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Muslim blogger, Dominican writer to speak during conference

Nov. 10, 2012 at 5:10 a.m.

Kübra Gümüsay

IF YOU GO

• WHAT: "We Called for Workers but People Came": Muslims in Germany and Mexicans in the United States

•  WHEN: Nov. 15-17

• WHERE: Alcorn Auditorium of UHV University West, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St.

• COST: Free, open to the public

A literary reading and discussion featuring a German Muslim journalist and a Dominican-American writer is one of the featured events during a transatlantic conference Thursday through Saturday at the University of Houston-Victoria.

The conference is designed to launch a conversation about the migration, globalization and integration that German Muslims and Mexican-Americans have faced.

A number of scholars, teachers and artists from Germany and the U.S. will travel to Victoria for the conference titled "'We Called for Workers but People Came': Muslims in Germany and Mexicans in the United States."

One of the featured events will involve Kübra Gümüsay, a German Muslim blogger and freelance journalist, and Nelly Rosario, a Dominican-American writer. Each will present a reading and then lead a conversation. The event will start at 6 p.m. Friday.

As a freelance journalist, Gümüsay works for media outlets such as Die Zeit, a renowned weekly newspaper, reporting from Egypt, Turkey, the United Kingdom and Germany.

Gümüsay's blog, "Ein Fremdwörterbuch," was nominated for the Grimme Online Award, the most prestigious award for online journalism in Germany.

Rosario is a writer and an assistant professor at Texas State University. She was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Brooklyn. She writes a column for El Diario, the oldest Spanish language newspaper in the country.

Rosario's debut novel, "Song of the Water Saints," which traces the lives of three generations of Dominican women, won a PEN Open Book Award in 2002.

"What I most look forward to in this exchange is meeting artists, activists, teachers and scholars who are creating new filters through which to view Muslim and Latino communities worldwide," Rosario said. "That such remarkable dialogues will be happening at UHV creates a fresh filter to also view Texas."

The conference kicks off at 6 p.m. Thursday with a keynote address by Czarina Wilpert, a sociologist with the Berlin University of Technology. Wilpert has been actively involved in interdisciplinary research on a national and international level for more than 25 years.

"This conference is important because it gives us the opportunity to focus on discourse and the messages relayed and their impact," Wilpert said.

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