Luminato Festival features York event: Howard Adelman Lecture


York University’s Centre for Refugee Studies (CRS) will present its annual Howard Adelman Lecture, in collaboration with Luminato Festival – Illuminating Ideas and the Provocation Ideas Festival, on June 13 from 7 to 9 p.m. at York’s Keele Campus.

The event will feature special guest speaker and journalist Anna Lekas Miller and co-panelists Zahra Dhanani, lawyer and co-owner of Old’s Cool General store, and Jay Ramasubramanyam, assistant professor, Department of Social Science, York University. The event moderator will be Ruth Green, associate professor and special advisor to the Dean’s Office on Indigenous Issues, in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, York University.

The event is free, but everyone must register:

About the speakers

Anna Lekas Miller

Miller will discuss and read from her newly published book Love Across Borders and a will lead a panel discussion from experts and artists with lived experience of forced migration. In her book, Miller spotlights couples around the world who confront frustrating immigration systems to be together – as she did to be with her husband.

Miller is a writer and journalist who covers stories on the ways that conflict and migration shape the lives of people around the world. She has reported from Palestine, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq, covering the Israeli occupation, the Syrian civil war and exodus to Europe and the rise and fall of the Islamic State. Since moving to London, she has turned her attention to the rise of the far right in Europe and the United States, investigating immigration systems, white supremacist ideology and the ways that people are standing up to them. She is most interested in stories of love and healing in an unpredictable, and often unstable world.

Jay Ramasubramanya

Ramasubramanyam is an assistant professor in the Law and Society Program at York University. Ramasubramanyam obtained his BA in criminology from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He received a postgraduate diploma and LLM in international human rights from Birmingham City University, United Kingdom and his PhD from the Department of Law and Legal Studies and the Institute of Political Economy, at Carleton University, Ottawa. 

He is a global south migration researcher. His research expertise includes forced migration, international refugee law, statelessness, third-world approaches to international law, human rights, race and racialization, postcolonial theory and South Asian studies. His research explores the asymmetries of power, knowledge production and the ostensible legitimacy of norms in the field of refugee studies and refugee law.

Zahra Dhanani

Dhanani is a lawyer, trainer, adjudicator, facilitator, consultant for non-profits and small business owner. With more than 25 years experience, she has extensive knowledge in the areas of anti-oppression, diversity, inclusion, organizational development, restorative justice, conflict resolution, social justice, gender violence, disability, sexual orientation and newcomer realities.

About the moderator

Ruth Green

Green is an associate professor in the School of Social Work at York University. She is an activist turned accidental academic and identifies as an urban Indigequeer woman. She is a citizen of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. She is from the Kanien’keha:ka Nation and is a member of the Turtle Clan. She was born a Canadian but was half disenfranchised when she was 10 years old. By the time she was 34-and-a-half years old she was completely disenfranchised. She acknowledges the privileges she gets in a world of identity politics to be governed by legislation that is 100 years older than she is. She also acknowledges her paternal Celtic heritage. Green likes to think about Indigenous education and social issues that impact Indigenous communities.

A reception will be hosted by the Centre for Refugee Studies in the Gales Art Gallery, York University. The gallery will also host an art exhibit, Transmigrations. Artist Ryan Kelln will be on hand to provide a brief introduction to the art work at 6 p.m.