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Encountering Difference, Embodying Boundaries, and Unsettling Borders: Middle Eastern Refugees and Immigrants in the European Union -

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Encountering Difference, Embodying Boundaries, and Unsettling Borders: Middle Eastern Refugees and Immigrants in the European Union

October 9, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 12:00 pm on Friday, repeating until November 6, 2020

This virtual conference explores how Middle Eastern refugee and immigrant experiences provide insights into the production of difference, boundaries, and borders by unsettling established understandings of identity, statehood, and territory in and on the edges of the European Union. In the context of a “fortress Europe” and growing xenophobia and anti-Muslim racism, we address questions about who refugees and immigrants are and how they position themselves (or find themselves positioned) within systems of power operating at multiple scales and across a variety of spaces. We center embodied Middle Eastern refugee and immigrant experiences to understand and theorize subjects, political spaces, and technologies of governance.  

In addition to sharing research and identifying new directions in refugee studies, this conference aims to build a community of researchers and encourage collaboration through an online research platform we are building under the same title. Our goal is to share conference materials on this platform and to add new materials and resources, such as interviews with researchers, NGOs, activists, and artists; themed reading lists; and teaching resources. Schedule: 

  • Panel 1: Queer Refugees/Queering Refugee Studies (October 9, 2020)   
  • Panel 2: Midnight Traveler (documentary): Uncertain Journeys to and through Europe (October 16, 2020) 
  • Panel 3: Racialization of Refugees (October 23, 2020) 
  • Panel 4: Refugees and the “Crisis” of States: Rethinking Border Regimes and State Technologies/Mechanisms (October 30, 2020) 
  • Roundtable: Learning, Teaching, and Community-Building with Refugees (November 6, 2020)  

All events will take place virtually from 12:00pm to 1:30pm US Eastern Time. Please check the conference website and register to receive more information and Zoom links. And please share with those who might be interested.  

Organizers: Banu Gökarıksel, Devran Koray Öcal, Betül Aykaç, Suad Jabr, and Lily Herbert; Department of Geography, UNC-Chapel Hill 

Nathan Swanson; Honors College, Purdue University 

The conference is sponsored by the Center for European Studies (a Jean Monnet Center of Excellence), the Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Global Research Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA and the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies. 


October 9, 2020
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm