Queer seminars: Constructing the "Genuine" Refugee

Welcome to the 4th queer seminar this spring: Constructing the "Genuine" Refugee with Dr Deniz Akin from NTNU.

The presentation will be in English


Dr Deniz Akin. Photo: Maria Kirpichenko


Although the terms “refugee” and “asylum seeker” seem to hold an equivalent meaning to their use within international refugee law, the normative ground they are based on, as well as the discourse they operate within, seem transformed in Europe during the last couple of decades. This transformation can be observed by looking at the marked proliferation of labels such as, ‘economic migrants’, ‘bogus refugees’, ‘genuine refugees’, which define and delimit the lawfulness of people crossing borders of the nations states.

In this seminar, I will problematize the notion of a predetermined/ahistorical/context-free refugee subject who can be discovered at the national borders as the true claimant of the refugee status. Benefiting from queer theory, the discussion will revolve around the performative aspects of refugeness, arguing that refugeness is discursively constructed in a particular legal, political and cultural context and that there is no genuine refugee prior to its recognition.

Dr Deniz Akin

Dr Deniz Akin holds a PhD from the NTNU with the dissertation titled "Queer Challenges to the Norwegian Policies and Practices of Immigration: Asylum seeking in Norway on the grounds of sexual orientation-based persecution" (2017).

Published Jan. 17, 2018 1:53 PM - Last modified June 21, 2019 2:13 PM