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Global Politics of Non-Knowledge: Borders, power, technology

Date: 20th - 21st  June 2022

Location: King’s College London; online

The workshop will bring together contributions from different countries and disciplines. It will take place over two days (20th and 21st June) in a hybrid online/in-person format.

About the workshop

Critical scholarship on borders, migration, and (in)security has explored the productivity of ignorance, nonknowledge, uncertainty, ambiguity, or unpredictability for practices of governing. In particular, border and migration researchers have started vibrant interdisciplinary conversations with literatures in ignorance studies and epistemologies of ignorance, shedding light on the entanglements of ambiguity, uncertainty, opacity, and ignorance in the management, confinement, and containment of people on the move. This workshop aims to advance these conversations by engaging with several key questions related to ‘the other side of knowledge’ in border, migration, and (in)security studies: how can we conceptualise the relation between knowledge, ignorance and non-knowledge in practices of border control and migration management? How is ‘situated nonknowledge’ produced, through which practices, processes and power relations? Finally (and crucially), to what extent can ignorance and non-knowledge be mobilised in struggles against oppression and for justice? 



DAY 1 - 20th June 2022 

12:30 – 17:30

*All times are in British Summer Time (BST)



12:30 – 13:00: Welcome & Teas/Coffee

13:00 – 13:30: INTRODUCTION 

                               Claudia Aradau and Lucrezia Canzutti

13:30 – 14:20: STEPHAN SCHEEL

                               Lost in translation? Non-knowledge in the (Un)Making of the Deportation Gap

                        Discussant: Lucrezia Canzutti

14:20 – 15:10: MARGIE CHEESMAN

                              How not knowing how blockchain works works in humanitarian aid

                       Discussant: Ana Valdivia

15:10 – 15:30: Break


15:30 – 16:20: SARAH PERRET

                              The (in)formal governance of EU borders: The role of R&D fundings

                       DiscussantEmma Mc Cluskey


                              Non-asylum at the EU-African land borders? Understanding how border ambiguities affect

                              international protection in the enclave of Ceuta

                       Discussant: Nora Stel 

17:10 – 17:30: Wrap Up / END OF DAY 1

DAY 2 - 21st June 2022 

09:30 – 14:30

*All times are in British Summer Time (BST)


09:30 – 09:50: Welcome Back & Teas/Coffee

09:50 – 10:40:  NORA STEL

                                 The Convenience of Contingency and the Intractability of Intent – Reflections on Lebanese Refugee

                                 Governance and the Agency of Non-Knowledge

                         DiscussantMartina Tazzioli

10:40 – 11:00:  Break



11:00 – 11:50:   SIBEL KARADAG

                                Powered by secrecy: Governing migration and borders in Turkey

                                Discussant: Margie Cheesman

11:50 – 12:40:   SHAJ MOHAN

                                Knowledge and the Obscure

                                Discussant: Claudia Aradau

12:40 – 13:40:  Lunch


Directions to the Strand Campus can be found here.


A PDF of the programme can be found here

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