Call for Papers: Post- and de-colonial perspectives on the European refugee ‘crisis’

Cfp: Post- and de-colonial perspectives on the European refugee ‘crisis’

Nordic Geographers Meeting 2017, Stockholm, Sweden, June 18th–21st 2017.

Convener/s: Dr Kathy Burrell and Dr Andy Davies, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Liverpool

As the innumerable impacts of the ongoing refugee ‘crisis’ in Europe unfold in front of us – the simultaneous threat to Schengen and hardening of the external boundaries of ‘Fortress Europe’, heightened anti-immigration tensions, new mobilisations of support for refugees – the post-colonial dynamics of the European project are becoming more pertinent than ever. This session seeks to foreground the postcolonial dimensions of this ‘crisis’ and its ramifications, asking how it is entrenching existing postcolonial norms, discourses and asymmetries within and without the continent, and also how it is destabilising them, creating new post-colonial landscapes.

Whilst we wish to draw on established post- and de-colonial literatures, from Fanon to Said to Spivak, we are keen to interrogate more closely these incarnations of the ‘crisis’ in present day Europe and how they potentially re-shape our understandings of the colonial present. In short, how does the current ‘crisis’ challenge our understanding of the post-/de-colonial, and vice versa?

Key discussion points could include, but are not restricted to:

  • The wider geopolitics of neo-colonial and neo-imperial projects, borders and responsibilities
  • Internal European orientalisms – persistence of core/periphery tropes, othering of post-socialist spaces
  • How particular spaces/places (external colonial ‘enclaves’, islands, post-socialist spaces) are relationally enfolded within the ongoing ‘crisis’ in different ways
  • Everyday experiences, responses to and understandings of ‘crisis’ – as an ongoing and unfolding condition, rather than a singular moment
  • Can the refugee speak? Responses to and depictions of refugees in a European context – including visual, audio, vocal and more-than representational geographies of the crisis

The session aims to connect these sometimes disparate but always interrelated topics together, reframing what the refugee crisis means for post-colonial European space, what it has changed, and what it has reinforced.

We welcome short papers and interventions (5-10 minutes) which speak to these themes – please send an abstract of no more than 150 words on your proposed contribution.

Please send abstracts to: and by 15 December 2016.