Geopolitics of Displacement and Exclusion: Making and Unmaking of Refugees

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Political Geography Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM (Eastern Standard Time)
Room: Studio 10, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Organizers: Orhon Myadar, Kara Dempsey
Chairs: Orhon Myadar


As the number of refugees reaches record high globally, refugee issues have been brought to the forefront of political and public debates both nationally and internationally. The public views towards these refugees have been shaped by various mediums that disseminate images and ideas of and about refugees.

This session seeks to conceptualize refugee migration as a critical geopolitical issue and examine the theoretical and practical assumptions surrounding the humanitarian crisis. Invoking Judith Butler's Precarious Life and Giorgio Agamben's Bare Life, the session aims to explore the politics of making and unmaking refugees at different scales and in different milieus. Central to our understanding of the politics of refugees is the contradiction between the basic International Relations assumption based on the sanctity of the states and the forces that defy the assumption and the rigidity that comes with it. In exploring the processes of making and unmaking refugees within this contradiction, this session thus seeks to bring together discussions on topics including but not limited to: geopolitics of displacement and bordering (that of exclusion and inclusion; the travel ban); the biopolitics of making/unmaking refugees (coding, registration, incarceration, representation, exploitation and subjugation of refugee bodies); precariousness of refugee lives; refugee stories (production, narration, animation, fetishizing and silencing of refugee narratives; documenting refugee voices), racializing and essentializing tropes of refugees.

Interested contributors should submit an abstract of approximately 250 words to Kara Dempsey ( and Orhon Myadar ( by October 10, 2017.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Kara Dempsey*, Appalachian State University, Violence, migrants, and the EU's "Securitization of migration" 20 8:00 AM
Presenter Yvonne Kwan*, San Jose State University, In the Shadows of War: US Intervention and the Extended Aftermath for Cambodian Refugees 20 8:20 AM
Presenter Thilo Wiertz*, University of Freiburg, Germany, Is this a camp? Biopolitics, health, and refugee bodies in German 'initial reception centers' 20 8:40 AM
Presenter Kira Williams*, Wilfrid Laurier University, (Un)making the Refugee through Statistical Data: Ontological Construction and Obfuscation in the Central Mediterranean Sea, 2013 to 2015 20 9:00 AM
Presenter Shae Frydenlund*, University of Colorado Boulder, Rohingya Refugees, Translocality, and the Gendered Labor Geography of Urban Revitalization 20 9:20 AM

To access contact information login