Refugee-ographies: Research Integrity and Human Dignity Under Pressure to Financialize, Militarize, and Patriotize Refuge

Type: Paper
Theme: Geographies of Human Rights: The Right to Benefit from Scientific Progress
Sponsor Groups: Qualitative Research Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 2:35 PM / 4:15 PM (Eastern Standard Time)
Room: Cabinet Room, Omni, West
Organizers: Christian Matheis, Eli Jamison
Chairs: Jared Keyel

Call for Submissions

We seek presentations -- conventional research papers, talks, overview of novel approaches, prospective projects, etc. -- that place refuge, asylum, resettlement, and reception at the core of consideration. Ideally, presenters will provide in-depth insight into scholar-activist strategies, research methodologies, and other considerations that help to foster a collaborative think-tank of critical work. Presentations at any stage of formulation (conceptual, prospective, data collection, analysis, etc.) are welcomed. Methodological pluralism and/or radicalism are encouraged.


How can scholars and practitioners maintain research integrity with a focus on human dignity in an era when the reception and resettlement of refugees often depends on pressures to financialize, militarize, and patriotize people seeking refuge? Which subtle and overt paradigms limit the terrain of understanding refuge and asylum, now manifesting in unprecedented ways? Suppose scholars rethink geography from its foundations by placing priority on refuge, asylum, reception, and resettlement? As the worldwide population of asylum seekers, refugees, and displaced persons continues to grow, seemingly unabated, interventions and responses focus largely on reception and resettlement strategies carried out by governments and nongovernmental organizations. Despite the feasibility of broader collective social responses, narrow emphasis on governmental and NGO activities has placed constraints on the ways in which activists and scholars set priorities in diagnosing problems and prescribing responses. The implicit and increasingly explicit requirement for scholars to couch their efforts in terms of the financial, military security, and/or nationalist patriotic contexts indicates troubling limitations on the range of practical interventions that can emerge out of research. Among a broader set of influences, the financial, military, and patriotic-nationalist influences appear to contribute to a paradigm of priority setting for researchers, policymaking, and other fields. We call this paradigm into question and propose alternatives at a time when decisive re-imagination of the field of refugee and migration studies is particularly pressing. Following interventions by feminist, anti-racist, and pro-indigenous scholars, this session seeks to foster discourse on research strategies that demonstrate both methodological rigor and political savvy required to navigate contemporary pressures that risk diminishing and eradicating the humanizing efforts. To those ends, this session aims to foster a focus on "refugee-ographies" as a rallying point for scholars and activists seeking a collaborative space in which to mutually bolster critical research, ponder resistance to dominant forces, and to propose new scholarly and activist strategies.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Christian Matheis*, Guilford College, Eli Jamison*, Virginia Tech, Toward a PSR Policy Rubric – A Data-Informed Index for Reception and Resettlement Policies 20 2:35 PM
Presenter Jared Keyel*, Virginia Tech, Critical Qualitative Methodology: Marshalling Normative Tools to Ground Analysis and Condemnation of State Violence Causing Displacement 20 2:55 PM
Presenter Angela Subulwa*, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Governing Refuge in Africa’s Cities 20 3:15 PM
Presenter Sher Khan*, University of North Texas, Waquar Ahmed, University of North Texas , Confronting Neoliberalism: Railway workers in Pakistan 20 3:35 PM

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