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Palestinian refugees carrying their possessions, in 1948
Palestinian refugees, 1948

RSC Public Seminar Series, Hilary Term 2021

Refugee Histories in the Global South

How does forced migration look different if we examine it through a historical perspective? How have refugees been historical actors, as well as victims? This series examines a range of topics that illuminate these questions, by examining the historical entanglements between migration, im/mobility, colonialism, race, and borders.

Convenor: Dr Anne Irfan

Time and location

Seminars take place on Wednesdays from 5.00-6.00pm UK time on Zoom.

Registration links are provided for each seminar below.

Please direct enquiries to

If you would like to receive updates about our public seminars and lectures, please visit our Connect With Us page and subscribe to our email alerts.

Hilary term seminars

20 January

Refugee denial: Settler colonialism and the making of the Global North imaginary

Laura Madokoro (Associate Professor of History, Carleton University)



27 January

Refugees, escapees and migrants: International migration and the politics of naming displacement in the Biafran War

Bonny Ibhawoh (Professor of History and Senator William McMaster Chair in Global Human Rights, McMaster University)



3 February

The international refugee regime and postcolonial sovereignty: Algeria, refugees and the UNHCR, 1954-63

Malika Rahal (Research Fellow, Institut d’histoire du temps présent)

Benjamin Thomas White (Senior Lecturer in History, Glasgow University)



10 February

Refugees, minority citizens and the law: Sindh’s deterritorialised partition

Uttara Shahani (Postdoctoral researcher, Refugee Studies Centre)



17 February

The long journey home: African American forced migration and exile from the Civil War to the Vietnam War

Saje Mathieu (Associate Professor of History, University of Minnesota)



24 February

Crucibles of Exile: Palestinian education and the politics of regeneration, 1948-1967

Mezna Qato (Margaret Anstee Fellow, University of Cambridge)



3 March

Haitian refugees, the US state, and precedents for global border regimes

A. Naomi Paik (Associate Professor of Asian American Studies, University of Illinois)



10 March

Rethinking forced migration: Legacies of the Greek-Turkish population exchange

Asli Igsiz (Associate Professor of Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies, New York University)