2017 Global Affairs Conference: "Dynamics of Inequality: New Thinking in Global Affairs"

On April 21, 2017, the Student Association of Global Affairs (SAGA) and Rutgers Division of Global Affairs jointly hosted the 2017 Global Affairs Conference. This year's conference focused on "Dynamics of Inequality: New Thinking in Global Affairs" and as such sought to create a space where traditional narratives of international relations are deconstructed and new fields of relevance in global affairs such as systems of oppression and inequalities along the lines of race, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability and others are explored.


The conference featured 18 presenters who were selected out of the 50 abstracts received and hailed from all over the US and the globe. Within the US, Rutgers University (Division of Global Affairs, School of Criminal Justice, and the New Brunswick campus), Columbia University, Princeton University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Indiana University - Bloomington, The New School, Atlantic Cape Community College, UNC - Chapel Hill, New York University, and Stockton University were represented. International institutions included: University of Athens, Università della Svizzera Italiana, the French Embassy in the United States, Leiden University, and the University of Belgrade.


Patricia Williams, Professor of Law at Columbia University and former MacArthur Fellow, opened the conference by looking at questions of inequality and discrimination from the angle of law and exploring how issues of societal importance around these themes are put into the private sphere rather than being discussed as constitutional issues. The keynote address, delivered by Elisa von Joeden-Forgey, Professor of Holocaust Studies at Stockton University, talked about the importance of recognizing the early signs of genocide and addressing them at the grassroots level as well as the need to see how genocide plays out in different forms and varieties and against different groups.

The conference was organized by the 2016-2017 SAGA board including (in alphabetical order); Sabrina Axster, Lillian Hussong, Sean Maguire, Shelby Moulton, Jessica Mulcahy-Miller, Joshua Shaw and Yvan Ilunga. SAGA would like to thank all of the chairs and discussants who participated in the conference, Express Newark, the Division of Global Affairs and the Rutgers Graduate School - Newark for their support.

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