Seminars by Visiting Researchers: December 2014

  • 2014•12•17

    On Wednesday  10th December  2014, UNU-GCM held a morning of research seminars with presentations given by Visiting Researchers, Talha Jalal and Knut Graw.

    Talha Jalal spoke on ‘The Displacement of Minorities in Syria and Iraq: Implications for Human Security’. The seminar focussed on a regional context in which violence and the displacement of minorities are concerns that straddle multiple borders. It highlighted the limitations of the concept of human security, as it is used in international policy frameworks, to address this situation and made a case for adopting the idea of cultural security: the freedom to negotiate individual and collective identities. The lively debate that followed reflected the timely relevance of this topic in the current period of conflict and displacement in Syria and Iraq.

    Knut Graw then gave a paper on ‘Continuity and Rupture in the Memory of Migration: A West African Trajectory’.  The seminar addressed two striking features in public debates on West and North African migration to Europe since the late 1980s: the anonymity of migrants and the dehistoricization of migration processes. The paper challenged these tendencies by focussing on an individual narrative of a migrant to reflect upon the importance of voice in studies of migration. A thought-provoking debate followed, engaging with the points raised on representation and on the limitations of current methodological practices in anthropology and in qualitative research more generally.

    UNU-GCM researchers were pleased to engage with the interesting and important research being done by the Visiting Researchers, and to share these discussions with participants in attendance from other institutes in Barcelona.