Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Hospitality and Hostility in a Moving World Conference

12 May 2016, 9:30 am–5:30 pm

Refuge in a Moving World Logo

Event Information

Open to



IAS Common Ground, Ground Floor, South Wing, Wilkins Building

As millions of refugees have fled conflicts, persecution, poverty and mass human rights violations around the world, they have crossed and resisted national boundaries, with regional organisations, states, civil societies and individuals finding themselves increasingly implicated in, and affected by, a series of interconnected conflicts and crises. Across diverse local, national, regional and international spaces, displaced people from these overlapping crises of protection have been met by a combination of hospitality and welcome, and hostility and violence. This inter-disciplinary conference will examine the diverse responses that have been developed on different scales and across different spaces, by exploring:

1. How, and why, have different actors responded to the arrival of forced migrants?

2. Who has been rendered (hyper) visible and invisible, audible and silenced in different representations of these crises?

3. How have forced migrants responded to different, and at times overlapping, processes of hospitality and hostility across these spaces?

4. How are different responses to the movement of displaced people related to aesthetics, ethics and politics?

5. How have artists responded to the crisis and how has 'art' provided a space to generate alternative forms of knowledge or sites of affective response to the movement and immobility of peoples?

6. What are the broad theoretical, aesthetic and policy implications of the different responses developed by state and non-state actors to these overlapping and intersecting processes of (forced) migration?

Through a series of papers, presentations and interventions by researchers, artists and humanitarian practitioners, the conference aims to help us develop a more nuanced understanding of the multiple human, material and representational effects that these crises continue to produce.

Registration is now open and is free of charge. As places are limited, early registration is recommended to avoid disappointment. Please register HERE.

A limited number of travel bursaries will be available for UK-based refugees, asylum-seekers, and other conflict-affected individuals who are interested in attending the conference. Interested individuals are invited to submit a brief 250-word paragraph to e.fiddian-qasmiyeh@ucl.ac.uk outlining their request for a travel bursary, including the estimated cost of their return travel (within the UK) to and from UCL.

The Hospitality and Hostility in a Moving World Conference is convened by Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh and Dr Claire Dwyer of the Migration Research Unit (Department of Geography) as part of a broader series of events coordinated in 2016 by the UCL-wide interdisciplinary Refuge in a Moving World research network. This UCL-wide network is an initiative of the Institute of Advanced Studies in collaboration with the Institute of Global Prosperity. The Conference is kindly supported through funding from UCL's Grand Challenges of Intercultural Interaction programme and UCL's Institute of Advanced Studies.

Download the programme here.

UCL Migration Research Unit Logo

Grand Challenges Logo

UCL Institute for Global Prosperity Logo