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Refugee Talk

Refugee Talk

Propositions on Ethics and Aesthetics

by Eva Rask Knudsen and Ulla Rahbek

An innovative approach to the refugee crisis through a focus on language use, discourse and representation

Refugee Talk explores cultural responses to the ongoing refugee crisis. Looking at ethical questions and political rhetoric surrounding the refugee experience, the authors uncover the reality behind the fraught discussions taking place today.

With an understanding of how to meaningfully negotiate responses through philosophy, media representations, art, activism and literature, the authors insist that a radically different approach is needed, advocating for, along with other reorientations, a new refugee vocabulary as a launching pad for interventions into polarised debates.

By centring conversation as a method and ethical practice to engage in the discourses surrounding refugees, Refugee Talk is structured around dialogues with academics, activists, journalists and refugee artists and writers, creating a comprehensive humanities approach that places ethics and aesthetics at its core.

Eva Rask Knudsen is Associate Professor in the Department of English, Germanic and Romance Studies at Copenhagen University, Denmark. Most recently, she is co-author with Ulla Rahbek of In Search of the Afropolitan: Encounters, Conversations, and Contemporary Diasporic African Literature.

Ulla Rahbek is Associate Professor in the Department of English, Germanic and Romance Studies at Copenhagen University, Denmark. Most recently, she is the author of British Multicultural Literature and Superdiversity and co-author with Eva Rask Knudsen of In Search of the Afropolitan: Encounters, Conversations, and Contemporary Diasporic African Literature.

'A wide-ranging, erudite and multi-faceted analyses of the fundamental problem of who gets to be counted as human in a planet under stress'

- Kate Evans, award-winning cartoonist and activist, and author of 'Red Rosa'

'Absorbing [...] aimed at those looking to better understand the plight of refugees in terms of what the authors call 'a new humanism for the twenty-first century'. It is this humanism, urging us all to take seriously not only refugee justice, but our shared and fragile humanity, that is at the core of this remarkable book'

- Anna Gotlib is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Brooklyn College, City University of New York

'This book is built around that which is absent from most books of this kind: the voices of the refugee. It challenges us to rethink the existing refugee lexicon and to open up fresh debates about the ethics, aesthetics, and politics of representation. What is particularly heartening about the book is the way in which, at a time of such negativity, the authors attempt to frame their overall approach in a context of hope'

- Roger Bromley, Emeritus Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Nottingham

'Deftly weaving theoretical analysis with conversations from journalists, activists, and exiles themselves, 'Refugee Talk' stunningly accomplishes what responsible critique demands of us all: nuanced, ethical and material engagement with those to whom our thought is indebted'

- Sabeen Ahmed, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Swarthmore College

'In the midst of political conflicts concerning refugees, 'Refugee Talk' steps back from the immediate fray to reflect on the ethical character of 'refugee talk' in academic, media, activist artistic and literary contexts. The result is a genuinely thoughtful - and engagingly conversational - work that re-orients us to the recognition of hope as a common human dynamic and to a critical humanism expressed in acknowledging the dignity of refugees. Highly recommended'

- David Owen, Professor of Politics and International Relations, University of Southampton

'A lively and accessible intervention and an elegant collocation of multiple voices, many of whom are refugees. Rahbek and Knudsen make a compelling argument for a new politics of hope'

- Sam Durrant, Associate Professor of Postcolonial Studies at the University of Leeds

Acknowledgements
Framing Crisis
1. Humanity – Ontology, Location and Migration
2. Responsibility – News Media and the (Re)framing of Refugees
3. Solidarity – Storytelling as Activism
4. Recognition – Refugee Literature and Defamiliarisation
Framing Hope
Bibliography
Index

Published by Pluto Press in Jul 2022
Paperback ISBN: 9780745344423
eBook ISBN: 9780745344447

240 pages

140mm x 216mm