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CSU to Host Cleveland Humanities Festival Film and Panel


Thursday, March 30, at 6:00 pm
CSU Music and Communication Building, Drinko Recital Hall

Free and open to the public

Film and Panel Discussion

The term ‘refugee crisis” has recently appeared in the media and in politics as Syrian refugees seek safety in the United States, but there is a longer, often overlooked history of refugees in the United States that provides insight to current debates and issues.  Often lost in the political debates are the refugees’ own voices.   This panel brings together history and film to explore how these two mediums reveal the past and present of the refugee experience in the United States.  Historians Stephanie Hinnershitz, Eric Tang, and Melissa Borja join filmmaker Cigdem Slankard for a viewing of a short film titled “Fresh Start” from Professor Slankard on Somali-Bantu refugees living in New Hampshire followed by a discussion of the history of refugee settlement in the United States during the twentieth century.


Cigdem Slankard is an assistant professor in the School of Communication at CSU.  She is a filmmaker where work addresses important social issues.

Stephanie Hinnershitz is an assistant professor in the Department of History at CSU who specializes in Asian immigration to the United States and has recently published Race, Religion, and Civil Rights: Assistant Students on the West Coast, 1900-1968.  (Rutgers University Press, 2015)

Melissa Borja is an assistant professor in the Department of History at CUNY-College of Staten Island who specializes in immigration history with a focus on the resettlement of Hmong refugees in Minnesota, Michigan, and Ohio following the Vietnam War.

Eric Tang is an assistant professor in the African and African Diaspora Department at the University of Texas at Austin where he also holds a joint appointment in the Center for Asian American Studies. Tang specializes in the urban resettlement of Cambodian refugees in the United States during the 1980s and has recently published Unsettled: Cambodian Refugees in the New York City Hyperghetto. (Temple University Press, 2015)