Hostile Charity: Somali Refugees and Risk in a New Security Age

Tuesday, April 15, 2014  6:15pm The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room

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Heyman Center for the Humanities

Refugees from states devastated by civil war and terrorism pose a challenge to the international community, which creates 'humanitarian' practices to contain and monitor refugees in order to deliver charity while reducing the risks refugees are perceived as posing to the international order and to individual nation-states. Somali refugees are caught in a set of risk-management practices, which incarcerate some in refugee camps and define others - those resettled in the US - as potential security threats to their new communities. The paper explores the hostility contained within charity, both in refugee camps and in host communities for resettled refugees, offering a particular focus on the experiences of Somali refugees in Lewiston, Maine.

Catherine Besteman, Francis F. Bartlett and Ruth K. Bartlett Professor of Anthropology at Colby College, will give the talk. Daniel Goldstein, Professor of Anthropology at Rutgers University, will be the respondent.

Free and open to the public. Seating is first come, first served.

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