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Guest Lecture: Paul Hodge on "Asylum seeking, research and hope."

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Peak Lecture Theatre

Sheffield Hallam University

Howard Street

Sheffield

S1 1WB

United Kingdom

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Dr. Paul Hodge (University of Newcastle, Australia) will give a Guest Lecture at Sheffield Hallam University on "Asylum seeking, research and hope: prefiguring a different world". The paper will be followed by an open Q&A / discussion with the audience.

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ABSTRACT

Asylum seeking is life threatening. People seeking asylum live under increasingly precarious conditions both as a result of forced migration—escaping violence from human-made calamities—and as a direct consequence of minority world governing rationalities and practices. According to Jones et al. (2017: 1), over 40,000 people died from 2006 to 2015 attempting to cross borders. Not the result of intra or inter-state conflict, these people died “as a consequence of states expanding the reach of their security and detention practices to capture, intercede, or make intentionally perilous the movements of people”

Australia, ashamedly, is a leading bastion of this kind of state sanctioned vilification and violence (Hodge, 2015). Given such a bleak outlook, what are concerned citizens, allies and researchers of the minority world left to do? How might research itself become a generative tool of hope? In this paper I draw on several research projects and community-based initiatives and actions in the Australian context that prefigure a different world to the one on offer. Reflecting on interviews undertaken with practitioners working with people seeking asylum and former refugees, as well as the work of advocates, friends and colleagues, I highlight prefigurative practices that foreground strengths-based ways of relating that challenge the criminalised, deficit, and needs-based narratives that define the Australian government’s myopic vision of what Australia can be.

References

Hodge, P (2015) A grievable life? The criminalisation and securing of asylum seeker bodies in the ‘violent frames’ of Australia’s Operation Sovereign Borders, Geoforum 58, 122-131.

Jones, R., Johnson C., Brown W., Popescu, G., Pallister-Wilkins, P., Mountz A., and Gilbert E., (2017) Interventions on the state of sovereignty at the border, Political Geography, 59, 1-10.


BIOGRAPHY

Dr Paul Hodge is lecturer in the Discipline of Geography and Environmental Studies at The University of Newcastle, Australia. Paul works in the field of political and cultural geography with a focus on asylum seeking and forced migration, participatory/strengths-based community development, and Indigenous-led geographies. Paul has been involved in advocacy and support for people seeking asylum and people from refugee backgrounds since 2010, initially with Africa-Australia Alliance for Peace and Reconciliation (AAAPR) and more recently with Refugee Action Network Newcastle (RANN). Paul has published work focusing on Operation Sovereign Borders, the Australian government response to asylum seeking (Hodge, 2015) and recently on protests against these inhumane measures (Hodge, 2018). He is currently working alongside Emmaneul Musoni, Chair of the Great Lakes Agency for Peace and Development International (GLAPD), a community-based organisation with members from the Congolese, Rwandan, Burundian and Ugandan communities in NSW (http://glapd.org), Dr Natascha Klocker (University of Wollongong) and Dr Olivia Dun (University of Melbourne) exploring farming initiatives for former refugees with aspirations to live in regional Australia.



VENUE

The Peak Lecture Theatre Is located just inside the main entrance of the Owen Building in the centre of the Sheffield Hallam University's City Campus.


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Peak Lecture Theatre

Sheffield Hallam University

Howard Street

Sheffield

S1 1WB

United Kingdom

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