The Impact of Intellectuals Abroad: Transnational Influences Since World War II

May 25-26, 2011

This workshop, organized by Middlebury College and funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, focuses on the dispersal, exile, and other movement of intellectuals (broadly defined) across national borders since World War II. Topics of discussion include ways in which migrant or exiled intellectuals from particular nations or regions have met the historically specific challenges of living in another country. Participants will visit the major archives in New York City that specialize in intellectual diasporas. The workshop will address three main questions:

  1. How have intellectuals, collectively or individually, met the challenges of crossing political, linguistic, class and racial borders?
  2. How have they influenced the political, cultural, and social landscapes in their host countries?
  3. How have intellectuals re-imagined their relationships to their home(land)s?
  4. James Clifford’s apt concept of “traveling cultures” is a springboard to discuss how intellectuals from one region insert themselves into or influence cultural spaces and processes in other regions. By studying the relationships between or among sojourners and hosts, we hope to explore the inevitable racial, ethnic, class, gendered and linguistic implications of cross-cultural contact.

The event is co-sponsored by Middlebury College, ICMEC, and Global Studies.

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