The Department of Politics and International Relations (DPIR) held the workshop on 30 October 2015 in response to the ongoing crises of identity at the borders of Europe. The event brought together established and emerging academics to engage in a conversation on how identity is forged out of experiences of place and displacement.

The British International Studies Association sponsored the event, which was jointly convened by Dr Ipshita Basu of the University of Westminster and Dr Ayla Gol from the University of Aberystwyth. The event included presentations by Ayca Badar (SOAS), Tayfun Ustun (University of Exeter), Daniel Fisher (University of Edinburgh), Dr Nitasha Kaul (University of Westminster), Dr Dibyesh Anand (University of Westminster), Dr Maria Holt (University of Westminster), Jonah Agus (University of York), Veronica Calarco (University of Aberystwyth) and Chau Bau Nguyen (UEA) among others. There were debates on issues of reordering of space and resistance, gendered notions of violated spaces, state regulation and dehumanisation, and alternative imaginaries of maps, territories and borders by displaced people. The workshop revealed that while lines get inscribed violently on people’s bodies and lives, new lines are also being drawn out through acts of resistance and renegotiation and that states and regimes need to respond to these developments in more meaningful ways. Welcoming delegates to the workshop, Dr Anand, Head of the DPIR, emphasised the commitment of the Department to supporting and promoting research that engaged with current issues affecting the political lives of public in the UK, Europe and beyond.

The workshop marked the launch of the BISA working group on International Studies of Mediterranean, Middle East and Asia (ISMMEA). The aim is to continue these debates through a cross-disciplinary dialogue between academics, activists, policy makers and practitioners. There are plans for further panels at BISA, ISA and future conferences in the U.K. To follow the debates join the #BISA working group on Twitter. Contact Dr Ayla Gol or Dr Ipshita Basu if you are interested in joining this working group and taking part in future events.

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