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Stillness: Thinking through critical migration studies and challenging citizenship

  • Dr Heather L. Johnson, Queen's University, Belfast
  • Tuesday 1 November, 4 pm - 5.30 pm, ARC/014
  • Production team: tbc



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Seminar synopsis

In refugee camps, an inability to meet the basic needs of refugees is mirrored by active policies of confinement and refusal at the borders of Europe.  Emergency implies the need for urgent response, and above all for control, and these responses are shaped within the already dominant and inadequate frameworks of the state.  However, there is an overwhelming focus on mobility as the fount of this contestation.  In this paper, I suggest that this focus has implications that are troubling, and which neglect presence and stillness in belonging.  We run the risk of rendering migrants as temporary and normalizing separation.  Reflecting on field research in the ‘hotspot’ of Kos, I argue that rethinking political subjectivities, and countering the exclusionary frameworks that are blocking humane responses to migration requires that we think outside of citizenship.  Further, I argue that considering presence and stillness offers us tools to begin such a venture.

Dr Heather Johnson

Heather Johnson is a Senior Lecturer in International Studies in the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy, and Politics at Queen’s University Belfast.  Her research focuses on irregular migration and asylum seekers, border security, and the practices of resistance, solidarity and protest of non-citizens.  She also writes about visual representations of refugees, particularly through a gender studies lens.  Her book, Borders, Asylum and Global Non-Citizenship: The Other Side of the Fence, was published in 2014 with Cambridge University Press and was awarded the honorary mention award in the Ethnicity, Nationalism and Migration Section at the International Studies Association (2016).  Her work has also appeared in journals such as International Political Sociology, Security Dialogue, and Third World Quarterly.  Heather is currently working on a project about irregular migration in the maritime space, funded through the ESRC Future Research Leaders scheme.

Map and Parking: 

Please see the University campus map for the location of ARC/014 which is in the Alcuin Research Resource Centre. The building is opposite the Alcuin Teaching Block (Seebohm Rowntree Building) reception. The room is on the ground floor at the far end from the main entrance, around the corner, behind the lift. The closet public car park is Campus North car park. Parking costs £1 per hour and you can pay using coins or via a mobile phone via the RingGo parking. For information on public transport to the University please see the Travel and Transport webpages.

Admission: is by free ticket only. Please book below.

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