- Hulya Arik – University of Toronto, Scarborough
- Secil Dagtas – University of Waterloo
- Johanna Reynolds – York University
The Regional Studies Research Network, Politics of Displacement, Identity and Urban Citizenship in Migratory Contexts, organized a workshop in Lyon, France, June 26-27, 2018, titled Displacement, Transnational Mobility, and Religious Realities. It focused largely on religion as a productive lens with which to examine the knowledges, representations, and socialities of displacement and transnational mobility. This focus aimed to address the shortcomings of secular epistemologies and top-down perspectives in understanding the lived realities and spatial experiences of displaced populations. We adopted a transnational approach that is attentive to regional and historical particularities, and sought to start a conversation about these topics between scholars and civil society actors specializing on territories and urban spaces across the Middle East, Europe, and the Mediterranean. The workshop included two panels and a public roundtable with participants from Canada, Germany, Turkey, France, Egypt, and Greece.
The Network’s second event consisted of two special sessions at the RSA Annual conference “Pushing Regions Beyond its Borders” in Santiago de Compostela between 5-7 June, 2019. The special sessions addressed issues related to transnational methodologies, global citizenship, migration and regional identities. In the first session, the panellists discussed transnational approaches to politics that put into question pre-conceived notions of national and regional borders. The second session focused on migration, hospitality and the politics of exclusion in two separate geographical contexts: Syrian refugees in Turkey and Spain’s relationship with the Western Sahara. These two special sessions expanded the Research Network’s aim of highlighting alternatives to top-down and nation-state focused perspectives of displacement, prioritizing transnational and regional approaches, as well as historical particularities of migration contexts.
On March 10, 2020, the Network organized its third event on Participatory Action Research and Ethnographic Theatre. This event took place in Toronto, Canada, and focused on participatory action research and ethnographic theatre as research methods. We were joined by Yusuf Zine, director and producer of I Am Rohingya, a documentary film that follows fourteen Rohingya refugee youth who re-enact their harrowing experiences of the genocide in a live theatre production. In this workshop, Zine engaged with a range of topics including storytelling, performance, self-reflection, and political agency/activism.
A future event was planned for CAG in spring 2020, however the conference was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.