Migrant Knowledge, Early Modern and Beyond: an Event at the Crossroads

15 September 2019 - 17 September 2019

Kettle's Yard, Cambridge (Sunday 15) and Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge (Monday 16 and Tuesday 17)


People, things, ideas and languages have crossed borders since the earliest of times. Such passages have entailed epistemic shifts and encounters, transactions and transformations. A Crossroads of Knowledge initiative, this public event brings together scholars, artists and activists to think about migration and what it does with, and to, knowledge. In tune with the Crossroads project, we begin in the early modern world, but move freely across periods to dwell on the urgent experience of migrancy in our own times. We aim to acknowledge the many meanings of ‘migration’ and ‘knowledge’, to probe the history of their interrelation, and to use our imaginative engagement with crossings of knowledge in its many forms.

The five-year ERC-funded project, Crossroads of Knowledge in Early Modern England: the Place of Literature, is based jointly in the Faculty of English and CRASSH, at the University of Cambridge.


For further information about this event, please contact Anna Seecharan ats52@cam.ac.uk


Convened by

Subha Mukherji (University of Cambridge)

Rowan Williams (University of Cambridge)

Natalya Din-Kariuki (University of Warwick)

Carla Suthren (University of Cambridge)


with the Crossroads of Knowledge project


ERC Logo and EU Flag


This project, KNOWING, has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7-2007-2013). Grant agreement No. 617849.

For further information please contact crossroads@crassh.cam.ac.uk, but be aware that this project has closed and emails are not monitored frequently – we apologise for any delay in replying to you. 

Migrant Knowledge

Talks, Poetry Readings, Performances, Installations, Conversations

Day 1: Kettle's Yard (Ede Room)


Registration and Trade Winds exhibition viewing


Welcome Address: Subha Mukherji (Principal Investigator, Crossroads of Knowledge in Early Modern England: The Place of Literature)


'Building beehives: the Melissa Network in Athens': Nadina Christopoulou & A.E. Stallings


'Sound Crossings': poetry readings by Angela Leighton (University of Cambridge) & A.E. Stallings

Chair and response: Tania Demetriou (University of Cambridge)


'Loving Justice': Regina Schwartz (Northwestern University), in conversation with Rowan Williams (University of Cambridge)


Trade Winds an installation by Susan Stockwell; introduced by Carla Suthren

Opening drinks reception with canapés

Day 2: Fitzwilliam College (Auditorium)


Arrival & Coffee (Auditorium Foyer)


Clair Wills (University of Cambridge) & Darshan Tatla (Punjabi University), 'Migrant Knowledge and Oral Tradition'

Chair: Rowan Williams (University of Cambridge)


Stories in Transit & the Giocherenda workshop from Palermo will show a film of their work, introduced by Valentina Castagna, Dine Diallo and Marina Warner, followed by a practical workshop with poets, musicians and storytellers.

Chair: Matthew Reynolds (University of Oxford)


Short break (Auditorium Foyer)


Stories in Transit & the Giocherenda workshop from Palermo will show a film of their work, introduced by Valentina Castagna, Dine Diallo and Marina Warner, followed by a practical workshop with poets, musicians and storytellers.

Chair: Matthew Reynolds (University of Oxford)


Lunch (The Grove)


Rosita D'Amora (University of Salento), 'Fickle Turbans and Mercurial Fashions: Blurring the Boundaries of Identities between Europe and the Ottoman Empire'

Yousif M. Qasmiyeh (University of Oxford), 'The Camp is the Border'

Chair: Sasha Dugdale (University of Cambridge)


Supriya Chaudhuri (Jadavpur University), 'Between dulce and utile: itinerant knowledge in the travels of Ludovico di Varthema'

Jonathan Gil Harris (Ashoka University), 'Migrant Matter: A Vision of the Virgin Mary in a Malabar Temple, 1498'

Chair: Mary Laven (University of Cambridge)


Tea Break (Auditorium Foyer)


The Good Chance Theatre

Connecting Communities and Stages: Calais and Beyond


Edmund de Waal, The Library of Exile

Chair: Subha Mukherji (University of Cambridge)


Drinks Reception (The Grove)


Dinner (Hall)

Day 3: Fitzwilliam College (Chapel)


Arrival & Coffee (Chapel Crypt, and gardens if fair)


Natalya Din-Kariuki (University of Warwick), 'Travel Writing, Poetics, and the Early Modern Knowledge Economy'

John Gallagher (University of Leeds), 'Looking through the glass window: immigrant notaries and the social history of translation in early modern London'

Chair: Jason Scott-Warren (University of Cambridge)


Coffee break (Chapel Crypt)


'Curating Migration': The Migration Museum, with Clair Wills


'Leave to Remain': Issam Kourbaj (University of Cambridge), in conversation with Simon Goldhill (University of Cambridge)


Anupam Basu (Washington University), '"Loitering lusks and lazy lorels": Vagrancy and Labour in Rogue Pamphlets'

George Oppitz-Trotman (University of Cambridge), 'Travel, the Stranger, and the Concept of the Stage'

Chair: Camilla Temple (University of Cambridge)


Lunch (The Grove)


Annabel Brett (University of Cambridge), 'Knowledge in translation: Between the local and the universal'

Olga Demetriou (University of Durham), 'Forms of Knowledge in Refugee Recognition'

Chair: Ed Holberton (University of Bristol)


Dragana Jurišić (Dublin City University), 'The Lost Country'

Chair: Gillian Beer (University of Cambridge)


Roundtable chaired by Rowan Williams (Upper Hall 2)

With Nadina Christopoulou (The Melissa Network), Valerie Forman (New York University), Chiara Ghidini (University of Naples), Simon Goldhill (University of Cambridge), Subha Mukherji (University of Cambridge), Edward Wilson-Lee (University of Cambridge)

Over cheese and wine


This event is free to attend. Refreshments will be provided during the day. Please follow the link below to register (you will be asked to choose which days you would like to attend):

  • Day 1 - at Kettle's Yard (Sunday 15) Note: space is limited; places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis
  • Day 2 - at Fitzwilliam College (Monday 16)
  • Day 3 - at Fitzwilliam College (Tuesday 17)


FREE Registration for Days 1, 2, and 3


If you wish to attend the conference dinner on Day 2 at Fitzwilliam College there will be a fee:

£30 (Standard rate)
£15 (Student rate)


BUY A TICKET for the Conference Dinner on Monday 16

** Registration for the Conference Dinner has been re-opened until 12:00 Midday on Monday 9 September **


For further information about registering for this event, please contact Anna Seecharan ats52@cam.ac.uk