Johnson-Reed 100 Years Later

“Johnson-Reed 100 Years Later”:
Critical Reflections on the Global Legacy of US Immigration Quotas, 1924-2024


This international conference is organized by the Institute of English and American Studies at the University of Debrecen, Hungary in partnership with the American Hungarian Educators Association to mark the 100th Anniversary of the US Immigration Act of 1924.


  • August 22-23, 2024


  • Debrecen, Hungary, Main Building of the University of Debrecen

In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Johnson-Reed Act, we are delighted to invite scholars, researchers, educators, and practitioners from diverse disciplines to participate in an international conference that critically reflects on the perceptions and impact of the US Immigration Act of 1924 and other restrictive measures of the time on global migration trajectories and policy. More broadly, this interdisciplinary conference aims to explore the multifaceted dimensions of migration and its complex interactions with history, literature, cultural studies, film studies, inter-American studies, and various other academic fields. We encourage submissions that offer innovative insights, historical analysis, and contemporary interpretations of the implications of migration and immigration restriction in shaping societies, cultures, and identities.

The conference will be held in person with an opportunity for participants joining from outside Hungary to present in hybrid sessions.

Confirmed plenary speakers:

  • Ashley Johnson Bavery, Associate Professor, Eastern Michigan University, USA
  • Anna A. Mazurkiewicz, Associate Professor, University of Gdansk, Poland
  • Mónika Szente-Varga, Associate Professor, Ludovika University of Public Service, Hungary

We welcome proposals that delve into a wide range of topics related to the US immigration quotas introduced in 1921 and 1924, and in more general the reasons for and impact of immigration restriction, including but not limited to:

  • Historical analysis of the Johnson-Reed Act and its implications for immigration to the United States
  • Impact of the American regulations on other countries in the Americas
  • The role of the Johnson-Reed Act in shaping European migration trajectories
  • Immigration to the Americas from Central and Eastern Europe after 1924 
  • The interplay between immigration quotas and notions of identity, race, and ethnicity
  • Comparative approaches to the history of immigration and immigration restriction in the Americas and Europe
  • Intended and unintended consequences of immigration restriction
  • Cultural products (e.g., art, music, theater) reflecting on immigration and/or immigration restriction; literary and filmic representations of the migration experience
  • The role of film in shaping public perceptions of immigration and migration policies
  • Human rights perspectives on immigration quotas and their effects on vulnerable populations
  • The influence of immigration quotas on transnational communities and diasporas
  • Evaluations of American immigration policy and reforms

We invite proposals for:

  • Individual (20-minute) papers focusing on specific research topics, case studies, or theoretical perspectives related to the conference theme
  • Work-in-progress presentations by PhD students (10 minutes) 
  • Themed panels of three papers addressing a cohesive topic related to the conference theme
  • Roundtable discussions 

Submission guidelines: Submit your abstracts with a brief bio on the following website under ‘Abstract submission’:

  • Abstract: Provide a structured abstract of no more than 300 words outlining the key points, methodologies, and their relevance to the conference theme.
  • Presenter's information: Include the presenter's name, institutional affiliation (if applicable), email address, and a brief biography of up to 150 words.

Important dates:

  • Proposal submission deadline: January 12, 2024
  • Notification of acceptance: January 26, 2024
  • Registration deadline: February 29, 2024 
  • All participants, including presenters and attendees, are required to register in advance. 

Registration fees:

  • Registration fee: EUR 40
  • For students: EUR 20
  • Details on the registration process and payment will be provided at a later date.
  • The Friday night reception is sponsored by Fulbright Hungary.
  • An optional conference trip to the Museum of Emigration from Slovakia to North America or to Budapest (the Open-Air Ethnographic Museum in Szentendre) will be organized for August 24 (Saturday).

Publication Opportunities:

Selected conference papers will be considered for publication in a special edition of the peer-reviewed, Scopus-indexed Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies and/or Hungarian Cultural Studies, and in a peer-reviewed volume of essays to be published by an international publisher (currently under negotiation). 
Additional information regarding submission guidelines and timelines will be provided later.
Contact information: for inquiries and further information, please contact Balázs Venkovits – Associate Professor, Institute of English and American Studies, University of Debrecen ( )

We look forward to welcoming you to the conference!

Conference organizers:

  • (University of Debrecen, Hungary)
  • (University of Debrecen, Hungary)
  • Dr. Helga Lenart-Cheng (Saint Mary's College of California, USA)
The conference is organized with the support of the National Research, Development and Innovation Office (NKFIH) grant no. FK 143388.
Faculty of Humanities
University of Debrecen


Dear User!


The University of Debrecen considers the protection of personal data and the information provided to be of paramount importance. We hereby inform you that the University of Debrecen has reviewed its processes and incorporated the requirements of GDPR into his own data management and data protection activities, which entered mandatory on may 25,2018. The personal data of the users has been carefully handled by the University of Debrecen, it complies with the applicable data management regulations.Following the requirements of GDPR, we updated our Privacy Statement, which you can access by clicking on the link below: Privacy Policy.

I have read, understand and agree to terms.