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.
The Pears Institute explores the pattern of antisemitism both today and in the past. We connect research on antisemitism to the wider study of racialization and intolerance.