This panel was hosted at the Refugee Hosts International Conference on the 24th October 2019, from 15:00-16:30

Chair: Prof Alison Phipps (University of Glasgow)

Bayan Itani (Refugee Hosts)

Dr Estella Carpi (Southern Responses to Displacement, UCL)

Dr Ann Christin Wagner (University of Edinburgh)

Dr Karen Lauterbach (University of Copenhagen)

You can watch the live stream video of Prof. Alison Phipps opening comments, here:


You can watch the live stream video of Bayan Itani’s presentation below and access her presentations slides, here.


You can watch the live stream video of Dr Estella Carpi’s presentation below and access her presentation slides, here.


You can watch the live stream video of Dr Ann Chritin Wagner’s below and access her presentation slides, here:


You can watch the live stream video of Dr Karen Lauterbach’s presentation below.


This panel explored the diverse motivations, experiences and consequences of hosting, and of being hosted, in contexts of displacement, drawing on insights and examples from multiple perspectives and field-sites. In particular, the panel focused on the ‘everyday’ nature of displacement and hosting, and  panelists reflected on concepts such as ‘conviviality’ and of ‘being with’ refugees, following our project’s exploration of such dynamics in diverse refugee hosting neighbourhoods. How can we collectively advance an understanding of hospitality that moves beyond a static notion of citizens as hosts and refugees as guests, in light of the important role that refugees often play as hosts to other refugees? What roles do diverse models of encounter play in relation to a wider set of moral principles, including faith-based principles, and solidarity? How do these resonate or come into conflict with humanitarian assumptions and principles around local-level ‘hosting’ and state-level ‘burden-sharing’?

Panelists were invited to prepare a 10-15 minute presentation reflecting on the topic of hosting, hospitality and the common good, drawing in particular on insights from their own field-research and disciplinary backgrounds.

As well as exploring the themes relating to this specific panel, panelists were also asked to address one of the key questions posed by the wider Refugee Hosts research project, namely: “how can we understand local community responses to displacement?”

Biographies and links to presentation abstracts can be found below, in addition to a recommending reading and listening list, including blogs and radio appearances by the panelists, on Hosting, Hospitality and the Common Good.

Chair: Prof Alison Phipps

Alison Phipps UNESCO Chair in Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts at the University of Glasgow and Professor of Languages and Intercultural Studies. She is Co-Convener of Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network (GRAMNET). She was Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Waikato University, Aotearoa New Zealand 2013-2016, Thinker in Residence at the EU Hawke Centre, University of South Australia in 2016, Visiting Professor at Auckland University of Technology, and Principal Investigator for AHRC Large Grant ‘Researching Multilingually at the Borders of Language, the body, law and the state’ And now co-Director of the Global Challenge Research Fund South South Migration Hub. She is an academic, activist and published poet.

Bayan Itani

Bayan Itani is a Lebanese writer and researcher. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts from the Lebanese American University (2009) and a Master of Arts in Sociology from the American University of Beirut (2015). In addition to her work in Beirut as part of the Refugee Hosts project, Bayan has had several experiences working with refugees around Lebanon, particularly after the outbreak of the Syrian crisis. These include monitoring protection work, overseeing surveying procedures, and conducting communication activities. Bayan’s hobbies are reading and writing; she writes socially themed Arabic short stories for children to fulfil this passion. You can read an abstract of Bayan’s presentation, here.

Dr Estella Carpi

Estella is Research Associate on the Southern Responses to Displacement Project at UCL and received a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Sydney (Australia), with a study on social responses to crisis and crisis management in Lebanon. Her work has focused on displacement, forced migration, social welfare, gender equality, and humanitarian aid provision in the Arab Levant and Turkey. She has lectured extensively in the Social Sciences in Italy, Australia, and Lebanon. In autumn 2016 she was awarded a “Mobility, Displacement, and Forced Migration” CIRS-Georgetown University (Qatar) grant to carry out research on livelihoods and refugee self-reliance in northern Lebanon and southern Turkey. You can read Dr Carpi’s presentation abstract here.

Dr Ann-Christin Wagner

Dr Ann-Christin Wagner is a lecturer in the Anthropology of Development at the University of Edinburgh. For her doctoral studies, Ann undertook fourteen months of ethnographic fieldwork with Syrian refugees in northern Jordan in 2016/17. In 2019, she conducted research with Syrian and Congolese youth in Uganda and Jordan as part of a pilot study on adolescent refugees’ reproductive health. Before her PhD, she worked with the International Organization for Migration in Geneva.

Dr Karen Lauterbach

Karen Lauterbach is Associate Professor at the  Centre of African Studies, University of Copenhagen. Her primary fields of research include Christianity in Africa, religion, politics and social change and religion, displacement and governance.  Her current research focuses on institutional trust in Africa, the spiritual history and topography of urban space, religion and development, religious institutions, and governance and wealth and charismatic Christianity in Africa. You can read an abstract of Karen’s presentation, here.

Recommended readings:

Berg, M. and Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E. (2018) Hospitality and Hostility towards Migrants: Global Perspectives—An Introduction

Carpi, E. (2019) Local Faith Actors in Disaster Response and Risk Reduction – ALNAP Webinar

Carpi, E. (2018) Does Faith-Based Aid Provision always Localise Aid?

Carpi, E. (2017) Syrians in Akkar: Refugees or Neighbours? Rethinking hospitality towards refugees in Lebanon 

Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E. (2016) Refugees hosting refugees

Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E. (2019) The poetics of undisclosed care

Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E. and Qasmiyeh, Y. M. (2018) Refugee neighbours and hostipitality

Harsch, L. (2019) ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ – Reflections on Everyday Responses to Displacement

Itani, B. (2019) The importance of identity: reflections from fieldwork in Hamra

Lauterbach, K.  (2019) “A Refugee Pastor in a Refugee Church” – Hybrid Forms of Faith-Based Hosting in Kampala, Uganda

Rayes, D. (2018) In God We Trust: Faith communities as an asset to refugee youth in the United States

Rowlands, A. (2018) Turkey – Crossroads for the displaced

Taylor, K. (2018) Belgian Refugees in Glasgow: Local Faith Communities, Hosting and the Great War

Wagner, A, (2019) “There are no missionaries here!” – How a local church took the lead in the refugee response in northern Jordan

You can listen to Dr Anna Rowlands discussing more on these themes, here.