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European Union Centre of Excellence

EU Affairs Seminar: The Maturing of the Multicultural Experiment – European Challenges Coming to Canada?, March 7, 2011

On March 7th, 2011, the European Union Centre of Excellence (EUCE) at York University, Toronto, will be hosting a one-day conference, convening under the theme: “The Maturing of the Multicultural Experiment: European Challenges Coming to Canada?” Scholars and activists from across Canada and around the globe will be meeting at York’s Keele Campus to share their ideas on this timely and compelling topic.

Convened by EUCE York Research Fellows, Hannah Biesterfeld (Master’s Candidate, Political Science, York), Karina Pogosyan (MPIA candidate, Glendon School of Public and International Affairs, York) and Sibylle Schaffhauser (Master’s Candidate, North American Studies, Freie Universität Berlin), this event has grown out of the work of the EUCE research group examining comparative experiences with multiculturalism policies in the last decades.

The conference panels will selectively focus on three aspects of what has become an exceptionally broad and very dynamic field, which has found resonance not only in numerous scholarly publications, but in the media and wider public debates as well. Within each panel, participants will speak about their research findings and/or experiences in public advocacy, in particular areas of multicultural policy. The conference has been divided into three panels which, in their turn, will address the current discussion surrounding different countries’ policies vis à vis the Roma, the experiences of Muslim immigrants, including the public debates surrounding the issue of the veil/headscarf, and conclude with a panel on the larger theoretical and contextual dimensions of multiculturalism.

This is an open event. Interested scholars, students, and members of the public are cordially invited to attend, but are requested to preregister by March 1st at Light lunch will be served.

Conference Program
519 York Research Tower
(building #95 on the map found here)

8.30 – 9.00 am          Registration
Light breakfast

9.00 – 9.15 am          Opening Remarks
Peer Zumbansen, Canada Research Chair Osgoode Hall Law School; Co-Director European Union Centre of Excellence, York University, Toronto

9.15 – 10.30 am       Roma Experiences Table I – History and Integration (click for access to presenter bios and paper abstracts)

Chair: Karina Pogosyan, MPIA Candidate 2011, Glendon School of Public and International Affairs, York University, Toronto
Roma Refugees to Canada: 1900 – 2011

Ronald Lee, The Roma Community Centre, Toronto

The EU and the Roma: A Path to Social and Economic Inclusion?
Melanie Ram, California State University, Fresno, U.S.A.

Roma from Eastern Europe; the View from the Ground
Bernard Rorke, The Open Society Foundations, Hungary

10.30-10.45 am        Coffee Break

10.45-12.15 pm        Roma Experiences Table II – Inclusion and Integration: Issues and Challenges (click for access to presenter bios and paper abstracts)

Chair: Peer Zumbansen, Canada Research Chair Osgoode Hall Law School; Co-Director European Union Centre of Excellence, York University, Toronto

Roma Refugee Families in Canada:  Exclusion or Integration?
Christine A. Walsh, University of Calgary

Inclusion and Integration through Litigation? The American Impact on the Roma Situation in Europe
Jacqueline Gehring, Allegheny College, U.S.A.

Picking the right (legal) strategy: the futility of the racial discrimination charge in overcoming Romani exclusion in Central and Eastern Europe
Morag Goodwin, Tilburg University, The Netherlands

12.15-1.30 pm          Lunch (provided)

1.30 – 3.15 pm          Muslim Experiences (click for access to presenter bios and paper abstracts)

Chair: Sibylle Schaffhauser, Master’s Candidate 2011, North American Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

The multicultural experiment: robust enough to resist the backlash against Muslims ?
Eléonore Lépinard, Université de Montréal

Headscarves and National Identity in Germany
Robert Gould, Carleton University, Ottawa

Veiled debates: Gender and headscarves/veils as tools in European National Narratives
Rikke Andreassen, Roskilde University, Denmark

Culturalist Impasse and Democratic Delusions
Sedef Arat-Koç, Ryerson University, Toronto

3.15 – 3.30 pm          Coffee Break

3.30 – 5.00 pm          The Prospects for Multiculturalism (click here for access to presenter bios and paper abstracts)

Chair: Hannah Biesterfeld, Master’s Candidate 2011, Political Science, York University, Toronto

Terminus Switzerland: Female Diaspora in Andrea Staka’s film “Das Fräulein”
Charlotte Schallié, University of Victoria

Toronto: A Multicultural Success Story?
Myer Siemiatycki, Ryerson University, Toronto

The reports of multiculturalism’s death are greatly exaggerated
Patti Tamara Lenard, University of Ottawa

Liberty, Equality, Uniformity: a hidden thread of Europe’s modern history
Adrian Shubert, York University, Toronto

Patchwork vs Integrative Multiculturalism: The Case of Muslims in Canada
Saeed Rahnema, York University, Toronto

5.00-5.15 pm            Closing Remarks

For more information, please contact