Securing our political futures: Critical social work and social science conversations on xenophobic nationalisms
As dispossessed people stake claims to a just life by challenging settler colonialism, forming caravans and daring the seas, they face nationalist xenophobia and its practices of denial, dismissal, detention, deportation and death. While manifest differently across sites (e.g. North America, Europe, global South), and also varied in their characterizations (e.g. ultra-right, “populist,” “white nationalist”), Xenophobic nationalist ideologies are typically mobilized against human desire for freedom. Thus, white nations – founded on Indigenous genocide and dispossession – are fiercely protected from “alien” “infiltrators.” Removal of confederate and other historic monuments are virulently opposed, and along with migratory movements across borders, are taken up as internal and external “invasions” of the “nation.” Border surveillance and policing become exploding economies. It is in the context of this overarching crisis of progressive political futures that the 12th Annual Social Work Symposium of York University aims to engage with xenophobic nationalisms as a pressing political issue of our time. As a discipline undergoing an introspective turn in regards to its historic investment in genocidal white nationalism, yet with a long tradition of reflexive critique and commitment to emancipatory political futures, social work is particularly well-positioned to engage in such conversations. Contributions are also sought from the broader social sciences. Topics of consideration include, but are not limited to:
critical social work and broader social science responses to the resurgence of xenophobic nationalisms;
xenophobia in laws, policies and discourses (e.g. islamophobia, imperialism);
impact on racialized immigrants, refugees and Indigenous populations;
diverse creative and resurgent imaginaries (e.g. social, political epistemological) and movements challenging xenophobia;
envisioning emancipatory futures from within the corpus of critical theory; and
lessons from cross-disciplinary dialogues and conversations.