CfP (seminar series) - Refugee times: seeking refuge in and beyond the 20th century

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We are pleased to announce a new Partnership Seminar Series with the Institute of Historical Research, London, on Doing refugee history. Across a year and a half of seminars, this online series aims to create a new network of historians working on forced migration through time and space. 

We are currently seeking papers for spring/summer 2021, around the theme of Refugee times: seeking refuge in and beyond the 20th century

Most refugee history is focused on the period since the modern legal category of ‘refugee’ emerged, initially in response to population displacement in Europe and the Middle East, after the first world war. Without anachronistically projecting that category back in time, the goal of our first set of seminars is to think more broadly about change and continuity in how we understand the experience of seeking refuge in human history. 

We encourage submissions from historians, and researchers working historically in other disciplines, at all career stages. We welcome empirically-grounded studies that explore issues including (but not limited to): 

  • The experience of seeking refuge, globally, in different historical contexts

  • Changing understandings and definitions throughout history of ‘refuge’, ‘refugee’, and ‘forced migration’

  • Differentiating asylum and refugeehood across time and space

  • Tensions between legal, political and colloquial definitions at different historical junctures

  • Shifting dynamics in the global refugee regime across the 20th and 21st centuries 

 Later in 2021 we will ask what key themes refugee history should explore as the field continues to develop, and in 2022 we will consider the methods we use to do refugee history, and the challenges they pose.

We will run three sessions in this set of seminars, with two short (c.2000-word) pre-circulated papers per session. Presenters will comment on each other’s work and engage with audience Q&A. 

Please send your abstract (no more than 200 words) to no later than 28 February 2021.

Anne Irfan (University of Oxford)
Laura Madokoro (Carleton University)
Benjamin Thomas White (University of Glasgow)