker: Jeanne Penvenne, Tufts University

Spring 2013 Seminars

February 5

The Human Cost Towards India's Race for Development
Speaker: Priyanka Borpujari, CIS Neuffer Fellow

Fall 2012 Seminars

October 23

The Other Euro Crisis: Refugee Rights Violations and the Unraveling of EU Solidarity
Speaker: Lillian Langford

November 13

Does Direct Democracy Hurt Immigrant Minorities? Evidence from Naturalization Decisions in Switzerland
Speaker: Jens Hainmueller, MIT

Spring 2012 Seminars


February 7

International Migration, Refugees and Forced Migrants: Questions Answered and Questions Remaining
Speakers: Karen Jacobsen, Tufts University; Nazli Choucri, MIT; Robert Lucas, Boston University; John Harris, Boston University; Peggy Levitt, Wellesley College; Luise Druke, Harvard University

February 21

Immigrants and Voting in the US
Speaker: J. Phillip Thompson, MIT

March 20

Negotiating Homelands: African Indians of South Asias
Speaker: Pashington J. Obeng, Wellesley College

Fall 2011 Seminars

October 25

Assimilation: New Theoretical and Empirical Analyses
Speaker: Guillermina Jasso, New York University

Spring 2011 Seminars

March 29

Creative State: Forty Years of Migration and Development Policy in Morocco and Mexico
Speaker: Natasha Iskander, New York University

April 18

Mobilizing for Refugee Protection: To Mark the 60th Anniversary of UNHCR and the 1951 Refugee Convention
Speaker: Luise Druke, Suffolk University

Fall 2010 Seminars

November 10

Unmaking Citizens: The Law and Politics of Denaturalization in the 20th Century United States
Speaker: Patrick Weil, Yale University

December 2

Recombinant Geographies of Citizenship: Differentiation's of 'the Right to the City' in Sáo Paulo, Caracas, and Buenos Aires
Speaker: Ryan Centner, Tufts University


Contact Details:
Myron Weiner Seminar Series on International Migration at MIT 
Center for International Studies
1 Amherst Street, E40-400
Cambridge, MA 02142