Thursday, 1 October 2015

Exciting News! The Émigré Project has expanded beyond our little group into a larger collaborative project. Dr. Paul Stortz, who researches the intellectual history of Canadian universities and academic institutes has begun to collaborate on our project by focussing on émigré professors who came to North America during 1932-1950. His researcher nicely coincides with our project, as many of our scholars worked in academia in some form or another.

Dr. Stortz has just applied for a grant from the Calgary Institute of Humanities to help organize a collaborative reading group for our project. The hope is that such a grant will enable the individuals involved to read secondary literature on the subject of forced migration and academic culture. A reading group will enable us to meet once a month to discuss this literature, confer, and conceptualize the many facets of the project.

Such a reading group is an interdisciplinary one at its core. It is hoped that through further readings and discussion we can gain the tools we need to tease out the four main goals of the project:

1- Who these scholars were and their personal experiences of being forced out of Europe.
2- Their experiences of emigrating and the associated personal and professional upheaval they faced.
3- Their personal and professional experiences once they got to Canada, the United States, or (of interest to Dr. Stortz and Dr. Weindling) England.
4- (and most importantly) How they impacted the scientific culture of universities and scientists in their new countries.

The grant Dr. Stortz is applying for is a small one, with hopes for enough to provide a bit of refreshment during our reading group meetings and perhaps to allow us to bring in one speaker for a lecture on the topic. Dr. Stortz has currently planned five reading group meetings and already tracked down the relevant reading material for discussion! Most meetings will focus on either a specific émigré or a group of people.
Here's to hoping that the funding comes through - every academics’ wish!

- Paula

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