Stockton to Host ‘Metamorphosis: The Human Stories,’ International Refugee Crisis Symposium

For Immediate Release; events schedule below


Contact:         Maryjane Briant
                        News and Media Relations Director
                        Galloway, N.J. 08205
                        (609) 652-4593

Galloway, N.J. - Stockton University will host an international symposium “Metamorphosis: The Human Stories.” on Feb. 20 – 23, 2017 at the Galloway campus and at the Noyes Art Garage Gallery in Atlantic City.

The “Metamorphosis” project connects the U.S., Germany, Armenia, and Greece and focuses on the global immigrant and refugee crisis through a series of mets. It is a part of, and builds on, a broader multicultural project, which began in 2016 in Germany and Armenia and will conclude in this year in Dresden, Germany.

“This symposium aims to underscore the crisis not only as an economic and/or political matter, but as a global challenge to our very sense of humanity,” said Mariana Smith, assistant professor of Art (Printmaking), and organizer of the symposium.

Smith explained that the overarching theme is to present the dissolved identities and disappearing borders in relation to the plight of an individual, often cast using monolithic generalizations including, but not limited to, “refugee,” “exile,” “host,” and “asylum.”

This event highlights academic and community outreach projects and conversations in fields of history, literature, holocaust studies, global studies, sociology, and art. The presenters will share the projects and scholarships at the Stockton University, Dresden Fine Art Academy in Germany, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece, Gyumri branch of Yerevan Fine Art Academy, and the Gallery of Aslamazyan Sisters in Armenia. Other partner institutions include: Ocean City Arts Center and Jugend- & Kulturprojekt e.V., Germany. 

Stockton sponsoring organizations include: 2020 Strategic Global Initiatives; School of Arts and Humanities - Visual Arts Program; Hellenic Studies; Holocaust and Genocide Studies Program; Office of Global Engagement; and, the Office of Service Learning.


FEB 20, 2017

Opening info-fair and catered International Cuisine Buffet introductions, and student presentations

12:00PM-2:30PM, Campus Center Event room

  • introductions, and student presentations
  1. Lisa Honaker, dean of the School of Arts and Humanities, Stockton University.
  2. Elisa von Joeden-Forgey, director of the Genocide Studies, Stockton University.

Symposium “Metamorphosis. The Human Stories” opens with introduction of international panelists (presenting on Feb 22), and Stockton University scholars (Feb 21) who address the global, national, and regional initiatives in connection to the refugee and migrant crisis.

  1. Maryam Sarhan (president of Stockton’s National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) Leadership Team, the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy) will talk about promotion of diversity, social inclusion, and equity on Stockton’s campus, interviewing and researching public opinion
  2. Table Melissa Vogley-Woods, (artist, curator, USA).

“International Recipes and Migration Stories” Zine workshop introduction and sign up.

  1. Table Stephanie Luening (artist, curator, Germany)

“Portrait and object” interviews and collection of stories

  1. International recipes catered buffet
  2. Info-fair tables presenting the Stockton student-led initiatives


4:30 pm Eva Harut presents a lecture to MAHG students about art, identity, and the Armenian Genocide

FEB 21, 2017

  • “International Recipes and Migration Stories” Zine workshop

10:00AM-3:30PM, AS140 (participants do not have to stay for the full duration of workshop)

  • Stockton Scholars panel and round table discussion

2:00 PM-4:30 PM, Campus Center Room 5

Stockton scholars address national issues concerning immigrant and refugee crisis

Presentations are followed by the round table discussion and Q&A session

  1. Nazia Kazi (Assistant Professor of Anthropology, School of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SOBL)) will address Islamophobia and Racial Nativism in the U.S.
  2. Melaku Lakew (Professor of Economics, School of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SOBL))

       3.    Jessie Finch (Assistant Professor of Sociology, School of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SOBL)). Presentation topic “Migrant Deaths in the Arizona Desert” addresses the tragic results of government policies on immigration.  

FEB 22, 2017

  • “International Recipes and Migration Stories” Zine workshop

10:00AM-2:30PM, AS140

  • International Panel and round table discussion

2:00 PM-4:30 PM, Campus Theater Gallery

Panelists from Greece, Germany, and Armenia share academic initiatives and strategies addressing the current refugee and migrant crisis.

Presentations are followed by the round table discussion and Q&A session

  1. Andrea Weippert, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, Academy of Fine Arts, Dresden, Germany, lecture “Fine Art Academy: humanities, art, and refugee community initiatives in Dresden.”
  2. Eva Harut, German-Armenian writer, artist, curator. Presentation about her current work with the refugees in Dresden Germany and previous projects with the earthquake refugees in Armenia. Additional lecture will be presented to the MAHG students and will address her book about her family survival during the Armenian genocide in 1915.
  3. Myrto-Helena Pertsinidi, International projects coordinator at the Jugend- & Kulturprojekt e.V., presents the strategies negotiating the art and cultural exchange projects between the communities in Thessaloniki, Greece and Dresden, Germany. Will present an additional lecture to the Hellenistic studies students about the contemporary art and community outreach projects in Thessaloniki amongst refugee communities and Aristotle University.
  4. Vahagn Ghukasyan, Director of The Gallery of Aslamazyan Sisters, Gyumri, Armenia, Lecturer Academy of Fine Arts, Gyumri, Armenia, lecture “History of genocide and history of migration in Armenia, as presented in contemporary Armenian Art”.
  5. Julia Ruether, artist and educator. Presentation will address the art workshops for children of refugees in Dresden.


  • 4:30pm-6:30 pm Campus Theater Gallery - SYMPOSIUM CLOSING RECEPTION


Related Events:

FEB 23, 2017

Noyes Arts Garage Gallery Opening

4:00pm-6:30pm, AC Gallery and Osprey Gallery

Gallery Opening presenting the works of Eva Harut and Stephanie Luening

MARCH 4, 2017

Mariana Smith, curator, Talk in the Noyes Arts Garage Gallery

MARCH 3, 2017

Ocean City Art Center, Ocean City, NJ

Student works exhibition opening 6:00pm-8:30pm: “Immigration narratives in contemporary student works”

For additional information please contact