The Afterlives of Return and the Limits of Refugee Protection | Annual Elizabeth Colson Lecture

About the talk:

This talk centers on a long-term refugee in Greece who decided to return to his home country in the face of severe illness. I ask what his illness and treatment in Greece, and ultimately his return, reveal about protection regimes: as he sought care, respite from pain, and a good—or at least dignified—death. His return enabled him to be among family again, in once-familiar places, and to be laid to rest among ancestors. Yet rather than reading his return as a form of closure or resolution, I probe its afterlives: the frayed, tangled, still-unfurling edges of the story, which speak to the ongoing nature of displacement.

About the speaker:

Heath Cabot teaches anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh and is currently a visiting fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology. She is the author of On the Doorstep of Europe: Asylum and Citizenship in Greece (Penn Press 2014). She is currently working on a book on grass-roots healthcare initiatives in Greece.