Workshop: Monstrosity, Abjection and Climate Change in the Mediterranean Area

Starts 25 May 2018 - 18:00
Finishes 25 May 2018 - 21:00
Venue Room B01, Clore Management Centre, Torrington Square Birkbeck, University of London London WC1E 7JL
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This workshop will feature the following speakers: Andrew Baldwin (Durham), Giovanni Bettini (Lancaster), Sarah Keenan and Nadine El-Enany (School of Law, Birkbeck).

The event will be chaired by Birkbeck Institute of Humanities Fellow, Gaia Giuliani (CES - University of Coimbra)

Drawing on his 2017 afterwords “Afterword: Life Adrift in a Postcolonial World” (in A. Baldwin and G. Bettini (eds), Life Adrift. Climate Change, Migration, Critique, Rowman & Littlefield), Gaia Giuliani will open this workshop by discussing the implications between discourses and legislations on climate-change and fears for disaster, migration, and security and ‘risk’ from a postcolonial and critical race theory viewpoint. She will then introduce participants’ contributions to a multidisciplinary and critical readings of these implications.

Andrew Baldwin will present his paper, 'Seas of difference: on the oceanic crisis of humanism, climate change, and migration,' which considers the ‘oceanic’ dimensions of the crisis of humanism that are revealed in the discourse on climate change and migration. It asks what difference does the materiality of the Mediterranean sea make to our understanding of climate change and migration as a epistemological site in the exercise of contemporary racial power.

Giovanni Bettini's paper 'And Yet it Moves – (Climate) Migration as Symptom in the Anthropocene,' asks what will mobility look like in the Anthropocene? And what do our answers to this question say about today’s political preoccupations and relations? Exploring such themes drawing on academic literature and novels, Bettini's paper proposes a ‘symptomatic’ reading of contemporary discourses on climate migration and climate refugees. To interpret (the insistence on) such narratives, this paper draws on the two main understandings of symptom proposed by the French psychoanalyst Jaques Lacan – the ‘retuned of the repressed’ and ‘Sinthome’.

Finally, Sarah Keenan and Nadine El-Enany will present their work, ‘Stop The Boats’: Australia’s Offshore Refugee Prisons.' In this presentation, they will set out the political history and legal geography of Australia’s offshore detention policy. Keenan and El-Enany argue that Australia’s extreme defensiveness against un-vetted racialised migrants is a sign of the nation’s white fragility, a result of its unresolved colonial foundation in the fiction of terra nullius

Gaia Giuliani is a Birkbeck Institute of Humanities Fellow for 2018. She is an Associate professor in Political philosophy (ASN 2017, Italy), an investigadora/researcher at CES - Centro de Estudos Sociais, University of Coimbra (Portugal), the Principal Investigator of the FCT 3 years project "(De)OTHERING: Deconstructing Risk and Otherness: hegemonic scripts and counter-narratives on migrants/refugees and 'internal Others' in Portuguese and European mediascapes" (2018-2021).

Dr. Giuliani has organised this event as part of a three-event programme.

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