Skip to main content

Borders, Racisms, and Harms: A Symposium

Venue: Birkbeck Main Building, Malet Street

No booking required

Borders, Racisms, and Harms: A Symposium

Wednesday 2 May (12-5pm) and Thursday 3 May (9.30am-7.30pm)

The final programme for the symposium can be found here.

The current socio-political context is characterised by Brexit and Europe's shoring up of borders in response to irregular migration via the Mediterranean, hyper-criminalisation of migrants, growth of corporate involvement in the management of migration, travel bans, rise of right-wing populism, racisms and xenophobic sentiments across much of the West, and rapid erosion of rights. At the same time, there are constantly new modes of solidarity and resistance emerging, which are also subject to state responses and controls. This event brings together scholars at various stages of their careers, third sector workers, and people with direct experience of immigration controls and borders to examine the theme of border harms from different substantive angles and theoretical perspectives. The idea of border harms encompasses the variety of ways that bordering practices produce harm and are interconnected with race and racisms.

The symposium programme will be confirmed shortly. The keynote speakers are Shahram Khosravi (Stockholm University) and Alpa Parmar (University of Oxford), and confirmed panellists include Frances Webber (Institute for Race Relations), Ben Hayes (Transnational Institute), Lorenzo Pezzani (Goldsmiths), and from the University of East London's Centre for Migration, Refugees and Belonging: Gargi Bhattacharyya, Giorgia DonÃ, Nuria Targarona Rifa, Isabel Meier, and Georgi Wemyss.

We can help cover the public transportation costs for people with experience of the immigration system coming from within Greater London. Please email us at for further information.

This symposium is organised by Monish Bhatia, Gemma Lousley, and Sarah Turnbull (Birkbeck, University of London) and is generously supported by the School of Law, Birkbeck. Please contact us at with any queries. #borderharms

This event is free and open to the public, however registration is required via Eventbrite.

Please note that latecomers to the event are not guaranteed entry. Please be advised that photographs may be taken at the event for use on the Birkbeck website and in Birkbeck marketing materials. By attending this event, you consent to Birkbeck photographing and using your image for these purposes. By registering for this event you consent to your email address being added to the School of Law, Birkbeck mailing list. Your email address will not be shared with third-party organisations. If you would like to request your removal from our mailing list please contact

This event is part of the School of Law's 25th Anniversary celebrations. The School of Law, Birkbeck was founded in 1992 as a Department of Law with three members of academic staff. Over the last twenty-five years it has become a School comprising the Departments of Law and Criminology as well as the Institute for Criminal Policy Research, four research Centres, 40 members of staff and an overall student body of over 1,000. The School is proud of being a pioneer in establishing and developing a hub for the field of critical legal studies. While our national and international reputation has been forged through critical legal research, more recently we have gained recognition for critical criminological and activist research, socio-legal scholarship and policy-engaged empirical research. In recognition of this the last Research Excellence Framework exercise ranked us as being in the top 10 law schools in the UK and in the top 3 in London, while our research environment was judged conducive to producing research of the highest quality.

In this our 25th Anniversary year we will be holding a series of events reflecting on our history and successes as well as looking forward to the opportunities and challenges facing critical legal and criminological teaching and scholarship in the 21st century. Find out more about the 25th Anniversary celebrations here.

Contact name: