School of Sociology and Social Policy

First Queer(y)ing Asylum Symposium event success

The Queer(y)ing Asylum Symposium, which took place on 8 November 2023 at the University of Nottingham, was a ground-breaking event that drew around 90 national and international participants to our university’s campus. The symposium was supported by the Identities, Citizenship, Equalities and Migration Centre (ICEMiC) and the School of Sociology and Social Policy, as well as distinguished figures: Nadia Whittome, MP for Nottingham East, provided an online welcoming address, alongside Rachel Fyson, Head of the School of Sociology and Social Policy, who attended in person.

The event commenced with insightful keynote speeches from Professor Richard Mole, Director of UCL’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies, and Leila Zadeh, Executive Director of Rainbow Migration. Topics of conversation spanned the arts, legislation, asylum accommodation, decolonial issues, religion, and mental health, among others.

Professor Rachel Fyson  Dr Diego Garcia Rodriguez and Alex Wainwright

Image: Professor Rachel Fyson. Image: Dr Diego Garcia Rodriguez and Alex Wainwright.

The symposium’s sessions filled two rooms throughout the day, demonstrating the community’s dedication to the discussion of the challenges and achievements of LGBTIQ+ asylum seekers. In-person attendees included scholars, activists, and individuals with lived experience of the asylum process, representing a wide range of regions from the USA to Lebanon, Holland to Denmark, and the UK.

After the event, one of the asylum seekers who participated shared that, “this was an incredible day, one of the happiest in my life, it made life worth living.” Another said, “I really can’t thank the organisers enough, thank you for everything, it was great!” Other scholars and activists participating described it as “inspiring”, “necessary” and “thought provoking”.

The symposium was lead by Dr Diego Garcia Rodriguez (Leverhulme ECF Research Fellow) and one of our postgraduate students, Alex Wainwright. 

A post-symposium online-only event only is scheduled to take place on the 9 December 18.00 -19.30 PM. More information to follow.

Posted on Friday 10th November 2023

School of Sociology and Social Policy

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University of Nottingham
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