Skip to main content



“Constructing Nations, Shaping Identities”

Written by Paola Andreu – TAM Class of 2025


This student-arranged Graduate Symposium was the second of its kind, organized by a student from each of UNC-CH’s three Global Master’s programs: Paola Andréu ’25 from the Trans-Atlantic Master’s Program (TAM), Sylvie Hack from the Master’s in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (DAMES), and Katelyn Shadowens from the Master’s in Global Studies. As an organizing group under the guidance of Dr. Banu Gökarıksel, we chose the theme of “Constructing Nations, Shaping Identities” to understand how national identities are shaped by individuals and how the nation-state is constructed.


The symposium began with a faculty panel, with one faculty member from each organizing department. Dr. Osterweil represented the Global Studies Department, Dr. Pitelka represented the DAMES, and Dr. Layne represented TAM.


The first student panel consisted of four students, one of whom is a student within TAM, Dale Seufert-Navarro. The theme of this panel was “Identity and Nationalism.” The first two presentations focused on the plight of minorities within the nation, the first on the discrimination that immigrants face, specifically Korean women who move to the United States, and the second on the impact of settler-colonialism on indigenous communities in the United States and Australia. Dale presented third within this group, walking the audience through a working research project on the evolution of citizenry within welfare states. The last presentation on the panel focused on how national identities evolve through the EU’s Erasmus program.


Between the two student panels, lunch was served and the student panelists and audience members walked through a poster session by four students. The four posters presented were: Silence: From Rupture in Bei Dao’s Poetry to The Absence of Power by Han Chen, Relax: How the Japanese Government is Tackling Death by Overwork by Neil Sharma, Catholic Response to Global Migration and Refugee Crises by Ella McCalip, and Binding with Patriarchy and Colonial Racism: lo(o)sing one’s footing in The Yellow Embroidered Earth by Xinming Liao.


Finally, we had the second student panel with the theme “Historical and Cultural Intersections.” The first presentation focused on the nomadic tradition of the Iban people of Sarawak. The second and third presentations focused on depictions of women in the media, the second was an analysis of how the Korean-American identity is portrayed in the movie Past Lives, and the third on how Chinese Empress Wu Zeitian is portrayed in video games. The last presentation was completed by the organizer from DAMES, Silvie Hack, illustrating Dogū, pre-historic Japanese figures.

Comments are closed.