GSA Public Lecture: Professor Alison Phipps
GSA Exhibitions

Event Type:

The GSA Public Lecture


Reid Auditorium, The Glasgow School of Art, 164 Renfrew Street, Glasgow, G3 6RF


28 Jul 2016
18:00 - 19:30



Refugee Container Camp at Calais Nord
Image: Alison Phipps

GSA Public Lecture: Professor Alison Phipps

Event info

GSA Public Lecture: Professor Alison Phipps
Thursday 28 July 6pm
Reid Auditorium

As part of ‘Hosts and Visitors’ the artists have invited Professor Alison Phipps who is  Convener of Glasgow Refugee Asylum and Migration Network and Professor of Languages and Intercultural Studies at University of Glasgow to give a talk. She will focus on her developing research on languages and intercultural advocacy with asylum seekers and refugees.

Free but ticketed, book through Eventbrite.

‘We Refugees’: The Languaging of Breath against Death or ‘Funtunfunefu Denkyemfunefu’

We have been here before. Refugees have come and asked for sanctuary before. We have found beds, rooms, work, a place for making a home, a livelihood and we have kneaded the aesthetics of new relationships into food, families, facts and fun, together. Here we find an offer of hospitality.

We have been here before. We have closed the doors, built higher walls, split families up and spit out their members across continents as a punishment for being alive in the wrong place at the wrong time. Here we find at best conditional hospitality.

“It is as though the laws (plural) of hospitality, in marking limits, power rights, and duties, consisted in challenging and transgressing the law of hospitality, the one that would command that the ‘new arrival’ be offered an unconditional welcome.” Derrida 2000, 77

And we have been here before. In the uneasy, hesitant, shy and awkward approaches to people we do not yet know and in places we do not call home. We have marked limits, we have been challenged and we have transgressed.

Whilst data and evidence, statistics and measures dominate the mapping of the policy landscape it is to the arts and humanities traditions of affect, poetry and thought that I shall turn to consider how it is, once again, in this time and place, that we might consider, anew, a sharing of the world. Drawing on the work of the AHRC Translating Cultures Large Grant: researching Multilingually at the Borders of the body, language, law and the state I shall share the forms of creation and decreation which accompany any serious consideration of or action towards hospitality.

Alison Phipps is Professor of Languages and Intercultural Studies, and Co-Convener of Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network (GRAMNET). She is also Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Waikato University, Aotearoa New Zealand. And Principal Investigator for the AHRC Large Grant ‘Researching Multilingually at the Borders of Language, the body, law and the state.’ In 2011 she was voted ‘Best College Teacher’ by the student body and received the Universities ‘Teaching Excellence Award’ for a Career Distinguished by Excellence. In 2012 she received an OBE for Services to Education and Intercultural and Interreligious Relations in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

She has undertaken work in Palestine, Sudan, Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia, Germany, France, USA, Portugal, Ghana. She has produced and directed theatre and worked as creative liturgist with the World Council of Churches from 2008-2011 for the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation. She regularly advises public, governmental and third sector bodies on migration and languages policy.

She is author of numerous books and articles and a regular international keynote speaker and broadcaster. Her first collection of poetry, Through Wood  was published in 2009.  She is a member of the Iona Community.