IRiS Annual Conference, University of Birmingham, June 18th and 19th, 2018


Racial Displacements: Peripheries, Camps, Resistance

IRiS Annual Conference, University of Birmingham, June 18th and 19th, 2018


In 2015 the number of forcibly displaced people across the world was the highest since World War II (UNHCR Global Trends 2016). As global inequalities are largely the sedimentation of colonialism, several mechanisms and expressions of displacement still occur alongside racial lines. The conference offers a forum where scholars can initiate a dialogue to illuminate the logics of displacement and banishment that operate across both global and urban peripheries conjointly. Through the lens of racial displacements, we aim to trace a line linking global and urban peripheries, investigating the proliferation of different forms of encampments as well as their metamorphosing into cities, while reflecting on the partitioning and securitization of the urban space. Racial displacements also produce emerging forms of resistance such as, for example, the Standing Rock’s fight against the Dakota pipeline in the US, and the micropolitics of resistance of foreign construction workers in Dubai. Finally, racial displacements also refer to the displacement of race and racial thinking, from colonies to the postcolony and the so-called post-racial.


The conference is the closing event of Dr Giovanni Picker’s Marie-Skłodowska Curie Fellowship project entitled “Camp-bivalence”.

Keynote Speakers

Professor Mary Pattillo (Northwestern University)

Professor AbdouMaliq Simone (Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity)

Plenary Session: Racism, the city and the state @25 Professor Michael Keith (University of Oxford) in conversation with other scholars on his and Malcolm Cross’ edited volume Racism, the city and the state [Routledge], on the occasion of the book’s 25th birthday.

Call for Papers

Please submit to by January 31st, 2018.

We welcome theoretical, empirical and methodological papers addressing the theme of Racial Displacements in any Social Sciences and Humanities discipline.

Sub-themes include, but are not limited to:

  • Race critical theories and displacement;
  • Distinctions between forced and unforced racial displacements;
  • Displacement and the racialized/racializing “production of space”;
  • Intersectionality and displacements;
  • Racial capitalism and displacement;
  • Displacing, disguising, denying race;
  • Citizenship, displacement and the racial contract;
  • Slums, camps, favelas, townships as forms of racial displacement;
  • Mass incarceration;
  • Racial neoliberalism and displacement;
  • Walls, walled states and racial sovereignty;
  • Sanctuary and anti-racist cities;
  • Resistance to racial displacements;
  • Microhistorical and longue durée perspectives on racial displacements;
  • Colonialism as driver of racial displacement;
  • Racial displacements and Urban Studies;
  • Financial “crises” and racial displacements;
  • Evictions from a global and comparative perspective;
  • Poverty, planning race and displacement;
  • Plantations, reserves, camps;
  • Camps and the racial(ized) “state of exception”;
  • The methods of investigating racial displacements globally.



£100/80 concession (60£ one day only) to be paid upon registration.

Fees include conference material, one lunch per day and coffee breaks. A number of fee waiver grants will be available.



Paper and Panel Submission


  • Paper submissions should include an abstract (max 300 words), email address and affiliation of the author(s) if available.


  • Panel submissions should include the names, email addresses and affiliations (whenever possible) of three speakers and a chairperson, an overview abstract (max 300 words) and an abstract for each associated paper (max 300 words). It also should include the email address of one contact person.


Please submit as .doc or .pdf file attachement(s) to by January 31st, 2018.

Please write “RD_Conf_Paper” or “RD_Conf_Panel” in the subject of your email.


Decisions on papers and panels will be communicated by February 28th, 2018.


For further info, please email Giovanni Picker,