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RSC Director, Dawn Chatty, introduces our Trinity term newsletter with a number of updates from the Centre, including the announcement of her successor in the rotating Directorship of the RSC

RSC Director, Dawn Chatty
RSC Director, Dawn Chatty

In 2011, it was agreed that the RSC Directorship would rotate in three-yearly cycles among the permanent academic staff of the Centre. I was delighted to be asked to take on the inaugural role. As we approach the final term of the 2013–14 academic year, it is my duty to announce my successor in the ‘rotating’ Directorship of the RSC: Alexander Betts, Associate Professor of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies and Director of the Humanitarian Innovation Project, will succeed to the Directorship at the start of the next academic year, 12 October 2014.

Reflecting back on the previous term, I am happy to report that our Refugee Voices conference, which took place 24–25 March 2014 at St Anne’s College, was a great success. A number of fascinating panels explored a diverse range of issues, including detention and deportation; music and cultural expression; history and memory; and the current conflicts and upheavals in Syria and Myanmar. We had over 120 participants and a variety of exhibits, and it is anticipated that a number of the academic papers will be grouped into two special journal issues for publication later in this year or early 2015.

In other news, the weekend short course on statelessness and international law, coordinated by Cathryn Costello, is scheduled for 17–18 May and promises to be a very popular event; and our International Summer School in Forced Migration will be taking place in July, offering academics, practitioners and policymakers an opportunity to reflect on the forces and institutions that dominate the world of the displaced. In addition, the longawaited RSC-led project, The Oxford Handbook of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies – edited by Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Gil Loescher, Katy Long and Nando Sigona, and published by Oxford University Press – is now available for pre-order. This significant volume evaluates the birth and development of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies and analyses the key contemporary and future challenges for the discipline.

I would also like to take this opportunity to announce our 2014 major lectures: on 11 June, Professor Liisa Malkki will deliver the Annual Elizabeth Colson Lecture, entitled ‘Impossible situations: affective impasses and their afterlives in humanitarian and ethnographic fieldwork’, at the Oxford Department of International Development; and on 5 November, Her Royal Highness Princess Basma bint Talal of Jordan will deliver the Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture at the Examination Schools, Oxford. We look forward to welcoming them both.

Dawn Chatty
Professor of Anthropology and Forced Migration
Director, Refugee Studies Centre

A number of podcasts and other outputs from the Refugee Voices conference are now available.

A 30% discount is currently available on pre-orders of the Oxford Handbook of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies.

To RSVP for the Annual Elizabeth Colson Lecture on 11 June 2014, please contact Heidi El-Megrisi ( or register online

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The RSC Newsletter, Trinity term 2014, contains an overview of all our latest news and publications, and forthcoming events.