A borderline crisis in language: the Calais Jungle, the ‘refugee crisis’ and the changing landscape of humanitarian aid

Reed, Harriet Anne (2021). A borderline crisis in language: the Calais Jungle, the ‘refugee crisis’ and the changing landscape of humanitarian aid. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis is concerned with creative responses to the 2015-16 Calais Jungle and the ‘refugee crisis’ in Europe. Departing from studies that approach the Jungle as a ‘state of exception’, it draws instead upon the overdetermined notions of ‘refugee voice’ and ‘refugee storytelling’ to consider how ‘humanity’ has been negotiated, granted and revoked in Calais. I argue that creative representations of the Jungle signal a new chapter in refugee humanitarianism: one in which the ‘human’ of human rights, and the ‘human’ of humanitarianism, have become discursively entangled.

I chart an emergent language of grassroots refugee solidarity through texts, plays, documentaries, films, installations, exhibitions, and visual artworks produced about the Jungle between 2015 and 2020. I demonstrate the ideological role that refugees and asylum seekers have played in shoring up the spatiotemporal boundaries of the European nation during the ‘refugee crisis’, via a rhetorical process termed here ‘the affective economy of hopes and dreams’. Finally, the thesis argues that the Calais Jungle was not the edge, limit or ‘other’ of Europe. Rather, for British and European citizens, the camp has played a pivotal role in rethinking Europe as a geopolitical construct, and ‘Europeanness’ as a cultural concept, in the post-Brexit age.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and Creative Studies, Department of English Literature
Funders: Other
Other Funders: University of Birmingham, University of East Anglia
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/11256


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