Join us for a talk by Katy Fulfer, February 7th at 3:30 in HH 373. A social will be taking place prior to the talk, from 2:30-3:30 in HH 335.
"Private Sponsorship and Public Freedom: An Arendtian Analysis"
Abstract: I explore notions of refugee inclusion and political responsibility that arise in relation to Canada’s Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program. To frame my examination, I read Hannah Arendt’s conceptions of freedom and responsibility alongside emerging empirical evidence about Syrian refugee resettlement. The emphasis on citizen engagement in private sponsorship provides a focal point to explore Arendt’s provocative claim that humanity is collectively responsible for guaranteeing refugees’ human rights. In addition, Arendt critiques the family as a way of structuring political belonging. My main argument is that the discourse around private sponsorship conceives of freedom as sovereignty, whereas Arendt offers a more powerful account of freedom as the co-creation of the common world. Arendt’s notion of freedom offers a way to resist paternalistic relations with refugees and recognize their equality as participants in our political community. Further, Arendt’s notions of solidarity and public friendship offer a more interesting metaphor than that of kinship for thinking about sponsor-refugee relations.
HH - J.G. Hagey Hall of the Humanities 200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1