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Mellon Sawyer Seminars: “Sovereignty, Welcome, and Epistemic Hospitality.”

September 14, 2020

Mellon Sawyer Seminars “Humanitarianisms” Series: Anne McNevin, “Sovereignty, Welcome, and Epistemic Hospitality.”

Thursday, October 8, 20203:30-4:30 pm PT



In 2010, Australian Aboriginal elders and activists began to issue First Nation passports to refugees and asylum seekers detained and deterred under the terms of Australian border security. How might this gesture of welcome be read in light of contending sovereignties at stake? In this talk McNevin reflects on the epistemic conditions that shape the reception of this gesture. Building out from this example, she draws on Indigenous articulations of sovereignty, responsibility and care as sources of theory about hospitality. Examining some of the limits to engaging those ideas in abstraction, she works towards a notion of epistemic hospitality as a way of approaching an exchange of knowledges about hospitality between putative hosts and guests, and across the putative terrain of the global north and south.

Anne McNevin is Associate Professor of Politics at The New School. She is author of Contesting Citizenship: Irregular Migrants and New Frontiers of the Political, and co-editor of the journal, Citizenship Studies. Her recent publications examine time as a technique of border control and the transnational governmental regimes that shape the experience of refugees and migrants in and around Indonesia. She is working on a new book that aims to bring a world beyond bordered states into the realm of serious political consideration.

This webinar will be 1 hour, consisting of a presentation by Anne McNevin, conversation with Sawyer Seminar faculty from University of Washington, and discussion of write-in questions from viewers.

Part of the Mellon Sawyer Seminar Series, 2020-2021, “Humanitarianisms: Migration and Care through the Global South” at the University of Washington. This webinar launches the Fall 2020 theme, “Decentering Migration and Decolonizing Humanitarianism.” Click here to learn more about this series.

Sponsored by the Simpson Center for the Humanities; co-sponsored by the Center for Global Studies and the Department of Political Science.

Register here!