2007, Fri, Oct 19

Immigration and Ethnicity in New York and Berlin

New York - Berlin: Cultural Diversity in Urban Space

Times Square, New York | (c) Frank Paul

Times Square, New York | (c) Frank Paul

Diversity, the very quality that sets a global metropolis apart, at the same time challenges city dwellers to reconcile divergent interests. What does it mean to be an immigrant or a descendant of immigrants in New York? And in Berlin? What concepts of 'foreignness' have the people of these cities developed? What can Berlin learn from New York with regard to urban residents' sense of belonging?


With Nancy Foner, sociologist, Hunter College and Graduate Center, City University of New York, and Nevim Çil, Institute for European Ethnology, Humboldt University Berlin.

Moderated by Michael Werz, German Marshall Fund of the United States, Washington


Nevim Çil is a researcher and lecturer at the Institute of European Ethnology at Humboldt University in Berlin. Her research, publications, and teaching focus on immigration and family relations. Her doctoral dissertation (2005) was entitled Topography of the Outsider: Turkish Generations and the German-German Re-unification Process. Ms. Çil is a co-editor of Insider-Outsider: Bilder, ethnisierte Räume und Partizipation im Migrationsprozess (2005). Her current project focuses on kinship as a representation of social order and reproductive transformation processes.


Nancy Foner is a professor of sociology at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Her main area of interest is immigration. She has studied Jamaicans in their home society as well as in New York and London, nursing home workers in New York, and has written widely on immigration to New York City. She is particularly interested in the comparative study of immigration. Her publications include: Wounded City: The Social Impact of 9/11 (ed., 2005), New Immigrants in New York (2001), Islands in the City: West Indian Migration to New York (2001), and From Ellis Island to JFK: New York’s Two Great Waves of Immigration (2000).


Michael Werz holds a Ph.D. in philosophy and an M.A. in philosophy, political science and Latin American studies from Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University in Frankfurt am Main. He wrote his Hablitation (second book and post-doctoral lecture) at the Institute for Sociology at Hannover University. He is a Transatlantic Fellow with the German Marshall Fund in Washington D.C. where he recently completed a project on how ethnic diversity positively impacts the U.S. foreign service and the development of American foreign policy. His research drew lessons to be learned from the American model, asking how in Europe and Germany ethnic communities could add value and cultural competencies to future policies. Michael Werz also held appointments as a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., and as a John F. Kennedy Fellow at Harvard's Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies. He is widely published on the areas of race, ethnicity, and nationalism, Anti-Americanism and intellectual migration.


The conference is a joint event of the House of World Cultures and the Center for Metropolitan Studies, Berlin/New York.


Concept: Susanne Stemmler (Center for Metropolitan Studies) and Sven Arnold (House of World Cultures)