Archive | Interviews

Empires of the Mind: A book that was supposed to stop Brexit – An Interview with Professor Robert Gildea

  Megan Ison is a PhD student funded by the ESRC South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership. Her research looks at Alsace and the politics of memory at the commemorative site of Oradour-sur-Glane, France.   Empires of the Mind: A book that was supposed to stop Brexit   An Interview with Professor Robert Gildea Is there any better way to cheer oneself up on a cold day in the depths of British winter, than with a trip to Oxford University to talk about Brexit? Quite frankly, I can think of many. This is because Brexit is as bleak a reality for us British Mug[gle]s as was the prospect of Lord Voldemort securing unmatched power in J.K. Rowling’s fictional world of Harry Potter. In fact, are you even British if visiting the Great Hall at Christ Church isn’t at the top of your list of sites to visit in Oxford? Indeed, Harry Potter is basically Britannica. Well, I haven’t read Harry Potter, or even watched the films. Maybe the Home Office will take my passport away for not assimilating into British culture. The same government department that a few years ago senselessly denied that the Windrush generation truly belonged after 70 years […]

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#BeyondTalkingBack: final thought by Robbie Shilliam

In our fourth and final instalment of this week’s #BeyondTalkingBack, Olivia Rutazibwa gives the last word to Robbie Shilliam, Professor in International Relations at Queen Mary University of London. He discusses our tendency to overemphasize the short term in our framing and handling of questions regarding refugees. >>> “I’m answering your question about sedimentations in light of the Trump victory, the executive order for immigration targeting a set of Muslim-majority countries, the relative enthusiasm that said order garnered amongst European publics, and the most recent decision by the UK government to close the “Dubs amendment” that, last year, committed Britain to taking its fair share of child refugees. What I’m going to say might immediately be interpreted, counter-intuitively, as nativism. But I hope you will stick with it just for a moment. I’m not into a radical politics that formulates itself around “emergencies”. The refugee issue always carries those terms. Materially, these are – no doubt – emergencies; and the humanitarian impulse should rightly be seen as addressing refugee issues in all practicality as emergencies. But a radical politics formulated around the sensibility of “emergency” won’t cut it. We need to strive for a bit more longevity in our bodies – […]

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