The Migration Research Group and Political Economy Research Group are delighted to announce an upcoming online lecture by Şule Can (Assistant Professor of Urban Studies at Adana AT Science and Technology University).
Şule Can will talk about Refugee Encounters: Precarity, Transiency and Gender among Syrian Refugees in Southern Turkey.
The event will take place on Zoom: Meeting ID: 916 8105 8625 / Passcode: 449674
Abstract/“According to official estimates, four million people who fled their homes due to the armed conflict in the neighboring Syria currently live in Turkey. Since Turkey has a geographical limitation for the designation of ‘refugee status’ stated in the Geneva Convention in 1951, the Syrian refugees in Turkey are still considered under temporary protection. However, as Turkey-EU deal confirms, Syrian refugees have become permanent residents and today ‘integration’ is presented as the main goal both by the government and in academic circles. Despite the debates revolving around how to achieve “integration”, ‘temporary’ legal status along with ambiguous migration policies produce different forms of precarity for the refugees and as a result racism against Syrians becomes more and more visible.
This research investigates the ways in which an understanding of cultural, religious and gendered responses to displacement has shifted with the end of transiency of Syrian refugees in Turkey. This talk draws on anthropological literature that explores the “ethnographic encounters” (Borneman 2007) and the anthropology of displacement by focusing on discrimination and precarity in everyday life. Through an ethnographic approach, it looks at two different cities in southern Turkey and reveals how the encounters between the refugees and local “actors” reveal challenges, struggles and racism that the refugees experience daily by problematizing the notion of “integration.” In this sense, this research asks the following questions: How do people navigate the city and negotiate urban space in terms of symbolic, social, material, and political relations? How do they perceive, experience, and articulate disparities in employment and social inclusion, and to what extent do they inflict violence? What is the role of the state and its agents or practices in terms of the politics of migration? Finally, I propose that in order to go beyond the ‘temporary solutions’ and failing integration projects and to create a space of non-transient relations and dialogues, articulating disjunctures among city communities and increasing the number of interactive domains are needed.”
BIO/ Şule Can is a socio-cultural anthropologist who currently works as an Assistant Professor of Urban Studies at Adana AT Science and Technology University. She completed her post-doctoral research on politics of solidarity among the Syrian women in Turkey at the department of Anthropology, University of Waterloo, Canada in 2019. She obtained her PhD in 2018 from the Department of Anthropology at State University of New York at Binghamton with a Fulbright scholarship, and her MA from Istanbul Bilgi University, Cultural Studies. Şule’s research interests are displacement, borders, ethno-religious boundaries, gender politics, anthropology of education and anthropology of the Middle East. She is the author of “Refugee Encounters at the Turkish-Syrian Border: Antakya at the Crossroads” published in 2019 by Routledge.