Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Centre for Global Politics, Economy and Society Seminar Series

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JHB301, John Henry Brookes Building, Headington Campus, Gipsy Lane site


&aphos;There Is No Future in Humanitarianism: Crisis, Ethics and Temporality in Forced Migration&aphos; with speaker Dr Cathrine Brun, Oxford Brookes

Cathrine came to the post as Director of CENDEP in October 2015 from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) where she was Professor of Human Geography and Director of Research and Director of the Norwegian Researcher School for Geography.

She has worked for 20 years on forced migration as a result of conflict and disasters. Currently she is working particularly on humanitarianism in protracted displacement and chronic crises and with housing for forced migrants. Much of her work has been in urban contexts and in camps. As a human geographer, she is interested in how, in chronic crises and displacement, the relationships between people and places change due to displacement, with a view to understanding the relationships between displaced and their hosts and notions of housing and home. Her work often emphasises how people who experience crises deal with adversity – especially how they strategise and manoeuvre in the course of encounters with institutions and regimes.

Her work has also engaged with the ethics and politics of humanitarianism, the experiences and practices of humanitarians, and the unintended consequences of humanitarian categories and labelling practices, particularly in the context of long-term conflict and displacement. Temporal and spatial dimensions of both forced migration and humanitarianism are cross-cutting themes in her work.

Collaborating with colleagues, organisations and citizen groups in Sri Lanka, Georgia and more recently Malawi, she has developed innovatory methods for ethnographic fieldwork, participatory action research and real time research. She is interested in how such methodological insights may contribute to improving knowledge production, particularly among humanitarian organisations.