Event: From Identity to Precarity: Asylum, State Violence, and Alternative Horizons for Queer Citizenship

A Talk with David K. Seitz

January 8th 12:30-2:00pm

BSIA Multipurpose Room 142

This talk puts queer theory’s “subjectless critique” of identity to work in challenging the state’s biopolitical use of essential, authentic identities in asylum law and practice. It both builds on and departs from existing scholarship that calls on state actors to recognize a wider range of forms of gender and sexual diversity that make people vulnerable to persecution. By contrast, I investigate how the practices of “destination” countries produce asylums-seekers as dispossessed, deportable, precarious queers — regardless of sexual identity or practice. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork with asylum-seekers and their supporters in Toronto, I highlight the waiting room as one type of material and metaphorical space that produces asylum-seekers as liminal queer subjects. I argue that approaching queerness as precarity, rather than lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender identity or even sexual and gender diversity, provides alternative and expansive ethical horizons for queer and migration politics.

Bio:

David K. Seitz is a cultural geographer broadly interested in questions of desire, difference, and citizenship. He is assistant professor of cultural geography at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California, and contributes to the Intercollegiate Feminist Center and the American Studies program at the Claremont Colleges. His first book A House of Prayer for All People: Contesting Citizenship in a Queer Church was released in November by the University of Minnesota Press. An urban ethnography that centrally engages geographies of citizenship, queer of color critique, and psychoanalytic theory, the book examines the politics of urban, national and transnational solidarity at a large, predominantly LGBTQ church in Toronto.

“Illustration by Annie Mok, courtesy of Mask magazine.”

Free Event.    A light lunch will be offered.

Please RSVP to Eventbrite: Identity

Note: We will hold your registration until 12:20 PM. After 12:20 PM your spot will be released to the wait list. A reminder that free parking is available on the streets surrounding the CIGI Campus, in the museum lot across Erb St. and in the Uptown Waterloo Plaza parking lots. Please enter the School through the Erb Street doors.

For more information, please contact the organizer via email [email protected]. To receive email updates about future International Migration Research Centre Events please join our listserv by emailing us or visit our News and Events page at imrc.ca.

Event: The Rohingyas: A Case of the ‘Sub-human’ in Myanmar and Bangladesh

Join IMRC for an informative talk about the state of life in the Rohingya diaspora.

December 5, 2017 3:00-5:00 PM
Balsillie School of International Affairs, 67 Erb St. W, Waterloo
Multipurpose Room 1-42

The Rohingyas, an ethno-linguistic and religious minority of Myanmar and known as the most persecuted people in the world, have recently experienced a horrible ‘genocide’ perpetrated by Myanmar security forces and vigilantes. The United Nations Human Rights Council has called this a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”. Under the pretext of an attack by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) on August 25, 2017, Myanmar security forces killed thousands of civilian Rohingyas, burnt their houses down, and raped hundreds of girls and women. These attacks triggered an exodus of more than 600,000 Rohingyas to Bangladesh, and added to the existing 500,000 refugees in the area. Already resource-poor and overcrowded, the Southeastern part of Bangladesh is now hosting more than one million Rohingyas. The Rohingyas are now suffering from inadequate food, shelter, sanitation, and health care, as well as the minimum standard of living. Many international rights bodies and media outlets have called this ‘the biggest humanitarian catastrophe’ in the near past.

Local people are gradually becoming ‘unwelcoming’ since more than one million additional people have begun to share local resources, livelihood sources, scopes of occupation, and social utilities. Therefore, the Rohingyas are ‘struggling for existence’ and thinking of where to go, what to do, and how to survive. If we consider the intensity of brutality and the degree of atrocity committed by the state forces, the Rohingyas in Myanmar have been treated as though they are not human beings. In Bangladesh, the Rohingyas are now left in the state of an obscured past, critical present and an uncertain future. Why the Rohingyas are going through such a grave experience is the result of not belonging to any state – Myanmar stripped them of their citizenship four decades ago and Bangladesh does not even recognize them as refugees. The Rohingyas, therefore, do not exist in the world in a legal framework.

This talk argues that the empirically grounded evidence on the current state of Rohingyas in the borderland of Bangladesh and Myanmar shows a life that is less than human, what Uddin refers to as being treated as “sub-human”.

About the speaker

Nasir UddinNasir Uddin is a cultural anthropologist based in Bangladesh and a professor of anthropology at the University of Chittagong. His research interests include statelessness and refugee studies; human rights and non-citizens; indigeneity and identity politics; the state in everyday life; the politics of marginality and vulnerability; and borderlands and border people, particularly those of Bangladesh and Myanmar, the Chittagong Hill Tracts, and South Asia. His publications include To Host or To Hurt: Counter-narratives on the Rohingya (Refugees) in Bangladesh (2012); Life in Peace and Conflict: Indigeneity and State in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (2017) and Indigeneity on the Move: Varying Manifestation of a Contested Concept (2017). Currently he is working on a monograph, the Rohingyas: A Tale of Sub-Human (2018).

Please RSVP on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/the-rohingyas-a-case-of-the-sub-human-in-myanmar-and-bangladesh-tickets-40153395888?aff=es2

Note: We will hold your registration until 2:55 PM. After 2:55 PM your spot will be released to the wait list. A reminder that free parking is available on the streets surrounding the CIGI Campus, in the museum lot across Erb St. and in the Uptown Waterloo Plaza parking lots. Please enter the School through the Erb Street doors.

For more information, please contact the organizer via email [email protected]. To receive email updates about future International Migration Research Centre Events please join our listserv by emailing us or visit our News and Events page at imrc.ca.

Support IMRC’s Annual Dr. Kerry Preibisch Lecture Series

On November 16, 2017 IMRC hosted the 2nd Annual Kerry Preibisch Lecture Series – Film Screening of Migrant Dreams: A Film by Min Sook Lee and Lecture with Min Sook Lee and Q&A

Dr. Kerry Preibisch was a prolific scholar in the area of social justice and migration, who died of cancer in January, 2016, at the height of her career. The intention of this annual memorial lecture/event will be to add to the myriad ways that scholars and students can keep her research and vision of promoting migrants’ human rights alive into the future. Invited speakers must bring a global social justice perspective to their lecture pertaining to migration, and are encouraged to engage directly with Kerry’s work.

Please show your support by donating to the Kerry Preibisch Scholarship Fund

Welcome and Introduction
Lecture with Min Sook Lee
Film Screening – Migrant Dreams

A powerful feature documentary by multiple award-winning director Min Sook Lee (El Contrato, Hogtown, Tiger Spirit) and Emmy award-winning producer Lisa Valencia-Svensson (Herman’s House), tells the undertold story of migrant agricultural workers struggling against Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) that treats foreign workers as modern-day indentured labourers. Under the rules of Canada’s migrant labour program, low wage migrants are tied to one employer. …

Migrant Dreams exposes the underbelly of the Canadian government labour program that has built a system designed to empower brokers and growers to exploit, dehumanize and deceive migrant workers who have virtually no access to support or information in their own language. Workers willing to pay exorbitant fees to work at minimum wage jobs packing the fruits and vegetables we eat in our homes. Migrant workers who deserve basic labour and human rights. Canada it seems, has failed them.

Read more here: http://www.migrantdreams.ca/synopsis/
Press Kit: http://www.migrantdreams.ca/newsandpresskit/

Q&A Period

News: 2017 Gunn Award Winner Iain Wilson Receives Certificate

The 2017 Gunn Award prize has been awarded to Iain Wilson, an MA student in the Department of History at Queen’s University, Kingston. He has a BA from Victoria College at the University of Toronto. Iain has also won the Michael Bliss Essay Prize in Canadian Political History and the George Metcalfe Memorial Scholarship for High Standing in Canadian History. He is currently studying Canadian state policy towards Indigenous peoples in the late 19th century.

Iain’s essay is titled, “Organic Settlement in Pre-19th Century Newfoundland”. The essay explores why, despite the considerable value of Newfoundland’s fisheries (one of the most potent in the world until recently) and the strong state interest of the English Crown in maintaining this economy, European migration to Newfoundland remained relatively inconsiderable until the 19th century, why those who did settle chose to do so, and how these organic communities created the foundations for future migration influxes. Click here to read the essay.

IMRC Receives 2017 President’s Achievement Award!

News: IMRC’s Dr. Janet McLaughlin in the news!

Check out the Star’s article, a documentary, and WLU highlight of her research.

  • https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/migrants/2017/10/07/this-sexually-abused-migrant-worker-is-now-safe-but-she-knows-others-arent.html
  • http://www.contextwithlornadueck.com/2017/10/11/migrant-justice/
  • https://www.wlu.ca/academics/research/researcher-profiles/faculty-researchers/janet-mclaughlin.html

News: IMRC Professor to Speak at UN

News: Article on IMRC’s Associate Director Kim Rygiel

Laurier political scientist researching what makes communities embrace or reject newcomers 

Join the IMRC Community

The International Migration Research Centre (IMRC) is a research centre serving as a focal point for debate, research, policy analysis, and proposal development related to international migration at the global, national and regional scale. The IMRC fosters research in new policy development and alternative models and practices of managing temporary, circular and permanent forms of international migration. Our research is relevant to practice and policymaking in the areas of international governance, mobilities, critical border issues, diaspora and development, labour relations, transnationalism and human security.

Our mission is to develop and sponsor research linkages and activities with scholars, and share and discuss the implications of this research with nongovernmental and governmental actors and representatives from across Canada and around the world. We are building a network of scholars, community representatives and policy-makers in order to foster relevant and innovative research and partnerships – so, affiliate with the IMRC and connect!

IMRC Organizational Structure

The research centre structure involves a Director, an Associate Director, Executive Committee and a Board of Directors drawn from our Research Associates, Research Affiliates, Community/Institutional Affiliates and Student Affiliates. Research associates/affiliates requests are to be submitted to the executive committee (via email or hard copy), and new members will be determined by a majority vote. To become an IMRC Research Associate or Affiliate, submit the application form with a recent CV demonstrating research interests in the field of international migration. Community/Institutional Affiliates are asked to contact the Director or Associate Director directly prior to submitting the form, since in some cases it will not be required. Students are asked to submit the form, and undergo an interview with the Director or Associate Director.

Research Associates are typically faculty members from Wilfrid Laurier University, University of Waterloo and/or the Balsillie Scohool of International Affairs who are interested in participating in IMRC events and research initiatives. IMRC Research Associates may: utilize the IMRC’s research space, conference/meeting area, and visiting scholar offices; participate free of charge in centre events; contribute papers to the online working paper series and other IMRC publications; administer grants or contracts through the IMRC; draw on IMRC research assistants and administrative support when available for research or events hosted by the IMRC; be eligible to apply for financial support or research assistantships when available; advertise events and circulate information through the IMRC website; be sent regular updates on centre events and research, internal and external funding opportunities, conference announcements, calls for papers, and new publication releases related to international migration; participate in yearly workshops and sessions organized by the IMRC at WLU, at National and International Metropolis Conferences, and other venues; utilize the IMRC reference library, migration research and teaching resources (e.g. the IOM/FOCAL Online Migration Mapping Project, and journal subscriptions); help initiate new proposals and research perspectives and help to develop the ongoing network collaborations between academic and community members. IMRC Associates may be considered for positions on the executive committee, or for the positions of Director and Associate Director. Research Associates must have a demonstrated research interest related to international migration.

Research Affiliates include faculty and researchers (e.g. PhD students, lecturers, independent scholars) from across Canada, as well as international scholars with an interest in international migration research. IMRC Research Affiliates will be sent regular updates on centre events and research, funding opportunities for faculty and students, conference announcements and calls for papers, and new publication releases related to international migration. Affiliates may contribute papers to the online working paper series and other IMRC publications, and may participate in centre events, workshops and conferences.

Our Partners and Networks include community members, policy makers, non-governmental and governmental representatives and other organizations who are involved in work related to immigrants or migration more broadly. These affiliated individuals and groups will be sent regular updates on centre events and research, and new publication releases related to international migration.

Student Affiliates are graduate students from any faculty, department or campus who have an interest related to international migration.  Students wishing to be affiliated with the centre are asked to submit this form to either the Director or Associate Director. Students will be able to take part in the centre’s events, utilize research resources, and apply for funding, scholarships and research assistantships.

Guidelines and Application Form

Welcome from New IMRC Directors

Dear colleagues,

Summer’s greetings from the IMRC! We hope that this finds you immersed in fruitful field research, cool summer activities, and rest.

We are writing to announce our arrival as new directors at the IMRC, to introduce you to the Centre’s new Administrative Assistant Kirsten Pries, and to thank outgoing directors Drs. Jenna Hennebry and Margaret Walton-Roberts. As founding directors, Jenna and Margaret established a thriving Centre and set a high bar for IMRC activity. We have been grateful to enjoy the Centre as an intellectual and politically-engaged home, and look forward to contributing to the life of the Centre with the same energy and spirit of inclusion and meaningful engagement established by Margaret and Jenna.

Many of you proposed stimulating ideas at the general meeting held at the Balsillie School of International Affairs last fall, and we are excited to implement and move forward with these ideas. In the months ahead, you can expect to hear from us about upcoming lectures, films, conferences, committees, and roaming coffee klatches. We will be embarking on a five-year visioning exercise for the Centre, and also have a new communications strategy in the works (thanks to Shawna Reibling and Research Services!).

We would like the opportunity to share your work with broader communities and are eager to showcase the wonderful research being carried out by affiliated students, faculty, and visiting scholars. The extent of collaboration across campuses and international boundaries is impressive. We want to see you and hear what you have been up to.

Please check out the updated website when you have a chance (imrc.ca), let us know any thoughts you have, and look for messages from us over the usual channels: the IMRC email listserve, twitter (@imrconline), and facebook (@internationalmigrationresearchcentre).

We look forward to working with you in the months and years ahead to continue to build a vibrant intellectual home for research and public engagement at the IMRC.

Warmly,

Alison Mountz (Director) and Kim Rygiel (Associate Director)