Special Issue "Displacement and the Humanities: Manifestos from the Ancient to the Present"
A special issue of Humanities (ISSN 2076-0787).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 November 2017).
Interests: human mobility and the constructions of place (2017); history through material remains; Lucania (2007); agency of the displaced; hospitality, asylum, refugeehood; ancient history and archaeology of pre-Imperial Italy; public and common space and architecture; inter-disciplinarity and inter-practice methodologies; ancient youth
Interests: age and ageing in the Roman empire; Roman youth; Cicero; Roman political and cultural history; non-elite urban identities; Roman imperialism; ancient and modern ideologies and historiography; ancient somatology; Roman villa culture
Important and urgent studies on the subject of migration have increased substantially over the last decade in response to what has been termed the ‘migration crisis’. The issue is seemingly timeless, yet, the long term historical perspective shows just how ambivalent the category of migration is. What does it mean for human mobility to become a problem—a crisis? Usually the subject is addressed from either the perspective of the host or the home community, focusing on the impact of arrival or departure. Between these two points are those who are displaced, often for periods that last more than a generation—the current UN average duration of displacement is 25 years. For this reason we have chosen to focus on the critical issue of displacement. It is here broadly construed as both the involuntary movement of peoples from a place of belonging, whether due to forms of conflict, famine, persecution, or environmental disasters, and also the suspension of movement that leaves people existing without place. The more focused heuristic lens of displacement allows for cross-historical perspectives which do not risk conflating ‘migration’ with ‘refuge’ or ‘asylum’. It also allows for a discourse of place, space and territory—the shifting entities in relation to human belonging, statehood, mobility and control. It confronts the visibility and potency of displaced agency.
For this Special Issue, we therefore welcome contributions which seek to provoke a discourse within and beyond the field of Humanities, including the disciplines of Classics and Ancient History. Our intention is to create a dynamic collection using a dialogical platform with experts in the field, while ensuring a robust scholarly discourse. Hence, we have commissioned pieces of work from practitioners as catalysts, for each contributor to reflect on and engage with in preparing the paper. A scholar who uses a different approach will then be asked to respond to a paper. Through the stimulus by catalysts and respondents, the intention is to create dialogue across practices, disciplines and temporalities: from catalyst—to paper—to response. In so doing, we hope that it provokes future work—hence manifestos—not only in the historical and literary fields, but wider research and practice concerned with migration and refugeehood.
We particularly invite paper contributions which, at a theoretical and/or methodological level, aim to: remap the priorities for current research agendas; open up disciplines and critically analyse their approaches; address the socio-political responsibilities that we have as scholars and practitioners; provide an alternative site of discourse for contemporary concerns; and lastly, stimulate future interdisciplinary work and collaborations beyond the academy.
We invite submissions that treat the following thematic areas:
- How exceptional is the nature of mobility/displacement in the contemporary age?
- When does mobility, or immobility, become part of the repertoire of virtue—a positive attribute?
- Permanent transience and de-placement—still a ‘state of exception’?
- Spaces of suspension: the city, the camp, detention centres and sanctuaries.
- Materialities of displacement: objects, bodies, settlements, and traces.
- The power, agency, innovation of those who are displaced.
- Between hospitality and asylum—suppliant and guest.
- Opportunities and dangers of comparative history in the context of displacement.
- From representation to challenge: narratives of displacement in images and words.
- Re-humanising the demography of displacement: people beyond numbers.
- Responsibilities as scholars, and educators of the decision makers of the future.
Prof. Dr. Elena Isayev
Dr. Evan Jewell
Manuscript Submission Information
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