Citizenship Annual Conference Archive


16th Conference
Technology and Citizenship
March 21-23, 2019

Technology—the use of it, exposure to it, protection from it, and even the absence of protection from it—has direct influence on the access people do, or do not have to the full rights and benefits of citizenship. This conference will address the many intersections of technology with citizenship, such as medical, social media, public utilities, etc. How do uses of computing, information, and infrastructure technologies shape not only citizens’ relationship to public power but also the ways societies constitute and conceive of both the state and the citizen?

15th Conference
Religion and Citizenship
April 12 - 14, 2018

This conference explored the role of religion - practice and concept - in the recognition and exercise of citizenship. The subject includes a broad range of philosophical, legal, and historical matters, such as the extent of religious influence on governance, the use of religion to restrict ascription of citizenship, and the positing of limits to citizens' legitimate relationships with foreign nations or to their activities in opposition to their own governments. Presented papers deal with such issues as the enforcement and crossing of national borders, the relations (political, cultural, economic, social, artistic, environmental) between religious and government entities, or the consequences of religious identity or practice for citizens' participation in global or regional commerce, their realization of human rights, and their susceptibility to transnational law enforcement.

Keynote Speech by Saeed Khan: "Religion and Citizenship in the Age of Artificial Intelligence: The End of Disbelief?"

Abstracts | Program


14th Conference
March 30 - April 1, 2017

Deliberate use of violence against vulnerable populations includes not only genocide but also the recruiting of child soldiers, wars (civil and international) and the refugee crises spawned by wars, terrorism and counter-terrorism, state sanctioned violence and violence by informal actors, the uses of violence to resist oppression and of non-violence to attain the same goal. Violence in all these forms—the use of it, exposure to it, protection from it, and even the absence of protection from it—has direct influence on the access people do, or do not have to the full rights and benefits of citizenship.

Among the many questions raised by the place of violence in our world: How are rights, obligations, and privileges shaped by uses of violence? In what ways does access to violence among citizens shape experiences of freedom and public power? How do uses of state sanctioned violence shape not only citizens’ relationship to public power but also the way society constitutes and conceives of the state itself?
This conference presents panel and individual presentations of new scholarship in the field of citizenship studies.

Keynote by Heather Ann Thompson: "Rethinking Violence and Citizenship In the Age of Mass Incarceration"


13th Conference
Gender, Sexuality and Citizenship
March 31 - April 2, 2016

Issues of gender and sexuality have long been realized as central to citizenship. We need only recall the patrilineal citizenship of ancient Greece or women's suffrage to recognize some of the ways gender and sexuality have been bound to citizenship. Today, gender and sexuality remain at the center of a number of key issues in citizenship, including derivative citizenship, family reunification, and who can sponsor new immigrants as well as marriage and social citizenship rights including adoption, healthcare, end of life care, etc. Whether we are male or female or transgender, whether we are straight, gay, lesbian, queer, bisexual or transsexual, our identities can facilitate or limit access to full citizenship.

Poetry Reading by Melba Boyd at the Conference: video.


12th Conference
Governance and Citizenship
March 12-14, 2015

The affordances of citizenship are bound in many ways to structures of governance that provide and at the same time deny access to power. While formal structures of governance establish rights and responsibilities, there are many additional forms of governance people use to orchestrate and affirm their community membership, among them are civic organizations, community groups, and NGOs. The 2015 annual conference will explore the many dimensions of the theme of governance and citizenship. 

Keynote by Frederick Cooper: "The Relationship of Citizenship to the Demise of France’s African Empire after World War II"

Plenary Discussion: Detroit Bankruptcy video

 11th Conference
Place, Displace and Citizenship
March 20-22, 2014

From the ancient polis to the modern nation state citizenship has been defined in terms of attachment to a specifiable geographical area. Place figures centrally in citizenship for a number of reasons: Easily discernable spaces encourage interaction, invite commitment, and enable participation. At the same time, interaction, commitment, and participation give shape to the local geography of citizenship. The many local civic engagement efforts sprouting up globally attest to the continuing importance of place in citizenship. Many of these movements are intended to provide a discernible space of interaction, commitment, and participation. If the local encourages participation of inhabitants, it also pens out from citizenship those who are seen as alien to the locale. Yet modern revolutions in communication, transportation and technology have eroded the significance of place in citizenship. Exploring the relationship of place, placelessness and citizenship is the theme of the Eleventh Annual Center for the Study of Citizenship conference.

 10th Conference
March 21-23, 2013

The Center for the Study of Citizenship is celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2013. For our anniversary conference we will discuss how your scholarship deepens understandings of the meaning of citizenship – membership in communities.

Keynote speaker Rogers Smith: video

Keynote Speaker Marc Kruman: video

Book speaker Jonah Steinberg: video

 9th Conference
Generations: Rethinking Age and Citizenship
March 29-31, 2012

Age is a primary marker of citizenship. It is crucial to obtaining full political citizenship in a community and in shaping political, civil, and property rights. Yet the intersection between age and citizenship (or lack thereof) has varied across time and space. This is especially the case when thinking of how to define and identify citizens by "generation." The Ninth Annual International Conference will examine the relationship of generations and citizenship in the past, present, and future.

Book Presentations Cherstin Lyon and Kidada WIlliams: video

 8th Conference
March 31-April 2, 2011

Citizenship is about defining which bodies matter and what or who should govern them, either informally or formally. Classical understandings of the dimensions of citizenship – rights, responsibilities, and dependency – reflect a variety of contexts in which ideas about bodies and the realities of the biological are themselves rooted. Thus, citizenship is often connected to larger questions and assumptions about where you are born (birth rights), where you have a right to live (immigration and transnationality)...

Plenary speeches included: Kathleen Canning, "The Stakes of Citizenship: Bodies in the Aftermath of War and Revolution," and Susan Wells, "Genres of Citizenship: Power Structure Research in the 1960s and 1970s."

 7th Annual Conference
April 8-10, 2010

Citizenship requires networks and networks can confer citizenship. The theme of the 2010 conference of the Center for the Study of Citizenship explores the similarities and the tensions between networks and citizenship in the past, present, and future. It also considers how networks have shaped citizenship and how citizenship has influenced the development of networks.

6th Annual Conference
Representing Citizenship
March 27-28, 2009

Depictions and descriptions of citizenship serve important purposes in a society: among them, they embody membership in the community; they provide models, positive or negative, for civic behavior; and they disseminate and propagate ideas about citizenship.

5th Annual Conference

Boundaries of Citizenship
March 27-29, 2008

The theme, “The Boundaries of Citizenship,” explored the role of boundaries, both physical and conceptual, that shape the recognition and exercise of citizenship. Boundaries that constitute and shape citizenship are ever shifting and contestable, and raise issues far beyond those associated with traditional legal categories.

4th Annual Conference

Race and Citizenship
March 1-4, 2007

The Center for the Study of Citizenship at Wayne State University held its Fourth annual Conference in Citizenship Studies in March, 2007. The focus was on the Center’s theme for the academic year: Race and Citizenship.

3rd Annual Conference

Gender and Citizenship
March 31, 2006

The 3rd Annual New Scholarship in Citizenship Studies Conference was held on March 31 2006. Our Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence, Hortense J. Spillers, professor of English at Cornell University, served as the keynote speaker. This year, the conference theme was “Gender and Citizenship.”

2nd Annual New Scholarship in Citizenship Studies Conference

Citizenship in Times of Crisis
March 2005

New Scholars' Conference in Citizenship Studies

February 27, 2004

The Center hosted a conference highlighting recent work in citizenship studies by advanced graduate students and junior-level professors. The initial call for papers generated considerable international interest and the Center received 40 abstracts from a number of countries. From these abstracts, the Center and its Advisory Board selected nine presenters for the conference.




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