Seminar on Immigration

Faculty from the University of Zagreb, Mississippi State University, and George Mason University will jointly lead a week-long seminar at the University of Split that explores the emerging social issues surrounding migration and refugee status. The seminar will focus on three key themes: health and migration; security and migration; and representation and portrayal of migrants in the media.
Mississippi State University
George Mason University
University of Zagreb

in cooperation with

University of Split


June 6-11


University of Split @ Split, Croatia


$750 (includes 3 meals and 2 receptions)


  • $500 deposit due April 15, 2016 to secure a spot
  • Food, lodging, air travel, and transportation not included in tuition
  • Scholarships available for students from host universities


Megan Stubbs-Richardson
Research Associate at the Social Science
Research Center of Mississippi State University

To apply, please contact Megan Stubbs-Richardson.


  • Arthur G. Cosby, PhD, Director, Social Science Research Center, Mississippi State University
  • Leslie H. Hossfeld, PhD, Professor and Head of Sociology, Mississippi State University
  • Viktorija Car, PhD Assistant Professor, Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb
  • Dagmar Radin, PhD, Associate Professor, Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb
  • Tonya T. Neaves, PhD, MPPA, Managing Director, Centers on the Public Service, School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs, George Mason University


Monday, June 6thCity Tour, Welcoming Session and Reception
Tuesday, June 7thWorkshop session on Migration and Health organized by Dr. Damar Radin, University of Zagreb,

Migration and Health

While migration is not a new phenomenon, political conflicts and wars have increased the movement of people from the Middle East and North Africa in recent years. Given the increasingly restrictive and violent measures that the governments of the immigrant destination countries (prevalent in the EU) have put in place to police their borders, the impact on health has been catastrophic. One the one hand there are increased deaths during the transitory phase of the immigrant path, and then there is post-traumatic stress disorders, anxiety, and lack of access to proper and timely medical care, particularly of the vulnerable populations. Once the migrants and asylum seekers find a permanent new home, the secondary effects of the health issues can represent a new challenge to the existing national health care system. These and related issues have significant implications on global health and human rights and will remain highly significant in the years to come.

For this panel we invite papers from across disciplines that address issues related to migrants and health from a broad perspective: single country case, specific migrant groups, health issues, global health perspective, migrant health policy, health as a human right, migration and health systems, etc.

Wednesday, June 8thWorkshop session on Mass Migration and Threats to Security organized by Dr. Tonya Neaves, George Mason University,

Mass Migration and Threats to Security

Security threats are continually increasing. Per General Michael Hayden, today’s world is more dangerous, complicated, and immediate than ever before. Given the tectonic shifts of globalization and the expansion of democratization, the nexus between security and sociocultural respect and liberty presents a variety of policy and administrative challenges. This societal risk has been further exacerbated by the recent Syrian refugee crisis and ongoing mass migration. With a fundamental ad heightened fear of changing the social and cultural fabric of society, the immigration tidal wave presents a politically charged phenomenon. The purpose of this panel is to investigate the common denominators faced by policy makers and public administrators when those challenges are amplified by the security-based contextual background.

For this panel, proposals from across disciplines that address the following topics are invited to apply:

  1. The theoretical implications of mass migration for international affairs and national defense;
  2. The practical implications of mass migration for emergency management;
  3. The paradigmatic shifts of immigration policy;
  4. The effect of mass migration on multi and intergovernmental relations; and
  5. The need for immigration-based private-public partnerships.
Thursday, June 9thCultural Day — Explore Split, Croatia
Friday, June 10thWorkshop session on Representation and Portrayal of Migrant Populations in the Media organized by Dr. Viktorija Car, University of Zagreb,

Representation and Portrayal of Migrant Populations in the Media

In 2015 refugees from Syria and migrants from the Middle East and North Africa have become front page news in many European newspapers. While in some countries (e.g. Croatia) they have been portrayed in media usually as victims (pictures of children, women, families, couples walking hand in hand, etc.), in some other countries (e.g. Hungary or Czech Republic) they have been portrayed in media often as a threat (young men with angry faces).

Depending on news selection, presentation and framing, news shapes our identities, our attitudes toward the community, toward social, national and other minorities, and our general view on the world around us. Whether information is factual or fictional it has to be assembled into a narrative. The importance of narrative arises from the notion that all stories are ultimately framed by the prevailing cultural and political ideologies from which they are told.

To understand media narratives, a wide range of story-telling devices, including myths or mythical structures, that are an integral part of their construction must be examined. It is important to understand the context in which journalists construct news stories, and how these stories relate to the culture of which they are both a reflection and a representation.

For this panel we invite papers on ways in which refugees and migrants have been discursively constructed by the media (print media, television, digital news media, social networks).

Closing session: Reflections on what we have learned. Organized by Dr. Art Cosby and Dr. Leslie Hossfeld, Mississippi State University
Saturday, June 11thRegional tour (optional)