Conference Keynote

Georgina Ramsay
(University of Delaware)

Temporality is a decisive aspect of the relationship between materiality and (forced) migration, which will be a recurring theme in the conference presentations. Moreover, temporality is the focus of Georgina Ramsay’s keynote lecture „Materializing Transformative Futures.“

In her lecture, Ramsay asks „What would it mean to treat the destabilizing effects of migration not as a problem, but as a force of possibility; a provocation for us all to imagine transformative futures? What distinguishes the migrant from the settled; the transience of movement from the permanence of residence?“ She argues that „(i)n a period in which future stability is being revealed across the globe as an illusion, (…) we would benefit from re-framing the aspirational horizons of migrants—and the ways their movements disrupt world orders and bordering structures like the North/South divide—not as a destabilizing ‘problem,’ but as provocation (…) to imagine and seek futures of possibility and transformation.“


Georgina Ramsay
(University of Delaware)

Assistant Professor at the Department for Anthropology at the University of Delaware. She has conducted extensive fieldwork with refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi in Australia and Uganda.

Sources & references

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Çaglar, A. 2018. Chronotypes of migration scholarship: Challenges of contemporaneity and historical conjuncture. In Gardiner Barber, P, Lem, W (eds) Migration, Temporality, and Capitalism: Entangled Mobilities across Global Spaces. London, UK; New York, NY; Shanghai, China: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.21–41.

Glick Schiller, N. 2012. Situating identities: Towards an identities studies without binaries of difference. Identities 19(4): 520–532.

Khosravi, Shahram. 2018. What do we see if we look at the border from the other side? Social Anthropology, 27: 409-424.

Malkki, L. 1992. National geographic: The rooting of peoples and the territorialization of national identity among scholars and refugees. Cultural Anthropology 7(1): 24–44.

Malkki, L. 1995a. Refugees and exile: From ‘refugee studies’ to the national order of things. Annual Review of Anthropology 24: 495–523.

Malkki, L. 1996. Speechless emissaries: Refugees, humanitarianism, and dehistoricization. Cultural Anthropology 11(3): 377–404.

Ramsay, G. 2019. Time and the Other in Crisis: How Anthropology makes its displaced object. Anthropological Theory.

Ramsay, G. 2019. Humanitarian exploits: Ordinary displacement and the political economy of the global refugee regime. Critique of Anthropology 39(4).

Ramsay, G. 2018. Impossible Refuge: The Control and Constraint of Refugee Futures. London, UK: Routledge.

Ramsay, G. 2017. Incommensurable futures and displaced lives: Sovereignty as control over time. Public Culture 29(3): 515–538.