Contemporary politics, spaces, and ethics of refuge I

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Political Geography Specialty Group, Ethics, Justice, and Human Rights Specialty Group, Geographic Perspectives on Women Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM (Eastern Standard Time)
Room: Studio 7, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Organizers: Patricia Ehrkamp, Cetta Mainwaring, Alison Mountz
Chairs: Alison Mountz


We are living in an era of ‘travel bans’, the rise of far right political movements, the fortification of borders, the de facto dismantling of the international refugee regime, mass detention of migrants, and a variety of other anti-immigrant, exclusionary policies. In this context, migration scholars confront heightened professional, ethical, and political challenges. For instance, scholars face an increased responsibility to unearth and make known truths about migration, humanizing migrants and educating policy makers and the population to counteract xenophobia. At the same time, scholars must grapple with the fact that documenting migration practice, thereby rendering it legible to the State, poses potential danger to vulnerable populations who are seeking refuge or survive by being ‘undocumented’. Scholars enter into this fray and must contend with what and how to make visible while also working to protect safe havens and spaces of refuge. Broader questions also arise as to our responsibility as academics. Is it enough to write academic articles? How do we, individually and collectively, move beyond our ivory towers, demonstrate solidarity with mobile populations, and effect positive change in our societies? This panel brings together an interdisciplinary group of scholars to investigate the ethics and politics surrounding the study of migration and international relations. How do geographers and other scholars contend with, conceptualize, and navigate the political and ethical dimensions of shifting spaces of migration and refuge?


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Cetta Mainwaring*, University of Glasgow, Ethnography and Global Politics: Engaging International Relations from Below 20 8:00 AM
Presenter Suzan Ilcan*, , In Response to Bordering Practices: Migrant Journeys and Borderzone Resistance 20 8:20 AM
Presenter Melanie Griffiths*, University of Bristol, Researching Irregularity and the Thorny Question of Ethics 20 8:40 AM
Presenter Susan Coutin*, University of California, Irvine, Deferred Action and Academic (Re)action: Challenging Narratives of Deservingness 20 9:00 AM
Discussant Deirdre Conlon University of Leeds 20 9:20 AM

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