Placeless People: What Can History Tell Us About Today’s Refugee Crises?

Refugee Week - Workshop: University of East Anglia with the Pears Institute for the study of Antisemitism, Birkbeck, University of London.

Event Information and Booking

20th June, 2016
9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Birkbeck, University of London, Bloomsbury, WC1E 7HX Council Room, Torrington Square entrance.
Representatives of Freed Voices; Peter Gatrell, University of Manchester; Omah Khan, Runnymede Trust; Yousef Qasmiyeh, poet; Jessica Reinisch, Birkbeck, University of London; Daniel Trilling, author; and Colin Yeo, Barrister and blogger, Garden Court Chambers
Advocacy, Media, Migrants, Public Policy, Refugee
20th century, 21st century

The aim of the workshop is to bring together experts in a range of fields – scholars, policy makers, representatives from local government, NGOs, think tanks, advocacy groups and the media, to explore how history, in its broadest political, cultural and social senses, can usefully be employed to inform our understanding of the current refugee crisis and help shape our responses to it.

The workshop will address the following questions among others: are there connections between refugee crises in the past and the present? What lessons can be drawn? What kind of historical accounts do NGOs and policy makers need to make their cases?  How might the recasting of refugee stories on a bigger historical canvas re-shape perception? And, most pressingly, how should policy and responses to the future be shaped by grasping that mass displacement may become the norm?

Panel 1: Refugees Now – Representations and Perspectives

Those working with refugees and communities affected by the current refugee crisis consider the problems of the current media and political debates.

Omar Khan, Runnymede Trust

Daniel Trilling, journalist, editor and author

Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Refuge in a Moving World Network, University College London

Panel 2: Lessons from History

Historians explore the lessons we might draw from histories and the dangers of lazy historical comparisons.

Simon Behrman, University of East Anglia

Jessica Reinisch, Birkbeck, University of London

Peter Gatrell, University of Manchester

Tony Kushner, University of Southampton

Panel 3: Making History Now

The different ways we may document the current refugee crisis.

Yousif Qasmiyeh, poet and writer

Colin Yeo, immigration barrister and blogger, Garden Court Chambers

Representative of Freed Voices from Detention Action

Agnes Woolley, Royal Holloway, University of London

The event is fully catered and if you are from a NGO or are an unfunded individual then you may claim the cost of your travel to the workshop.

Podcasts & Videos

Play: Lyndsey Stonebridge and Becky Taylor, University of East Anglia - Introduction

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