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Climate Migration: Critical and Varied Perspectives

Organisation The Department of Media Studies
Date 11th April 2024 06:00 PM (GMT)

‘Climate migration’ as a term is often referred to within climate activism and policy circles as a potential future climate impact, or a phenomenon which is already taking place.

It’s undisputed that climate change hits hardest on people who are marginalised in different ways, but what are the implications of focusing on the Global South when discussing climate migration? How do other factors affecting people’s lives intertwine within what gets labelled as ‘climate migration’? And when climate-affected people are on the move, what legal or policy recourse do they have, if any? Finally, when we are calling for urgent climate action, is it strategic to refer to climate migration?

This seminar, organised by the Department of Media Studies, Maynooth University and the Department of French, Trinity College Dublin with support from the Maynooth University Social Sciences Institute, will explore these questions from different academic perspectives – geography, sociology, media studies, and law.

The event is for climate and environmental justice activists, people working in environmental or migrant justice civil society organisations, journalists covering climate change in Ireland, academics working on climate, environment, and migration, and anyone interested in the issue.

The seminar will provide a space for nuanced and critical reflection on the intersecting aspects of this key climate issue. It’s intended as a contribution to building stronger, supportive networks between those working on climate and migrant justice in academia, activism, and civil society. There will be time for discussion afterwards.

The speakers are

– Sian Cowman, PhD researcher, Department of Media Studies, Maynooth University, who will present on her doctoral research on the framing, interpretation and significance of the category of climate migration in media and political discourse;

-Professor Andrew Baldwin, Department of Geography, Durham University – author of the 2022 book The Other of Climate Change: Racial Futurism, Migration, Humanism; the book argues that the figure of climate/refugee is racial category invented to shore western humanism in the context of climate change;

-Dr Alex Arnall, Department of International Development, University of Reading, whose research focuses on sea level rise, coastal erosion, and population displacement in the Global South and Britain;

-Morgiane Noel, PhD researcher, School of Law, Trinity College Dublin, whose PhD investigates the protection of climate migrants in the context of the current international environmental and human rights law framework;

-Chair: Professor Gavan Titley, Department of Media Studies, Maynooth University;

-Welcome address: Professor Michael Cronin, Department of French, Trinity College Dublin – author of the 2022 book Eco-Travel: journeying in the Anthropocene.

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