A Global Research Institute of Queen's University Belfast




Dr Fiona Murphy
The Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice

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Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) / Department for the Economy (DfE) Workshop co-organised by Queen's University Belfast and Istanbul Bilgi University

20, 21, 22 & 23 JUNE 2017

Turkey has been at the centre of what is referred to as the current ‘refugee crisis’ with more than 2,7 million Syrian refugees having been displaced to Turkey and a larger number having passed through the country. This crisis has had momentous political, social and economic impact at local, national and international levels and has been popularly discussed through its connection to issues of loss -human, material, economic, cultural and social- both for the refugees and other affected communities. However, a systematic analysis of ‘loss’ in this particular context has yet to take place. This workshop aims to unpack the connections between forced migration and the concept of loss in order to understand the displacement crisis in contemporary Turkey and offer policy-makers and organisations nuanced and bottom-up understandings of how to better provide support to affected groups.

We understand ‘loss’ both in its psychosocial readings as a form of mourning and trauma; and within a social scientific frame as contested sets of relations and structures of feeling in historical, economic and socio-political processes and for making political claims. The focus on ‘loss’ engenders understandings of displacement and crisis in the Turkish borderland, particularly, East and South, and urban spaces, such as Istanbul and Ankara. By building on a prior highly successful Newton Fund academic workshop on loss and displacement, we will 1) further develop theoretical and methodological approaches to ‘loss’ and 2) broaden the existing network to bring together researchers from multidisciplinary backgrounds (such as social sciences, psychology, law, urban planning, medicine and the humanities) with civil society representatives and policy makers and in order to extend our scholarly insights on loss and displacement to practical, applied contexts in Turkey and beyond.

We invite paper proposals that deal with one or more of the following issues:

1) Theoretical and methodological approaches to ‘loss’ in the context of migration and displacement including:

  • ‘loss’ as an analytical category
  • ‘loss’ as a methodological category and/or method
  • ‘loss’ as a field of study
  • interdisciplinary perspectives and methodologies to ‘loss’, migration and displacement

2) Empirical work on ‘loss’ including:

  • migration and displacement in Turkey and contexts connected to Turkey
  • case studies on historical/political/social/economic continuities and discontinuities of ‘loss’; loss and minorities; loss and state-building
  • ethnographic/legal/psychological analyses of ‘loss’ and migration at present and in the past; gendered loss; loss of status; loss of space; loss of citizenship
  • cultural articulations and performances of loss

3) Applied research on ‘loss’, displacement and migration including:

  • ‘loss’ and policy-making on migration and displacement
  • NGO and third sector work on ‘loss’
  • participatory methodologies that engage affected groups and communities.

To apply:

Please send a title, abstract (250 words), your title and affiliation to lossturkey@gmail.com. All travel and accommodation and some subsistence costs will be covered by the conference fund.

As this is planned as a workshop that relies on active participation and close interactions, participants should be able to demonstrate that they can attend for the whole duration (4 days)

Deadline for abstract submission: 10 April 2017

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