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Georgina Ramsay is a cultural anthropologist specializing in political and legal anthropology. Her work focuses on the overarching question: What does it mean to be displaced in a world where precarity and instability increasingly seem to be the norm? Her research areas include refugees, citizenship and sovereignty, humanitarianism and human rights, exploitation and extractivism, homelessness and economic insecurity. Her work aims to contextualize the movement of forced migrants worldwide within shared frames of experience and global complicity, thinking through how contemporary experiences of displacement reflect and reinforce long-standing structures of inequality and call into question collective futures of prosperity. Ramsay has conducted fieldwork with refugees in Australia, Uganda, and the United States, with internally displaced people in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and with people experiencing homelessness in the United States.Ramsay is author of Impossible Refuge: The Control and Constraint of Refugee Futures (Routledge, 2018). She has published widely in academic journals, including Humanity, Anthropological Theory, Critique of Anthropology, Public Culture, Anthropological Quarterly, Political and Legal Anthropology Review, and Social Analysis, among others. Her writing has also been published in public media outlets, including Slate, The Conversation, and New Matilda. In 2016, her article, “Election Fact Check: Are Many Refugees Illiterate and Innumerate?" was selected for inclusion in The Conversation Yearbook 2016: 50 Standout Articles from Australia's Top Thinkers.With climate change, political instability and economic precarity continuing to destabilize life around the globe, Ramsay's ongoing research continues to focus on displacement as a lens through which to link localized experiences of instability to the collective stakes of our global future. A migrant within the United States herself, Ramsay is committed to making the world—and her local community—more safe, welcoming, and receptive to all humans, regardless of their legal, political, social, and economic backgrounds.
Dr. Ramsay is an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Geography and Spatial Sciences. She is co-editor of Political and Legal Anthropology Review and a board member of the Association for Political and Legal Anthropology.
Publicly accessible samples of her work include the following:
2022. “Bordered Lives and Frontier Futures: Reproducing 'the Minor' in Contested Times." Environment and Planning D: Society and Space.
2020. “Time and the Other in Crisis: How Anthropology Makes its Displaced Object." Anthropological Theory.
2020. “Humanitarian Exploits: Ordinary Displacement and the Political Economy of the Global Refugee Regime." Critique of Anthropology.
2017. “Incommensurable Futures and Displaced Lives: Sovereignty as Control Over Time." Public Culture.
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