Responding to Crisis – Workshop and Poetry Reading

Responding to Crisis: Forced Migration & the Humanities in the 21st Century, AHRC-funded project, Keele University, 5th October 2016

  1. Workshop: ‘Contemporary crisis of values and ‘necropolitics’ (12.00-16.00)

This  workshop consists of  5-10 minute presentations from speakers which include academics, practitioners, activists and artists (among which are Neelam Srivastava, Maggie O’Neill, Anthony Good, Roger Bromley, Jerome Phelps, Robert Hampson, Saradha Soobrayen, Carolina Albuerne).

Participants will illustrate the ways in which their current/recent work and activities engage with the deathly context of contemporary migration to Europe, which results in both literal and social deaths. As re-evaluations of humanism and humanitarianism continue, what role can/does the humanities play in discourses of forced migration? What methodologies do different sectors use to approach mass migration and displacement?

The overall aim of the workshop is to explore diverse approaches among activists, practitioners and academics to  the current ‘crisis’; hence, a key part of the workshop includes a roundtable to engage in a discussion on multidisciplinary, multi-agency responses among all participants and attendees. (venue tbc)

2) Poetic Responses to Contemporary Migration (17.00-20.00)

An evening of poetry on the theme of contemporary migration will be hosted at Keele as part of the AHRC-funded international project Responding to Crisis: Forced Migration and the Humanities in the Twenty-First Century. Readings by Saradha Soobrayen, Robert Hampson, David Herd, among others will engage the audience with the challenges of forced displacement. A selection of poems by Keele Creative writing students will also be presented along with an exhibition of photography and placement poetry. This will be hosted in the beautiful setting of Keele Hall. All participants are warmly invited to the wine and canapé reception after the readings. All welcome.

Sign up to both sessions or to one; all events are free, but numbers are limited. So, please make sure you let us know!

Further details can be found here.


The project Responding to Crisis, led by Mariangela Palladino (Keele) and Agnes Woolley (RHUL), aims to develop cultural responses to the current crisis. The arts and humanities have a vital role to play in shaping current debates on forced displacement – this is not only a crisis of geopolitics, but also of values. What role do the arts and humanities play in this critical context? How do we interpret, represent and conceptualise forced migration in the twenty-first century, and how do criticism and the arts play an active role in political transformation?