I am convening a Public Seminar Series at the Refugee Studies Centre this term, which looks at the History of Refuge. Some very exciting speakers will present forms of refugee protection from ancient Greece and the Roman Empire to refuge in medieval England and the Ottoman Empire to US plans for post-WWII DPs and refugee protection at the time of Indian/Pakistan Partition. In addition, Peter Gatrell will ask why historiography as been so silent on the role of refugees in history. The seminars will subsequently go online as podcasts.
Refugee Studies and Historiography have only lately begun to draw on each other more considerably. Some important studies in other disciplines have drawn on and examined historical events and developments of forced migration. Nonetheless, refugee research has long lacked an empirically rich history of its subject. Moreover, the focus of this fruitful cooperation is often directed at historical experiences and causes of flight. In contrast, this seminar series will be concerned with the history of refugee protection, with hospitality, sanctuary and asylum for forced migrants throughout history. Speakers will present pre-modern forms of protection as well as various historical refugee policies in modern contexts. Their papers will illustrate continuities and transformations of refuge over time. Thereby, the seminar series will contribute to revealing the historicity of past and current challenges in refugee protection and to illuminating opportunities of lessons from the past.
4 February 2015
11 February 2015
The arrival of refugees and the making of India and Pakistan in 1947
Professor Yasmin Khan (Kellogg College, University of Oxford)
18 February 2015
Exile, refuge and the Greek polis: between justice and humanity
Dr Benjamin Gray (University of Edinburgh)
25 February 2015
Hospitality, protection and refuge in early English law
Dr Tom Lambert (Exeter College, University of Oxford)
11 March 2015
Out with the ‘international problem children’! US migration plans, settlement fantasies and the pacification of Europe
Dr Gerhard Wolf (University of Sussex)