"Camps, Sovereignties and Political Communities" workshop

The whole workshop will be streamed in Zoom. The Zoom session is open to everyone with registration.

Camps, Sovereignties and Political Communities, on May 6–7, 2021

The Centre of Excellence in Law, Identity and the European Narratives (EuroStorie) at the University of Helsinki will organize an online workshop, Camps, Sovereignties and Political Communities, on May 6–7, 2021.

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

A proliferation of camps has marked the world’s political geographies over the last two decades. The Global War on Terror of the early 2000s had its paradigmatic space in the detention camp of Guantánamo Bay, described by law scholar Fleur Johns as the “jurisdictional outcome of exhaustive attempts to domesticate the political possibilities occasioned by the experience of exceptionalism”. In recent years, the refugee camp – a spatial technology that has characterized the geographies of displacement in the Global South throughout the modern era – has made a visible and violent come back to European territories. The Covid-19 pandemic has intersected this phenomenon by entrenching “sanitary borders” into regimes of confinement and containment, turning versatile camp infrastructures into quarantine spaces. Across the continent, these spaces have emerged simultaneously with  souverainiste, neo-nationalist, and populist movements promoting a nativist, restrictive and reactionary reading of political belonging, at a time of perceived crises of European institutions, ‘values’ and economies.

This workshop brings together researchers across the social sciences, law and the humanities whose work explores the relation between camps, sovereignty, nationalism(s) and the emergence of new and alternative political communities and subjectivities.

The keynote lecturers of the workshop are Claudio Minca (Bologna) and Polly Pallister-Wilkins (Amsterdam).

All times in the programme are local Finnish time (GMT+3). Welcome!

Workshop Program

Day 1: May 6, 2021

09:00 – 11:00 Panel 1, chair: Elisa Pascucci
Yafa El Masri (Padova): Decolonizing Education: Reflections from Lebanon’s Palestinian Refugee camps
Tuukka Brunila (Helsinki): A Stronghold of Capital Interests – Sovereignty and the Encampment of Economic Relations
Pedro T. Magalhães (Helsinki): Democracy and the Body Politic: From Sovereign Power to Indeterminacy?
Irit Katz (Cambridge): City-Camp Entanglements: Destabilising Spatial-Political Categories

11:00 – 11:15 Break

11:15 – 12:30 Keynote Lecture, chair: Pedro T. Magalhães
Claudio Minca (Bologna): The Camp and the Question of the Sovereign Ban

Day 2: May 7, 2021

09:00 – 11:00 Panel 2, chair: Pedro T. Magalhães
Aila Spathopoulou (Goldsmiths, University of London), Kirsi Pauliina Kallio (Tampere) and Jouni Häkli (Tampere): Hotspot Governance through Communication and Precarious Labour
Veronica Corcodel (Nova University, Lisbon): Mobilising the Detention Regime for Challenging Hotspot Practices
Elisa Pascucci (Helsinki): Containing, Supplying, Zoning: Camp Logistics and Sovereignties
Jukka Könönen (Helsinki): “A threat to the public order and security”: Immigration detention as preventive policing of “dangerous” noncitizens

11:00 – 11:15 Break

11:15 – 12:30 Keynote Lecture, chair: Elisa Pascucci 
Polly Pallister-Wilkins (Amsterdam): Humanitarian Geographies of Whiteness: Entanglements of Race, Immobility, and Care