Refugees – What’s Wrong with History? | University of Oxford

Refugees – What’s Wrong with History?

Professor Peter Gatrell (University of Manchester)
17:00 - 18:30
Refugee Studies Centre
3 Mansfield Road
Oxford
OX1 3TB

Seminar Room 1

Lectures and seminars
Free
Yes
Not required

In this talk, Professor Gatrell will throw down the gauntlet by challenging historians of the modern world to take refugees seriously. Why, when other ‘marginalised’ groups – women, the working class and slave populations for example – have become incorporated into the mainstream of historiography, have refugees been left in the cold? Perhaps it is because refugees are thought to be unorganised, inactive and inarticulate. Perhaps the neglect originates in the belief that refugees are transient players on the world stage, in the sense that ‘being refugee’ is assumed to be a dramatic but brief hiatus. These assumptions are problematic and questionable. But what might ‘refugee history’ look like? In picking up the gauntlet, Professor Gatrell's answer will necessarily be wide-ranging, taking account of histories of categorisation, political upheaval, humanitarianism and the often problematic relationship of refugees to their own past.