Migration in New Hampshire: Expanding Linguistic & Cultural Bonds


  • Thomas Keegan - UNH, Spanish & Business
  • Bernadette Farmer - UNH, Spanish and Homeland Security 
  • Carolina Salazar - CCSNH, Nashua


  • Elizabeth Berry - CCSNH 
  • Mauricio Pulecio - Languages, Literatures and Cultures UNH  

Program Description

This project represents an original hands-on step in engaging with the collaborative lab structure between the humanities, social sciences, and technology. The work is organized under the “Global Humanities Undergraduate Research Lab” (GHURL), located in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at UNH.  

Migration is commonly associated with physical movements. Nonetheless, migration entails an endless linguistic transit, which gets accelerated when a migrant subject confronts higher education. How do non-English speaking immigrants in NH deal with language barriers in teaching, learning, socializing, as well as in the countless activities (always mediated by language) typically conducted in a college setting? To tackle such a research question, this project aims to gather diverse experiences of migration to New Hampshire from college students and Faculty, to make visible the ongoing linguistic and cultural reality across the state, as well as explore its challenges for inclusion and expansion. Our goal is to offer a space for UNH and NCC immigrant community members to share their trajectories in order to begin to assess/determine the inclusiveness level within NH’s higher education system.  

The tangible outcome will be a collection of oral histories from faculty and students which could be archived and made available to students, researchers, and the general public as part of an effort to make New Hampshire’s cultural and linguistic diversity more visible and accessible to a wider audience.

Timeline with Specific Outputs/Goals 

Most of the planning for Fall activities will be set up before Falls starts. The Fall will comprise four key events: a) Encounters; b) Scholar Conference; c) two workshops on research methodologies.

a) Encounters: a series of workshops in which immigrant (non-native English speaking faculty and students form UNH and NCC) will be invited to share their experiences. We plan to schedule seven Encounters over the semester. Tentative dates: August 27 (French), September 10 (Spanish), September 24 (Arabic), October 8 (German), November 5 (Chinese), November 19 (Russian). The goals of each encounter is to collect as many oral stories as possible revolving around questions such as have you struggled as a bi/multilingual person within the system of higher education? Have you experienced isolation/discrimination due to your English accent or fluency, etc.? Do you feel that your bi/multilingualism may limit opportunities within the system of higher education? How can you contribute from your bi/multilingualism to your college life?  

b) Conference in LLC and a simultaneous session at NCC (October 22): This will be our project’s central event. We may have Christina Ortmeier-Hooper as keynote.  

c) Service Learning project(s): at least one undergraduate student per language will conduct individual research projects led by faculty. The goal is for undergraduates to write publishable papers either in scholar or student journals. Students will be responsible to attend every Encounters session, and to analyze data pertaining to their projects. Also, it is expected that over the semester they research the situation of one migrant community. Their progress will be presented at the Conference on October 22. Partial advances will be presented during the 595 class.  

d)595 Level Class: students enrolled in this class will be affiliated to the service learning projects. The class will provide theoretical frameworks on: research methodologies in humanities; interdisciplinary research methodologies; multilingualism; migration. The class will be taught collaboratively by Faculty from UNH-NCC involved in the project. The class will ensure that students committed to the project will achieve effective progress.  

e) Workshop on research methodologies: 

-Prof. Holly Cashman on collecting oral stories: second week of Fall semester, to instruct students on methods to research on humanities. Also, to plan steps to fulfill ethical and conduct requirements and access and use rights.  

-Prof. Mauricio Pulecio and Lucía Montas: fourth week of Fall semester, to instruct students on databases, classification of sources, and elaboration of instruments to collect information.