Daily Archives: Tuesday, February 5, 2013

New Publication: The Centre for Secular Space launches Double Bind: The Muslim RIght, the Anglo-American Left, and Universal Human Rights, by Meredith Tax

Press Release:

Get our new book: Double Bind: The Muslim Right, the Anglo-American Left, and Universal Human Rights, by Meredith Tax

In a period of right wing attacks on Muslims – or people thought to be Muslims – how does one respond to human rights violations by the Muslim Right without feeding hate campaigns?

When US diplomats invoke the oppression of Muslim women to sanctify war, how do we practice feminist solidarity without strengthening Orientalism and neocolonialism?

When the US targets jihadis for assassination by drone, should human rights defenders worry about violations perpetrated by those same jihadis or focus on violations by the state?

These are some of the questions raised in Double Bind: the Muslim Right, the Anglo-American Left, and Universal Human Rights, a book just published by the Centre for Secular Space.  It can be ordered through your local bookstores or purchased online at lulu.com.

Taking the UK organization Cageprisoners as an example, it shows how to distinguish between organizations that stand for universal and inseparable human rights, and those that use the language of human rights for other purposes. It discusses “five wrong ideas about the Muslim Right”: that it is anti-imperialist; that “defence of Muslim lands” is comparable to national liberation struggles; that the problem is “Islamphobia”; that terrorism is justified by revolutionary necessity; and that any feminist who criticises the Muslim Right is an Orientalist ally of US imperialism.

Further Information:  www.centreforsecularspace.org/?q=news/get-our-new-book-double-bind-muslim-right-anglo-american-left-and-universal-human-rights-meredi


Call for Papers: The Story of Bangladesh and Bangladeshi People, at home and in the Diaspora

The Story of Bangladesh and Bangladeshi People, at home and in the Diaspora

A major one day conference

Saturday 27 April 2013, Rich Mix Centre, East London

Brick Lane Circle will organise its third annual conference on the Story of Bangladesh and Bangladeshi People, at home and in the Diaspora. It is designed to help improve our understanding of the:

  1. history of the land currently known as Bangladesh and developments since prehistory, birth of a new country 1971 and up to the present time
  2. experiences of Bangladeshi Diaspora around the world
  3. complexities and challenges faced by Bangladesh and Bangladeshi people

The conference will explore history, politics, identity, economics, climate change, international relations, positive achievements, challenges, etc.

Brick Lane Circle invites research students, scholars and researchers with expertise in the field to participate in the forthcoming event. If you have undertaken research on any field regarding Bangladesh and Bangladeshis abroad and would like to share and explore your findings and conclusions with a dynamic and critical audience then please contact us on bricklanecircle@yahoo.co.uk.


Screenings of ‘Normal’ + Q&A in Oxford (21 February), Bristol (24 February) and London (21 March)

Normal – real stories from the sex industry (65min 2012) by Nicola Mai

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

After two sold out screenings at the 2012 Raindance International Film Festival in London Nick Mai’s film ‘Normal – real stories from the sex industry’ goes on a UK tour!

Trailer: http://vimeo.com/50289487

These are the details of the dates, times and venues in February and March 2013.


Date: 21 February 2013

Time: 7pm

Place: Magdalen Auditorium, Magdalen College, Oxford OX1 4AU

(the Auditorium’s entrance is in Longwall Street).


Date: 24 February 2013

Time: 6:30pm

Place: Cube Cinema, 4 Princess Row 


Date: 21 March 2013

Time: 6pm

Place: Room LG01, New Academic Building, Goldsmiths, University of London, New Cross, London, SE14 6NW

We hope you’ll be able to make it and to participate in the Q&A sessions that will follow the screenings, which will be an occasion to have local debates about sex work support and anti-trafficking social interventions, politics and realities.

The screenings will be followed by a Q&A session with the director Nicola Mai.

Please share this information to colleagues, students and friends who might be interested in attending. More information will be available in due course on the film’s facebook and twitter accounts.



The film will also be screened at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales – EHESS in Paris on 13 May 2013 and at the ‘Intimate Migrations’ conference at the University of Copenhagen (3-5 April 2013).

Please email Nick Mai n.mai@londonmet.ac.uk for more information on these and on the UK screenings.


Normal – real stories from the sex industry (65min 2012) by Nicola Mai

Normal is a 65 minute creative documentary based on original anthropological research on the relationship between migration, the sex industry and sex trafficking. The film brings the real life stories of male, female and transgender migrants working in the sex industry to the screen. It draws on original research interviews with people working in the sex industry in Albania, Italy and the UK. Their voices often go against the grain of popular expectations that most migrant sex workers are exploited and forced to sell sex against their will. Confronting these attitudes, Normal uncovers a layered, human story of migration and sex work. Normal is made of unexpected, disturbing, sometimes moving and often contradictory life stories. The viewer is continually challenged by the truth of their words, their dreams and the lives that they lead. All the characters are portrayed by actors, guaranteeing the anonymity of the original interviewees and emphasizing the performative nature of selves.

For any further information on the film, please see its dedicated webpage:



For Information: International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care FREE to access this week

*apologies for cross-posting*

We are delighted to offer free access to the International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care until Sunday 10th February.

View the full table of contents or explore these highlighted papers:

How do we help children and families in the midst of collective trauma in Sri Lanka

– Harriet Calvert

Exploring migrants’ health seeking strategies: the case of Latin American migrants in London

– Jasmine Gideon

Working with interpreters: tools for clinicians conducting psychotherapy with forced immigrants

– Maile O’Hara, Adeyinka M. Akinsulure-Smith

Brain Flight: The Exodus of Health Professionals from South Africa

– Jonathan Crush, Wade Pendleton

A Life-Course Exploration of the Social, Emotional and Physical Health Behaviours of Widowed South Asian Immigrant Women in Canada: Implications for Health and Social Programme Planning

– Swarna Weerasinghe, Matthew Numer

Opportunity to publish

Submit your paper to the International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care.

Further information

To be kept up to date with news on this journal and other related titles you can sign up to our Health & Social Care interest area mailing list at: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/profile/newsletters.htm

For any further information please contact me.

Best wishes

Laura Wilson
Editorial Assistant | Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Tel: +44 (0) 1274 515671 | +44 (0) 1274 785244
lwilson@emeraldinsight.com | http://emeraldinsight.com/

Follow EmeraldMentalHealth on Twitter


Refugee Support Network

This month, I met with Clair Chean, the director of the Refugee Transition Center (RTC), who is interested in starting an English conversational class at the RTC in the evenings. This class would primarily be for the parents of Kent School District students and would provide an opportunity for those parents enrolled in formal ESL classes to gain additional practice, but more importantly, could allow mothers of young children initial access to English language skills.

To remain eligible for TANF benefits, parents are required to spend 35 hours a week conducting a job search and taking ESL classes. However, if the family has very young children, one parent can be excused from this requirement for childcare reasons; this responsibility often falls on the mothers. And while they may choose to take ESL classes of their own accord, they are not granted a bus pass or provided daycare for that time…

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World Without Torture

Looking at the front page at the website of the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims, two news items on the top feature the same word – Turkey.

On Friday of last week, a Turkish court convicted Pınar Selek, a sociologist and writer, on charges arising from an explosion at a market in Istanbul in 1998. Yes, 1998. Fifteen years ago, Turkish authorities arrested the researcher, who was conducting ongoing interviews with the Kurdish minority, tortured her to find out the names of those she had interviewed, and charged her for the explosion at the market. For 15 years, authorities have been trying to convict Selek. During that time she has been acquitted three times, but the judicial harassment continued.

Selek’s work focused on the Kurdish minority and women. And after the explosion, prosecutors claimed that Selek had something to do with a terrorist organisation…

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Call for Papers: Framing ‘Asian Studies’: Geopolitics, Institutions and Networks. Deadline 30 April 2013

Dear Mr. Dudman, IIAS and the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS, Singapore) organise a conference, which aims to examine the “social framing” of Asian studies. We cordially invite you to critically reflect with us on this topic, and look forward to receive your paper submission.

Framing ‘Asian Studies’: Geopolitics, Institutions and Networks

30 April 2013

Conference dates
18 – 19 November 2013

IIAS, Leiden, the Netherlands

“Asian studies”, whether broadly defined as the production and dissemination of scholarly knowledge about Asia, or narrowly limited to the institutionalized field of study labeled as such, has constantly been framed by changing geopolitical context. The colonial root of Oriental or Asiatic scholarship, the war-driven migration of Asian scholars and the dispersion of their expertise, and the Cold War American investment in both social sciences in East Asia and in “Asia studies” at home, were just a few examples. In recent decades, we further witnessed the rising scholarly interest on Japan, China and India following their growing political-economic significance, as well as the emergence of various “alternative discourses” and “inter-Asia dialogue” as attempts of intellectual decolonization.

This framing effect is at least partially mediated by the various institutions involved in the social process of knowledge production— foundations, professional associations, publishers, journals, research institutes, governments to multinational entities. These institutions operate in ways that reflect their role, agenda and power relations within the geopolitical context, and left their imprints, through funding and agenda-setting, on the intellectual landscape of Asian knowledge.

Those institutions constitute various inter-institutional networks through forms of collaboration, and each has its own network of associated people— for instance, grant recipients, members, authors, subscribers, staffs and alumni. Scholars at individual level also form network of interpersonal ties (educational genealogy, friendship, citation). These networks not only help distribute financial, political, intellectual and social resources for the generation of knowledge about Asia, but also mediate how such knowledge is disseminated, preserved and accessed.

Investigating the above-mentioned themes further invites critical examination on the power structure underlying the knowledge scape: Who had written about Asia— for what and for whom? Where has the Asian knowledge been disseminated and consumed? What (institutional, societal-structural, national) interest and bias were brought into the knowledge production? What topics were emphasized or excluded? Even the term “Asia” as an epistemological unit could be questioned for its historical root associated with a European perspective of gazing.

This conference aims for examination and critical reflection on the “social framing” of Asian studies by focusing on the four themes discussed above. We invite paper proposals that discuss:

  1. The influence of geopolitical factors on how knowledge about Asia is produced and disseminated: colonialism and its legacy, wars and regional conflicts, the Cold War structure, and the ‘knowledge economy’ competition in the new era of globalization.
  2. The role of various institutions in promoting and directing the Asia studies:  foundations, professional associations, publishers, journals, research institutes, governments to multinational entities. We particularly welcome papers that relate the role of particular institution(s) to broader geopolitical context.
  3. The outlook of various knowledge networks. We welcome both (a) macroscopic investigations on the patterns and developmental trajectory of knowledge networks measured in terms of flows of scholars/ students, capital, and knowledge, and (b) case studies of a particular networks of institutions or people on (a particular branch of) Asian studies.
  4. Critiques on the power structure underlying the observed patterns of knowledge production and dissemination of Asian studies. We encourage reflections that revisit fundamental questions like: Knowledge for what? Knowledge for whom? Whose were represented or excluded? How relevant and biased to use ‘Asia’ as an epistemological unit?

Applications & time line
Expressions of interest are invited to send an abstract of 300 – 400 words together with a short biographical note before 30 April 2013. Young scholars are also encouraged to apply. You are kindly requested to use this web form: http://bit.ly/WSiQYK

The successful applicants will be informed by 20 May 2013.

We require submission of a full paper draft of 6000-8000 words by 1 October 2013 to allow the circulation among participants prior to the event.

We aim at providing accommodation for all selected speakers of the conference. Participants are expected to provide their own travel funding. In exceptional cases only, a request for travel expenses support may be taken into consideration. Selected papers from the conference will be published in a joint IIAS-ISEAS volume.

For further inquiries, please contact Dr. Albert Tzeng at a.tzeng.iias@gmail.com


Call for papers: Workshop Migration and Climate Change in mountain areas, May 28th and 29th, 2013

Source: Forced Migration Discussion List.

We are pleased to announce two events related to migration and climate change issues:

.     The 2nd workshop on climate change and migration in mountain areas will take place on May 28th and 29th, 2013 at the University of Neuchatel (Switzerland). It will aim to bring together scholars with a strong interest in migration and climate change in mountain areas, covering the world’s major mountain ranges, including (but not necessarily limited) the Himalaya, the Andes and the Alps.

Abstracts can be written in English or in French and should not exceed 250 words. Papers should focus on climate-induced migration and must centre on mountain areas. The deadline for the submission of abstracts is March 1, 2013. The workshop organizers will evaluate all of the submitted abstracts and notify the authors within 2 weeks about the acceptance of their paper.

We are looking forward to receiving your contributions.

Contact and information: Raoul.Kaenzig@unine.ch

.     The new website “Migration and climate change” of the University of Neuchatel. It contains publications, projects, bibliographic database, maps, news, etc.

Visit-us @ : http://www2.unine.ch/geographie/migration_climate_change_1

Best regards,

Etienne Piguet, Jérémie Guélat and Raoul Kaenzig


Call for Papers: RGS 2013 28-30 August London: ‘Geographies of Forced Migration’

Source: Forced Migration Discussion List.

Call for Papers: Royal Geographical Society Annual Conference: 28th – 30th August 2013: Geographies of Forced Migration: 20 years since Geography and Refugees edited by Richard Black and Vaughan Robinson

Organized by Michael Collyer (University of Sussex) and Heaven Crawley (University of Swansea)

Geography and Refugees, published in 1993, was one of the first collective attempts to set out how and why Geography relates to refugee movements.  There had obviously been earlier related studies but the political upheavals of the immediate Cold War context, the resultant rise in public awareness of refugee issues in Western Europe and the specific focus on what the discipline of Geography had to offer by way of explanation distinguish this collection. This collection provides a useful reference point for a discussion of developments in geographical approaches to forced migration over the last 20 years.

We invite proposals for either of two sessions with different formats:  a panel session of papers addressing or illustrating the contribution of geography in understanding forced migration and a roundtable discussion focusing on how and why geographical approaches to forced migration/refugee movements have changed over the past 20 years and/or characterizing geographical approaches today. We are particularly interested in any approaches that address significant (false?) dichotomies that have come to structure geographical research into these (and other) areas or trends in developing approaches, such as:

Applied policy work v. critical studies; ‘North’ v. ‘South’ research focus; Disciplinary v. Interdisciplinary; ‘Refugee women’ to intersectionality; Forced to economic migration

Confirmed participants on the roundtable discussion so far include: Richard Black, Nick Gill, Khalid Koser, JoAnn Mcgregor, Ceri Oeppen.

Please send abstracts (for the paper session) or expressions of interest for the round table to Michael Collyer (M.Collyer@sussex.ac.uk) by February 12th.

Dr Michael Collyer
Department of Geography
University of Sussex, Brighton, UK
2012-13 Visiting Fulbright Scholar Department of Geography, University of Washington, Seattle, USA
Mobile: +1(505) 814 3692


Ajoutez votre grain de sel personnel… (facultatif)


By Mark Tran, The Guardian, 14.01.2013

Women interviewed for International Rescue Committee report tell of attacks involving kidnap, rape, torture and murder.

The International Rescue Committee has described reported sexual violence against Syrian women and girls as horrific. Rape is a “significant and disturbing” feature of the Syrian civil war, with women and girls citing sexual violence as their main reason for fleeing the country, according to a report published on Monday. Women and girls told the International Rescue Committee (IRC) of being attacked in public and in their homes, primarily by armed men. The rapes, sometimes by several men, often occurred in front of family members.

“The stories we’ve heard, talking to Syrian women, are truly horrific,” said Sanj Srikanthan, IRC-UK emergency field director. “Many of these women have experienced rape and torture in Syria, but as refugees [they] can’t find the support they need to heal their…

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Last Friday around 60 academics, NGO practitioners and ex-detainees gathered in London to kick start a series of inter-disciplinary immigration detention seminars that will be held in 2013 and 2014. The focus of this seminar was ‘supporting detainees’ and we heard from a number of organisations that support immigration detainees in various ways. We also heard from individuals with first-hand experience of being held in Immigration Removal Centres and who could provide insights into what helped them cope with the experience.

The first speaker was Ali McGinley (audio here), Director of AVID (the Association of Visitors to Immigration Detainees: http://www.aviddetention.org.uk/). Ali spoke of the different visitor groups connected to AVID and of the impact of visit programmes for detainees and volunteers alike. Next up was Adeline Trude (audio here), Research and Policy Director at BID (Bail for Immigration Detainees: http://www.biduk.org/). Adeline told attendees about…

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UK Human Rights Blog

aeroplane in sunsetIzuazu (Article 8 – new rules) Nigeria [2013] UKUT 45 (IAC) – read judgment

The Upper Tribunal has concluded that new Immigration Rules do not adequately reflect the Secretary of State’s obligations under Article 8 of the ECHR.

This is the second determination of the “fit” between the immigration rules, introduced last year, and the UK’s obligations under Article 8 of the Convention. I covered the Upper Tribunal’s assessment of the rules in MF (Article 8–new rules) Nigeria [2012] UKUT 00393 (IAC) in a previous post and it will be remembered that the Tribunal held there that the new rules fall short of all Article 8 requirements.


The claimant was a Nigerian national who had raised a claim to private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights as part of a claim for asylum. She had travelled to the UK previously, with periods of overstaying and…

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