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Marcelo M. Suárez-Orozco ()  

Marcelo M. Suárez-Orozco
Courtney Sale Ross University Professor and co-Director of Immigration Studies, New York University

Marcelo M. Suarez-Orozco´s research, on conceptual and empirical problems in the areas of cultural psychology and psychological anthropology with a focus on the study of mass migration, globalization, and education, has been funded by the NSF, W. T. Grant, Spencer, Ford, Carnegie, other national and international foundations, and donors. He is author of numerous scholarly essays, award-winning books, and edited volumes published by some of the leading scholarly outlets in the world -- including multiple books with Harvard University Press, Stanford University Press, the University of California Press, Cambridge University Press, New York University Press, and numerous scholarly papers appearing in international journals, in a range of disciplines and languages, including Harvard Educational Review, Revue Française de Pédagogie (Paris), Harvard Business Review, Cultuur en Migratie (Leuven), Harvard International Review, Temas: Cultura, Ideologia y Sociedad (Havana), Harvard Policy Review, Ethos, International Migration (Geneva), Anthropology and Education Quarterly, The Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Annual Reviews of Anthropology, and others.

Professor Suarez-Orozco is the Courtney Sale Ross University Professor of Globalization and Education at New York University where he also holds the title of Univerisity Professor. At Harvard, he was the Victor S. Thomas Professor of Education and Culture. In 1997, along with Carola Suarez-Orozco, he co-founded the Harvard Immigration Projects and co-directed the largest study ever funded in the history of the National Science Foundation´s Cultural Anthropology division - a study of Asian, Afro-Caribbean, and Latino immigrant youth in American society. The award-winning book reporting the results of this landmark study, Learning A New Land: Immigrant Students in American Society (C. Suarez-Orozco, M. Suarez-Orozco, and I. Todorova) was published by Harvard University Press in 2008 At the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, he was the Richard Fisher Membership Fellow (2009-2010), working on education and globalization - including Educating the Whole Child for the Whole World with Carolyn Sattin-Bajaj, published in 2010 by New York University Press , and on immigration, including Writing Immigration: Scholars and Journalists in Dialogue published by the University of California Press in 2011

Professor Suarez-Orozco lectures widely throughout the world. He has delivered major addresses at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, The Holy See, the Word Economic Forum, the German Foreign Ministry, the Mexican Chancellery, the Tällberg Forum in Sweden (with Her Majesty Queen Silvia in attendance), the United Nations, the U. S. Congress, the Aspen Institute, the Federal Reserve Bank and other venues. In the Spring of 2005, under the auspices of The Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation (Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, RJ) and the City of Stockholm, Professor Suarez-Orozco convened the First International Conference on Globalization and Learning in Sweden He was twice elected Directeur d´Etudes Associe at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris. He has delivered the Norbert Elias Lecture at the Amsterdam School for Social Sciences and has been Visiting Professor of Psychology at the University of Barcelona (Spain), Visiting Professor of Anthropology at the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium), and Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford where he wrote with Carola Suarez-Orozco, the award-winning Transformations: Migration, Family Life and Achievement Motivation among Latino Adolescents (Stanford University Press, 1995) Professor Suarez-Orozco was educated in Argentina and at the University of California, Berkeley where he received his A.B. (Psychology, 1980), M.A. (Anthropology, 1981) and Ph. D. (Anthropology, 1986). In 2004 he was elected to the National Academy of Education, in 2006 he was awarded The Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle - Mexico´s highest honor to a foreign national, and in 2012 he was appointed Special Advisor to the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and the City of the Hague on Education, Peace, and Justice. Professor Suarez-Orozco´s basic research is regularly featured in the global media including the NYT, WSJ, The Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, U.S News and World Report, The Huffington Post, The Economist, NPR, CNN, MSNBC, as well as in the leading European, Middle Eastern, and Latin American outlets.

 "What does "Dialogue" mean to you?

´Dialogue´ especially across continents and disciplines means, above all, proceeding cautiously and always rethinking one´s taken for granted schemas and ideas about how the world works. In my field of basic research - focused on study of mass migration - there are important and fascinating differences in how basic research questions are framed in different disciplines in Italy and the U.S.

In what ways do Europeans and Americans think about Immigration differently?

When it comes to immigration Americans are of two minds. We love immigration looking backwards -- the great travails and triumphs of yesterday´s immigrants from Italy, Ireland and Eastern Europe are immortalized in classic American literature, Hollywood films, and in countless family narratives recounting how we came to be the country we are now. In the here and now, it is another story all together: anxiety and ambivalence rule the day. Americans nearly always worry about the adaptations of new arrivals and how they would change American society. A hundred yeas ago there was near panic about the Irish, Italians, and Eastern Europeans immigrants. Catholics and Jews were specially singled out and said to be unassimilable in a predominantly Anglo Saxon and Protestant country. Looking backwards the xenophobic anxieties of yesteryear seem ridiculous: every single member of the United States Supreme Court today is either Catholic or Jewish. They have integrated very well indeed! In Europe the story is more complicated. In Italy, Spain and Ireland the historical gaze tells a story of emigration, not immigration. Immigration in the here and now is about a narrative transformation from "us" and emigrants in history to "them" as immigrants in the here and now. Of course the concerns over religion overlap: Americans panicked about the Catholics and the Jews of yesteryear and Europeans now worry about the place of Islam in a society were secularism is pursued with religious fervor.

Is Europe following a similar trajectory to the United States ?

It is said that when Charles De Gaulle asked Chairman Mao what he thought of the French Revolution, Mao replied: "It is too early to tell." Well it is too early to tell whether Europe and the U.S. will follow similar trajectories qua immigration moving forward. Mass migration in Europe is largely a post-war phenomenon - with some exceptions like France. It is also differs from the United States in that former colonials play a much greater role and so do refugees and asylum seekers. In the U.S. unauthorized immigration is the "elephant n the room."

What did you take away from your experience at La Pietra?

Marvelous colleagues and an amazing staff in a divine setting are most conductive to scholarly refection and exchanges at the highest levels of excellence."

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