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The contact with the other: reflections on identities and interculturality

by Richard Meckien - published Nov 09, 2015 03:55 PM - - last modified Jun 04, 2019 11:49 AM
Rights: Original version in Portuguese by Sylvia Miguel. Translation by Carlos Malferrari.

The issue of emigration and immigration is on the media’s agenda and has received special attention in international relations. At a time when the world is questioning how to deal with refugees from war and hunger, and how relations among cultures may coexist in the same territory, the IEA’s Intercultural Dialogues Research Group will hold a symposium on Refuge, Return, E/Immigration: Languages, Identities, Mental Health, Beliefs, Territory. The event will take place on November 27, in the former room of USP’s University Council, from 9 am to 6 pm.

“The goal is to bring to public notice the results of the research group, interventions and the studies on the contact between people arising from the displacement of cultural groups,” says organizer Sylvia Dantas, coordinator of the research group and a professor at Unifesp.

Interdisciplinary and inter-institutional in nature, the research group’s objective is to study intercultural contact, using theoretical approaches and methodologies specific to its fields of inquiry, according to Dantas.

“The event will seek to bring the complexity of the issue of displaced people and the challenges faced by societies that receive these migrant groups,” she says.

The symposium is organized into three roundtables. At the opening conference, Jeffrey Lesser, visiting professor at the IEA and member of the Intercultural Dialogues Research Group, will talk about “The Invention of Brazilianity: National Identity, Ethnicity and Immigration Policy.”

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“Territories and Beliefs” are the themes of the first panel discussion, with lectures on umbanda and shamanism, and the presence of foreigners in São Paulo. In the next roundtable, the discussion will relate migration and mental health. In the afternoon, experts will analyze the experiences of linguistic receptivity.

The speakers will found their analyses on the multidisciplinary bases of History, Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology and Language Teaching, according to professor Dantas.