Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Public Seminar Series Michaelmas Term 2020

Series convenors: Professor Matthew J Gibney and Professor Tom Scott-Smith

About the seminar

Refugee resettlement has long been seen as a purely humanitarian act. When refugees are “integrated” into the labour market, it is seen as a tool to promote values such as self-sufficiency and dignity.  But refugee labour is often needed by host countries, and refugees are often inserted into industries where they are tasked with jobs host country nationals refuse to do. Using the example of the American meatpacking industry, which relies heavily on refugees resettled by the US Department of State, I discuss why refugees were simultaneously deemed “essential” and “prohibited” during the COVID-19 epidemic. This paradox, in which refugees are both indispensable and stigmatized, is used to racialize and devalue their labour, creating ethnic enclaves in the labour market that simultaneously permit them to work and trap them in dangerous, underpaid jobs.

About the speaker

Elizabeth Cullen Dunn is a Professor in the Department of Geography at Indiana University. Her work focuses on forced migration. For more than a decade, she has worked with refugees and internally displaced people. In her latest book, No Path Home: Humanitarian Camps and the Grief of Displacement, she looks critically at the refugee camp as a space of both bureaucratic regulation and existential crisis. Using an ontological approach, she shows that displaced people become stuck in camps not only because of war, but because of the logic of humanitarianism, which traps people in states of uncertainty, extreme pressure, and eventually abandonment. No Path Home is based on more than 16 months of ethnographic work in the Republic of Georgia, where Dunn lived and worked in a camp for victims of ethnic cleansing.

Read her full biography here

Registration

This seminar will be held via Zoom. Register online here

Please direct enquiries to rsc-outreach@qeh.ox.ac.uk

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.

Past Annual Harrell-Bond Lectures

Annual Elizabeth Colson Lecture

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

Past Annual Elizabeth Colson Lectures

Public Seminar Series

Each term the RSC holds a series of public seminars, held on Wednesday evenings at Queen Elizabeth House. Click here for details of forthcoming seminars.

Forthcoming seminars

Connect with us

To keep up to date with our events and activities, sign up for email alerts from the RSC and Forced Migration Review, and connect with us on social media.

Sign up here

Forthcoming events

Deporting extremists: a qualified defence

Wednesday, 21 October 2020, 5pm to 6pm @ Zoom webinar

Carceral junctions – stuckness and connectedness in camps

Wednesday, 28 October 2020, 5pm to 6pm @ Zoom webinar

Unlivable life: ordinary disasters and the atmosphere of crisis in Haiti

Wednesday, 04 November 2020, 5pm to 6pm @ Zoom webinar

Reflecting on Refugia

Wednesday, 11 November 2020, 5pm to 6pm @ Zoom webinar

Democracy after Right-Wing Populism | Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture 2020

Wednesday, 18 November 2020, 5pm to 6.30pm @ Zoom webinar

‘Belongers’ and ‘non-belongers’: dividing citizens in 1968

Wednesday, 25 November 2020, 5pm to 6pm @ Zoom webinar