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.

About the lecture

From Hungary to the US-Mexico border all the way back to the Czech Republic, women-and-children seeking asylum have been cast as ‘human shields’. In this webinar, Neve Gordon will be talking with Anne Irfan about the history of human shielding, whilst highlighting the gendered and racial dimension of ‘refugee shielding.’ Why, Gordon will ask, has the figure of the human shield become so prominent in contemporary war zones throughout the Middle East? Why are asylum-seeking refugees suddenly cast as shields? And what does this figure tell us about the broader global history of political violence?

About the speaker

Neve GordonNeve Gordon teaches in the School of Law at Queen Mary University of London. Focusing on international humanitarian law, human rights, the ethics of violence, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Gordon first book, Israel’s Occupation (2008), provided a structural history of Israel’s mechanisms of control in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, while his second book, The Human Right to Dominate (2015, with Nicola Perugini) examines how human rights, which are generally conceived as tools for advancing emancipation, can also be used to enhance subjugation and dispossession. In Human Shields: A History of People in the Line of Fire (2020 also with Perugini), Gordon follows the marginal and controversial figure of the human shield over a period of 150 years in order to interrogate the laws of war and how the ethics of humane violence is produced. Gordon has also edited two volumes, one on torture (with Ruchama Marton) and the other on marginalized perspectives on human rights. Over the years he has published scores of academic articles and book chapters and is currently working on a project that examines how new warfare technologies challenge the underlying framework of the laws of war. Gordon has been a member at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, and a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, Brown University, the University of Michigan, and SOAS, and is currently a board member of the International State Crime Initiative.

Registration

This lecture will be held via Zoom.

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

Video

Watch the video on YouTube

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