Event details

Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

IAS Fellows’ Seminar – Safety and Security – From Wording to Worlding by Dr Diana Johns (University of Melbourne)

October 23, 2023 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

IAS Fellows’ Seminar by Dr Diana Johns  (University of Melbourne)


Current responses to children and young people who cause harm, to themselves and others, tend to emphasise safety and security. Typically used uncritically, these concepts appear remarkably undertheorised. What do we mean when we talk about keeping children safe, and secure, and how is this different to the language of ‘community safety’? What does the language of safety and security do in these different contexts? In challenging the taken-for-grantedness of these terms, Dr Diana Johns explores meanings of safety and security for young people in justice settings, mapping the conceptual roots, intersections and boundaries of terms such as relational and emotional security and safety. With attention to the use of language, how words matter, and how concepts embedded in policy and discourse shape practice, she considers how criminalising responses to children and young people may constitute harm and violence. In direct challenge to dominant deficit narratives of ‘risky’ young people, for instance, and the related custodial emphasis on physical and procedural security, she imagines safety and security otherwise: in terms of physical, emotional, spiritual, cultural, and relational wellbeing and flourishing. Drawing on First Nations scholarship on concepts of relationality and holding – in contrast to the metaphor of the hold – Dr Johns envisages safety and security in the worlds of children and young people as ontological, and therefore worlding notions; that is, having metaphysical, relational qualities of intersubjectivity and interbeing. Her aim is to open conceptual windows through which possibilities for thinking differently about our responses to children and young people might become visible.    

Places are limited and so any academic colleagues or students interested in attending in person should register HERE.

Places are limited and so any academic colleagues or students interested in attending in person should register HERE.


October 23, 2023
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Event Category:


Cosin’s Hall, Palace Green Durham
Cosin's Hall, Palace Green
Durham, DH1 3RL United Kingdom
+ Google Map

You might also be interested in…