The latest issue of Refuge & Rejection looks at potential contributions which the field of Religious Studies can make to the topic of refugees and forced migration.
Refuge & Rejection (http://www.asu.edu/clas/history/proj/refugee/) is a multi-faceted, internet-based project on refugees from the perspective of the humanities. It provides a forum for humanities scholars interested in the study of people displaced by war, political upheaval, persecution, and natural disaster. The online format of the project allows a large community of humanities scholars to work together, while inviting a still broader audience into our common room.
The study of refugees has traditionally been the province of social scientists, policy makers, human rights activists, and relief workers. Questions of history, philosophy, religion, art, and culture have remained on the margins of refugee studies. Nevertheless, scholars in the humanities have a number of critical contributions to make. We can bring to bear historical and critical conscience, ethical and aesthetic considerations, diversity, and creativity to refugee studies. Questions of value, meaning, and significance are at the core not only of the humanities approach, but of a liberal education per se. A further notable strength of the humanities approach is the interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of our scholarly inquiry. Despite these strengths, there have been no coordinated and focused projects on this subject. Refuge & Rejection hopes to fill that gap.
The heart of the project is a website that serves as a nexus for a variety of activities. It will provide peer-reviewed scholarly articles on refugees from different humanistic disciplines; comment and debate among scholars; a web forum for conversations on refugee-related themes; occasional reports from the frontlines of refugee crises; and a continuously updated online list of conferences, calls for papers, resources, and other useful material. Finally, Refuge & Rejection will organize an online conference on the humanities and refugees in 2007. We invite humanities scholars of all disciplines to participate.