Innocence: understanding a political concept

Professor Miriam Ticktin (The New School for Social Research)
Event date
Event time
17:00 - 18:30
Oxford Department of International Development
3 Mansfield Road
Venue details

The Garden Room

Event type
Lectures and seminars
Event cost
Disabled access?
Booking required

With the grounding assumption that innocence plays a central role in the politics of forced migration and asylum, this lecture will delve into the idea of innocence, trying to understand it and render its workings more legible, and arguing that it is a political – not simply a religious or moral – concept. By examining the figure of the child, the trafficked victim, the migrant, asylum seeker, the enemy combatant and the animal, Professor Ticktin will suggest that innocence sets up hierarchies of humanity, all the while feeding an expanding politics of humanitarianism. Ultimately, she will ask if innocence is a concept we want to protect.

About the speaker: Miriam Ticktin is Associate Professor of Anthropology at The New School for Social Research and co-director of the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility. Professor Ticktin's research has focused in the broadest sense on what it means to make political claims in the name of a universal humanity. She has been interested in what these claims tell us about universalisms and difference, about who can be a political subject, on what basis people are included and excluded from communities, and how inequalities get instituted or perpetuated in this process. Next year she will be a fellow at Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study.

The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception. To register, and for any other enquiries, please contact the RSC Centre Administrator, Anneli Chambliss Howes, at or on +44 (0)1865 281720.