back to archive October 10, 2014

Mob-Ility Symposium

Conceived by prof. Alessandra Von Burg, with the collaboration of the Students of ‘Italian Citizenship Beyond the Stereotypes’ and the support of the Provost’s Office for Global Affairs –
Wake Forest University

Casa Artom in Venice is named after Camillo Artom, who left Italy under the Fascist regime and found refuge in North Carolina, where the medical school at Wake Forest University granted him a visa. The story of Camillo Artom is one of mobility, the theme of the Mob-ility Symposium held on October 10, 2014. The Symposium is an opportunity to reflect on the movement of persons, ideas, traditions, goods, and the political, social, and cultural ramifications of mobility, as they relate to the changing practices in travel, the environment, social-economic status, and technology.
These often include, but are not limited to, discussion of citizenship, immigration, diasporas, belonging, and place. Specifically, the Symposium invites a focus on the people who move (the ‘mob’ in mobility): migrants, travelers, tourists, temporary citizens, and asylum seekers, refugees, stateless people. Venice is a perfect site for the ‘Mob-ility Symposium’ as a historic trade city, a merchants’ harbor where people have always come and gone.
Keynote speaker Dima Mohammed (Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal) Discussing on the Move: Personal Reflections. “To be on the move is to learn to live with differences: not just the different places and the different people we meet, but also the different people we become ourselves. Discussions are good ways of dealing with differences: by acknowledging them and engaging with them we can make the best out of our mobility, and in order to be able to do that, it is essential that we see some common ground and build on it. In this talk, I reflect on my personal mobility experience and explore the connection between mobility and (argumentative) discussion. I use concepts from argumentation studies –ex. critical discussion (van Eemeren and Grootendorst, 2004), as well as from migration studies –ex. transnationalism (Vertovec, 2009) and from moral philosophy –ex. cosmopolitanism (Appiah, 2006), in order to highlight aspects in which mobility and discussion skills are interdependent. I show how, in my own experience as a descendent of Palestinian refugees who has herself settled and moved between 5 different countries (not always voluntarily), the more I move the better I can discuss and the better I can discuss the more I make out of my mobility.