The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Staff Profile

Dr Kawtar Najib

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow


I am currently a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow in the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology where I am working under the supervision of Professor Peter Hopkins on the SAMA Project: "Spaces of Anti-Muslim Acts in the Greater Paris and Greater London regions". My main objective is to explore the relationship between persistent Islamophobic discrimination and space, in other words the relationship between religious and territorial discrimination.  

My previous research (PhD) was primarily focused on socio-spatial segregation both from the perspective of the categorisation of spaces and identity-building. I highlighted 1) the urban dynamics in terms of socio-spatial differentiations and transformations; and 2) the ways of living in a district in terms of residential logics and spatial practices and representations. In my masters, I studied the spatial dynamics of immigrant religious groups (i.e. Muslim and Buddhist populations) and the impact of their religious practices on potential situation of exclusion and discrimination.

My research interests cover the fields of urban and social geography, and are more specifically centred on:
- Religious and territorial discrimination, Geographies of Islamophobia; 
- Geography of "Othering", Minority religious groups; 
- Socio-spatial inequalities, Urban segregation; 
- Residential mobility, Spatial representations, Urban and housing policy; 
- Quantitative and qualitative methods. 

2013: PhD, Geography and Urban Planning, University of Franche-Comté (Besançon, France)
2006: Master, Territorial Intelligence, University of Franche-Comté

Previous positions
2010-2011: Research Associate and Teaching Fellow, Geography Department, University of Provence (Aix-Marseille 1) 
2009-2010: Research Associate and Teaching Fellow, Geography Department , University of Vincennes-Saint-Denis (Paris 8)


Postdoctoral research project: SAMA "Spaces of Anti-Muslim Acts in the Greater Paris and Greater London regions"
Funding (2016-2018): European Commission, Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Individual Fellowship, Horizon 2020-MSCA-IF-2015 (€183,454)
Supervisor: Professor Peter Hopkins 

My role within the SAMA project is to: 
- Produce a cartography of the discrimination related to Islam according to where the anti-Muslim acts have occurred;  
- Explore the spatial practices and strategies stemming from these discrimination;  
- Expose the different spatial contexts to which discriminated people belong ranging from the finest scale (individual) to the largest scale (global and transnational);  
- Compare the French and British contexts - and in particular Paris and London - in order to explore the differences and similarities between these two important European capitals;  
- Adopt an intersectional approach to demonstrate that Islamophobic discrimination is interrelated with other types of discrimination such as racism, sexism, ageism and so on.  

To meet these five objectives, the SAMA project involves the use of both quantitative and qualitative methods such as statistics (for exploring the databases of the main associations fighting against Islamophobia), cartography (for emphasizing the spaces of Islamophobia), observation (for better understanding the studied cities) and interviews (for collecting information related to spatial practices and scales of belonging). Finally, the SAMA project is original in bringing a geographical perspective to bear on the issue of Islamophobia. Indeed, in this project, I will develop maps representing a real Territorial Information System (TIS), a kind of atlas of Islamophobic discrimination in the Greater Paris and Greater London regions. 

For more information, please visit the project website:


Past Courses as a Teaching Fellow
   University of Provence (Aix-Marseille 1):  
      - Statistics and cartography; 
      - Survey treatments, data bases;  
      - Modeling of the spatial organisation. 

   University of Vincennes-Saint-Denis (Paris 8):  
      - Academic approach of Geography; 
      - Reading and creating of maps.  

Past Courses as a Teaching Assistant
   University of Bourgogne:  
      - Urban planning and organisation of spaces

   University of Franche-Comté:   
      - Analysis of human occupation of space; 
      - Descriptive and inferential statistics;   
      - Data processing.