Armstrong Professor at the Forefront of International Research Project

Armstrong associate professor of political science José de Arimatéia da Cruz is at the forefront of a global interdisciplinary consortium devoted to the relatively new field of migration studies. In spring 2012 da Cruz joined a group of renowned international faculty at the University of Stavanger in Norway as a visiting scholar in the one-of-a-kind European Master in Migration and Intercultural Relations (EMMIR) program.

EMMIR is the first African-European migration master course of study in the Erasmus Mundus initiative started by the European Commission in September 2011. Erasmus Mundus “aims to enhance quality in higher education through scholarships and academic cooperation between Europe and the rest of the world.” The consortium is comprised of leading universities in Europe and Africa, including the University of Stavanger, the University of Oldenburg in Germany, the Ahfad University for Women in Sudan, and Mbarara University of Science and Technology in Uganda, among others.

da Cruz, who is known for his scholarship in international relations and comparative politics in Latin America and Africa, was in his academic element at the University of Stavanger where his lectures focused on Chinese and Japanese migration to Brazil and its affect on politics, society and culture. While at the university, da Cruz and his colleagues on the EMMIR faculty determined that a surprising amount of Scandinavians migrated to the Americas in the 19th and early 20th century, yet little to no scholarly research exists. As a result, the first major research project to look into the Nordic migration to Central and South America and the Lesser and Greater Antilles between the 1820s and1940s has begun. Throughout the next year, da Cruz will continue to contribute to a database established to track these global movements.

The research will not only will help da Cruz and his colleagues answer questions about these unique migration patterns, but through the EMMI consortium, the findings will span the globe and help scholars around the world understand new relationships between nations and continents that ultimately have affected how the world has developed and changed in the 20th and 21st centuries.

On the heels of da Cruz's appointment in Norway, he set off for the School of Economics in Prague as a guest lecturer with the university's Center for Latin American Studies. He will return to Prague this summer with a group of Armstrong political science students who will meet with the Brazilian ambassador to the Czech Republic, among other international dignitaries, and expand their own scholarship on a global scale.