Against the humanitarian grain

What does it mean to move beyond the humanitarian grain?
Listen to the latest Talking Humanitarianism podcast episode ‘Against the humanitarian grain’ here!

In this episode, Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh (Professor of Migration and Refugee Studies at the University College London) delivers the NCHS Annual Lecture titled ‘Against the humanitarian grain’ at the Norwegian Centre for Humanitarian Studies Annual Conference, held in Bergen on 4 November 2022.

In her lecture, Fiddian-Qasmiyeh proposes moving beyond, or even against, what she conceptualises as “the humanitarian grain”, including by exploring what can be gained both analytically and in practical terms by setting aside the ‘humanitarian frame’, and instead focusing on multi-scalar responses to displacement.

Fiddian-Qasmiyeh suggests that displacing the humanitarian (thereby setting aside questions of labelling, geopolitical hegemony and even the quest for a genealogical recognition of the plurality of humanitarianisms) provides a critical opportunity to critically ‘rethink refugee response’.

Listen on our website below, Spotify and Apple. We hope you enjoy the episode and stay tuned for more!

Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh is a Professor in Migration and Refugee Studies at the University College London (UCL). She is also the Co-Director of UCL’s Migration Research Unit, and is the Founder and Director of the Institute of Advanced Studies Refuge in a Moving World research network across UCL. Professor Fiddian-Qasmiyeh’s research focuses on the intersections between gender, generation and religion in experiences of and responses to conflict-induced displacement, with a particular regional focus on the Middle East.