Workshop on migration and hospitality
Thursday, 20 December 2018
At a time when headlines report, critique and stir anti-immigration attitudes and politics, (in)hospitality towards migrants, asylum seekers and refugees is becoming highly problematic. Insufficient consideration is given to the experience and agency of migrants themselves in the societies, the communities, and the workplaces through which they transit, in which they live, settle, and work.
How do they experience these global and local spaces and sites of inequality? How and with whom do they come to belong? How do they creatively, imaginatively, individually or collectively navigate, organize, and craft identities to overcome often precarious situations? How do they create continuity and familiarity with home in their new settings? Is there in those individual and shared struggles a ‘politics of hope’?
On the 12th of October 2018, the Oxford Brookes Culture, Identities & Divisions Research Group gathered researchers from across the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Business School and the School of Hospitality and Management, and from other universities who investigate such questions in their respectives projects. The workshop was sponsored by the Centre for Global Politics, Economy and Society and enabled thanks to a grant from the British Academy’s Newton Fund. It aimed to bring different disciplinary lenses and perspectives from diverse regions of the world on issues, such as: invisibility and stigma and the policies shaping migrant vulnerability, agency and rights in the UK labour market; navigating precarity and creating familiarity through imagination among Asian migrant workers in the Gulf; negotiating (non)-belonging and integration in housing and through employment in global cities in London and Sao-Paulo. The workshop enabled Brookes researchers and fellows from other universities, including keynote speaker Prof Ben Rogaly, to discover, comment on, and inform each other’s work with the view to identify avenues for interdisciplinary collaboration across the university and beyond. The group plans to convene other such engaging and stimulating knowledge exchange workshops and pursuing ideas of publication that emerged from the event.