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Oct 8: First webinar in the Mellon Sawyer “Humanitarianisms” series – “Sovereignty, Welcome, and Epistemic Hospitality.”

October 8, 2020

Pre register for a link to join the live event at 3:30 pm, Thursday, October 8.

Thursday, October 8 marks the first event in the Mellon Sawyer Seminar series, with the theme, Humanitarianisms: Migrations and Care Through the Global South convened by Professor Cabeiri Robinson and Professor Arzoo Osanloo.

This first live webinar features a presentation by Dr. Anne McNevin (Professor and Chair of Politics at the New School for Social Research), a focused question/ discussion, and an open Q&A session.  In her talk “Sovereignty, Welcome, and Epistemic Hospitality,” Dr. McNevin examines the practices of Australian Aboriginal elders and activists who began to issue First Nation passports to refugees and asylum seekers detained and deterred under the terms of Australian border security after 2010.  Her talk prompts us to consider how immigration detention policies in off-shore location places like Manus Island as a part of Australia’s “Pacific Solution”  were rationalized in terms of humanitarian protection, and were deeply grounded in administrative strategies of removal, separation, and enclosure that long categorized White Australia’s colonial and post-colonial treatment of aboriginal peoples, who have sometimes identified as refugees within their own country.

Educational resources and future events:

In addition to being streamed live, the Sawyer events will be curated as a long-term pedological resource.  An edited and produced-for-non-live audiences video will be available on a YouTube channel one week after the event, and a fully indexed and searchable & accessibility captioned video will be available on the YouTube Chanel three weeks after the event.

There are a total of nine Mellon Sawyer  seminars planned over the course of the academic year. Visit the inks below to learn more about the webinars planned for Fall 2020:

Thursday, November 12, 2020, 3:30 – 4:30 pm | Mellon Sawyer Seminars “Humanitarianisms” Series: Ilana Feldman and Pamela Ballinger

Ilana Feldman, “Humanitarian Rights and Palestinian Presence”
Palestinian refugees have long insisted both that humanitarianism is a right and that it entails specific obligations. Although the idea of humanitarian rights might seem an oxymoron, Palestinian efforts show that even as such demands may not have the force of law, they have, at least sometimes, been effective in changing practice.

Pamela Ballinger, “Provincializing the 1951 Geneva Convention on Refugees”
A rich body of scholarship has highlighted the particularistic and Eurocentric nature of the 1951 Convention. Less studied, however, are the ways in which the refugee definition also excluded many European displaced persons from recognition. Ballinger’s talk recuperates the complex efforts to categorize displacees in the Italian peninsula in the early postwar period, notably migrants produced by Italian decolonization. The Italian case offers an alternative pre-history to the Convention, one that further provincializes (to employ Chakrabarty’s term) the regime of international law and assistance developed around the Convention.

Thursday, December 3, 2020, 3:0-4:30 pm | Mellon Sawyer Seminars “Humanitarianisms” Series: Emma Meyer and Jessica Whyte

Description forthcoming.