EuroStorie research seminar: Reiko Shindo 20.5.2022

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Time: Friday, 20 May 2022 at 1:00pm - 2:00pm (UTC+3)
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Meeting ID: 671 8534 1014
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Gothic Humanitarianism

In response to Europe’s ‘migrant crisis’ which began in 2015, various solidarity movements emerged to welcome refugees and migrants. Regardless of different degrees and ways of showing solidarity with them, the welcome response is broadly based on the idea of humanitarianism where we, as ‘humans’, have the ethical responsibility to welcome other fellow humans in need of help. In this paper, I examine the limits and possibilities of humanitarianism from the perspective of the gothic, understood as the fear of the unknown. The purpose of this paper is twofold. Firstly, drawing on the examples of ‘refugees welcome’ campaigns in the UK, I will explore how the gothic representation of humanitarianism was formed during the migration crisis of 2015. Secondly, I will explore how humanitarianism can be imagined differently if the gothic is used as a productive force of politics. For the latter, I will use the works of some contemporary political thinkers such as Bonnie Honig, Jean-Luc Nancy, and Slavoj Žižek. 

Reiko Shindo is a University Lecturer in International Relations at the Faculty of Management and Business, Tampere University. Before coming to Tampere, she worked at Coventry University, University of Warwick, and the University of Tokyo. She was also a CRISES Visiting Fellow at the University of Jyväskylä. She has three research areas: the securitisation of borders; resistance to sovereignty; the aesthetic dimension of politics. She examines these in relation to concepts such as citizenship, community, and belonging. Her first monograph, Belonging in Translation: Solidarity and Migrant Activism in Japan (Policy Press, 2019), investigates how the lack of a common language between migrants and their local supporters generates new forms of citizenship identities. She is also the co-editor of the book, Critical Imaginations in International Relations (Routledge, 2016), which introduces sixteen key concepts used in International Relations scholarship. Her new research is about ageing and migration. For her other publications, please visit here.