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This panel discussion will analyse the contemporary global protection regime afforded to the LGBT+ displaced. With three speakers who have a range of both academic and policy experience, we will review both histories of progress, as well as existing challenges in the protection of LGBT+ people. The panel will give specific consideration to dynamics currently effaced by both ongoing academic and policy debates. All are welcome to attend this event - there will be time for questions at the end. 

Chair: Samuel Ritholtz, Research Student, ODID

About the speakers

Eirene Chen

SOGIESC/LGBTI Consultant, UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Eirene Chen (she/her), an American humanitarian and development specialist with over 20 years of experience supporting forcibly displaced people in a range of emergency and non-emergency contexts worldwide, is a senior consultant on global SOGIESC/LGBTI protection issues with UNHCR’s Division of International Protection. Based in Paris, she has worked with United Nations entities, Governments, NGOs and the private sector on refugee protection, social integration, governance and civil development initiatives in both fragile and stable states throughout North America, Europe/CIS, Africa, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific. She currently advises the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on its global protection policy for forcibly displaced and stateless LGBTIQ+ people. She is an alumna of the London School of Economics and Political Science and the Oxford RSC’s International Summer School in Forced Migration. For the purposes of this event, Eirene will be speaking in a personal capacity and not on behalf of her current organization.

Dr Mengia Tschalaer

Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Political Science at City University of New York & Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Sociology, Politics, and International Studies at the University of Bristol

Mengia Tschalaer (she/her) is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Political Science at City University of New York and an Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies at the University of Bristol. In the role of Marie-Curie Fellow at the School for Politics, Sociology and International Studies at University of Bristol (2019-2020), she led and managed a 2-year qualitative research project that examines the experiences of LGBTQI+ persons with Germany’s asylum system. Mengia has 13 years of interdisciplinary qualitative research experience with hard to reach groups (i.e. tribal women, LGBTQI+ persons seeking asylum), including 30 months of fieldwork in India and Germany and her high-impact publications include a prize-nominated monograph published with Cambridge University Press and two recent publications on queer asylum in Germany in Ethnic and Racial Studies (2019) and the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (2020). Mengia holds a PhD in law and society and an MA in sociocultural anthropology, international law, and East Asian art history from University of Zurich. She has taught courses on law and society, transnational feminisms, and intersectionality at Columbia University and City University of New York. She was a Visiting Scholar and a Research Fellow at the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, Columbia Law School. Her research received support from the Swiss National Science Foundation, University of Zurich, City University of New York, and the European Commission. 

Dr Kate Pincock

Research Associate, Refugee Studies Centre, and Qualitative Researcher, Overseas Development Institute

Kate Pincock completed a PhD in International Development at the University of Bath in 2016. Her doctoral research in Tanzania highlighted tensions within discursive framings of teenage girlhood and sexuality in development policy and explored their implications for praxis. From 2017 to 2019, Kate worked as a Research Officer for the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford on the ESRC-funded 'The Global Governed? Refugee-led Protection and Assistance' project, undertaking ethnographic research on community-based social protection in Uganda and Kenya.

Kate’s research interests include theories of agency and empowerment, young people’s sexual and reproductive rights, and the construction of ‘girlhood’ through development narratives. She is particularly interested in exploring how humanitarian organisations engage with the SDG’s ‘Leave No One Behind’ agenda, and the implications of a renewed focus on youth and gender for work with forcibly displaced adolescent girls in East Africa. She is currently working as a researcher for the Overseas Development Institute on the Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence programme.


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Annual Elizabeth Colson Lecture

The Annual Elizabeth Colson Lecture is held in Trinity term. It is named after Professor Elizabeth Colson, a renowned anthropologist.

Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture

The Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture is named in honour of Dr Barbara Harrell-Bond, the founding Director of the Refugee Studies Centre. It is held each year in Michaelmas term.

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Forthcoming events

A celebration of the life of David Turton

Saturday, 20 July 2024, 2pm to 3pm @ The Crypt Cafe, St Peters Church, Northchurch Terrace, London N1 4DA