Seminar given on 12 November 2014 by Professor Jonny Steinberg (African Studies Centre and the Centre for Criminology, University of Oxford), part of the RSC Michaelmas term 2014 Public Seminar Series.
In the course of writing an intimate biography of a Somali forced migrant, Professor Steinberg has explored some of the more important decisions his subject has made over the course of his life. Among them are decisions about public matters: how to position himself in the politics of the Somali diaspora; whether to take a public stand over xenophobia in South Africa; how to understand his place as a refugee in American society. In each case, Professor Steinberg finds that the public position he adopts is tied inextricably to his feelings about a woman he loves. In this talk, Professor Steinberg will examine connections between the very personal and the very public in the context of forced migration. His paper is an explorative piece, its conclusions tentative and suggestive.