Ilana Feldman (George Washington University) will speak on Humanitarian Rights and Palestinian Presence. Palestinian refugees have long insisted both that humanitarianism is a right and that it entails specific obligations. Although the idea of humanitarian rights might seem an oxymoron, Palestinian efforts show that even as such demands may not have the force of law, they have, at least sometimes, been effective in changing practice.
Pamela Ballinger (University of Michigan) will speak on Provincializing the 1951 Geneva Convention on Refugees. A rich body of scholarship has highlighted the particularistic and Eurocentric nature of the 1951 Convention. Less studied, however, are the ways in which the refugee definition also excluded many European displaced persons from recognition. Feldman’s talk recuperates the complex efforts to categorize displacees in the Italian peninsula in the early postwar period, notably migrants produced by Italian decolonization. The Italian case offers an alternative pre-history to the Convention, one that further provincializes (to employ Chakrabarty’s term) the regime of international law and assistance developed around the Convention.
This webinar will be 1 hour, consisting of a presentations by Professors Feldman Ballinger, conversation with Sawyer Seminar faculty and discussion of write-in questions from viewers.
Part of the Mellon Sawyer Seminar Series, 2020-2021, "Humanitarianisms: Migration and Care through the Global South." This webinar is the second of three on the Fall 2020 theme, "Decentering Migration and Decolonizing Humanitarianism." For more about this series, visit bit.ly/humanitarianisms
Funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, supported by The Simpson Center for the Humanities, and cosponsored by Department of Anthropology; Department of History;
Interdisciplinary PhD Program in Near and Middle Eastern Studies.