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About this lecture

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Much social science still sees rootedness and boundedness as the norm while mobility and connection are the exception. But because more and more people live transnational lives, we need new concepts and methods for understanding the relationship between migrating people and migrating culture and how they effect poverty alleviation and development. The first part of this lecture will suggest ways to understand culture in motion. The second half will showcase findings from three studies on different aspects of the relationship between migrating people and culture—the first is research about how return migrants and social remittances are influencing the health sector in India, the second is about if and how cultural institutions create national and global identities, and the third is on the new forms of global social protection and provision that arise in response to a world on the move.

About the speaker

Peggy Levitt is a Professor of Sociology at Wellesley College and the co-Director of the Transnational Studies Initiative at Harvard University. In 2014, She received an Honorary Doctoral Degree from Maastricht University. She was a Senior Visiting Scholar at the Universities of Deusto (Bilbao), Latvia, and Valencia in 2013, the Visiting International Fellow at the Vrije University in Amsterdam from 2010-2012 and the Willie Brandt Guest Professor at the University of Malmö in 2009. Her books include Religion on the Edge (Oxford University Press, 2012), God Needs No Passport: Immigrants and the Changing American Religious Landscape (New Press 2007), The Transnational Studies Reader (Routledge 2007), The Changing Face of Home: The Transnational Lives of the Second Generation  (Russell Sage 2002), and The Transnational Villagers (UC Press, 2001). She has also edited special volumes of Racial and Ethnic Studies, International Migration Review, Global Networks, Mobilities, and the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.  A film based on her work, Art Across Borders, came out in 2009. Her current book project, The Bog and the Beast: Museums, the Nation, and the Globe, explores how museums around the world are responding to immigration and globalization.