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Migrations Collective

Sharing creative practice and research across disciplinary and institutional borders

Migrations Collective.

The Institute for Social Science supports the Migrations Collective. The Collective aims to share creative practice and research across disciplinary and institutional borders.


  • All welcome – connecting academics and non-academics across the North-East
  • Collaborative: possibilities for research and input into local initiatives relating to migration
  • Not a network/hub/centre but a collective working across disciplinary and institutional borders


  • Teaching practice: open-source ‘Sanctuary Syllabus
  • Creative practice & events: relating to migration
  • Readigs though a ‘reading across the lines group’ hosting academic and non-academic issues that matter

We launched the Collective in January 2020. We are currently developing a number of events. If you are working in this area, and would like to join the Collective, we would love to support you so please get in touch.

Meet some of the Collective’s Members

Jan Dobbernack - Lecturer in Sociology - Newcastle University

I am interested in knowledge production, political debate and policy-making in the area of post-migrant “integration” and citizenship. A particular interest is the interaction between state regulation and disruptive agency, the politics of crisis and the development of policy agendas that aim for social unity and cohesion.

Lewis Turner - Lecturer in International Politics - Newcastle University CARA Liaison

Lewis is a political ethnographer of humanitarianism in ‘the Middle East’ and his work investigates questions of gender (especially men and masculinities), refugee recognition, vulnerability, labour market integration, and race and racism in humanitarianism. His research on the Syria refugee response has appeared in journals including Middle East Critique and Review of International Studies and has received prizes from professional associations including the British International Studies Association and the Political Studies Association. He currently acts as the University's liaison with CARA - The Council for At-Risk Academics.

Bridget Stratford MBE - Project Coordinator - N.E.S.T

I manage North East Solidarity and Teaching (N.E.S.T) a student led organisation.

N.E.S.T have been supporting the forced migration community in Newcastle since 2016, providing ESOL tuition and community integration support. They are an award-winning and internationally-recognised initiative making a huge difference to those seeking sanctuary in Newcastle.


Farah Kurji - Development Manager, Scotswood Garden and Migration Studies Masters Student at Newcastle University

Farah has 15 years’ experience working in the migrant and refugee sector for International NGOs and grassroots organisations. Scotswood Garden works in partnership with West End Refugee Service to run outdoor nature-based volunteering, training and youth work opportunities for people who are seeking asylum and  other people who have moved to Newcastle.  I am also a part time Masters student at Glasgow University studying Global Migrations and Social Justice .

Paul Zhou - PhD Student – Newcastle University

I am You Zhou (Paul) is from Hangzhou in China. He is currently studying in the Film Practice PhD programme at Newcastle University and also working as a lecturer at Ningbo University in China, teaching courses in making documentaries and other films. His current PhD project is a practice-led feature documentary film about Chinese immigrants from Qingtian County in Belgium.

Dimitris Skleparis - Lecturer in the Politics of Security – Newcastle University

Dimitris's research is at the intersection between critical security studies and migration/refugee studies. Dimitris is interested in how migration is governed, perceived, portrayed, and experienced amid increasing insecurities. He focuses particularly on the dynamics between security discourse and practice and their human impact. He approaches these issues from an interdisciplinary, and mixed methods standpoint.

Mabel Lie - Research Associate - Population Health Sciences Institute, Newcastle University

Following a research journey that began with applied linguistics, a PhD in sociology and social policy, and postdoctoral research in the third sector, Mabel had a career of more than 16 years as a qualitative health researcher. Her research has covered topics such as stroke and elderly care, prenatal diagnosis and antenatal care, and qualitative research embedded in clinical trials, to improve recruitment and to evaluate trial processes. Mabel is interested in applying relevant theoretical frameworks to assist in analysis, and community participatory approaches in public health research.

Tony Champion - Emeritus Professor of Population Geography - Newcastle University

Tony has 50 years of research on population distribution, migration and residential mobility, mainly within an urban/rural framework. Hi current work is on assessing 50 years of international research on counterurbanization; the long-term decline in migration rates, both internal and international; the drivers of internal migration, including the regional and local impact of immigration; differential city growth in demographic and economic terms, including 'left-behind places'; and the patterning and local impacts of migration to and from universities, including factors affecting student/graduate retention. 

Henna Asikainen - Artist

Henna is a Finnish artist based in the UK. Her practice explores humans’ complex relationship with nature and its intersections with social justice, climate justice, migration and notions of belonging. 

Henna’s work is often made with the participation of people who have a lived experience of displacement and of seeking sanctuary. These participatory projects explore ecological and social issues through communal experiences within different landscapes and examine issues such the importance of access to nature and green spaces and how a sense of homelessness – of not belonging – is produced through exclusion. 

Peter Hopkins - Professor of Social Geography – Newcastle University

Peter’s research interests in relation to migration focus on both the lived experiences of ethnic and religious minority young people who have a migration background (or who have parents or grandparents that do), and refugees and asylum seekers' (including the experiences of unaccompanied asylum seeking children, accounts of migration, negotiations of public spaces, and navigations of the Covid-19 pandemic).

Dr Soudeh Ghaffari – Lecturer – Newcastle University

Soudeh is a Lecturer in Social Geography and is interested in migration, policy making, discourse and cultural studies.

Jen Laws - Asylum Matters

Asylum Matters works in partnership locally and nationally to improve the lives of refugees and people seeking asylum through social and political change.

Dr Ashwiny O. Kistnareddy - Leverhulme Research Fellow - Refugee Studies Centre – University of Oxford

Ashwiny’s project focuses on refugee and asylum-seeking children as a critical site of intervention. She is examining provisions and wellbeing for children in refugee camps as well as after resettlement in the UK. She is a former secondary school teacher who worked with ELD students. She volunteers to teach English to refugee children through Jacari Oxford and Cambridge Refugee Resettlement Campaign. She is also a member of Asylum Welcome. Her latest monograph, Migrant Masculinities in Women's Writing: (In)Hospitality, Community, Vulnerability was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2021 and her manuscript Refugee Afterlives: Home, Hauntings and Hunger is forthcoming with Liverpool University Press.



Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences