Camps, Borders, and Hospitality


This workshop will explore the question of refugees and immigration with an eye to thinking about hospitality and its impediments, as well as the possibilities the concept of hospitality can generate in a world that continues to be structured by nation-states and borders. What does hospitality mean today? What forms does it take, and what communities does it constitute? What traditions of hospitality existed historically and how can we think with these traditions today? If we consider that hospitality is not always work undertaken by state institutions, then exploring its different dynamics, power operations, and effects becomes important for understanding the conditions of its flourishing as an ethical and political practice. Participants will include scholars working on the US-Mexico border, the migrant crisis from Africa, and the continued history of camps in the Arab world. The result will be a gathering that brings together explorations of refuge, hospitality, camps, and borders in sites that are not conventionally thought about in relation to one another.


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