UCL Department of Geography


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Culture and Migration


This research cluster brings together human geographers working across social, cultural and historical geography at UCL with a specific expertise in relation to migration studies and refugee studies. Researchers in this cluster share a theoretical concern with social and particularly gendered and racialised inequalities and difference; critical approaches to social and cultural geographies; a commitment to empirical and often historical geographical research; and an interest in working with creative partners and a wide range of user groups.

UCL has long been a leader in cultural historical geography and this intellectual legacy is evident in the range of contemporary scholarship, particularly the pioneering work of James Kneale on literary geographies and the historical geographies of drinking and licensing. A commitment to critical race and postcolonial theory underpins research leadership on historical black geographies, through Caroline Bressey’s leadership of the Equiano Centre, and Tariq Jazeel’s scholarship on the postcolonial politics and landscapes of Sri Lanka and South India. Tariq also leads UCL’s new South Asian Studies network.

The Department of Geography at UCL has had diverse interests in international  migration over many years, which continue into the present. UCL’s interdisciplinary Migration Research Unit is linked to this research cluster, which also leads the MSc Global Migration Programme. Current research focuses on three main areas: forced migration, refugees and humanitarian assistance (Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Tatiana Thieme, Tom Western); migration, family and cross-border, transnational and international education (Johanna Waters); and migration and development, remittances and transnational networks (Ben Page). The cluster has specific expertise in the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, South and East Asia. Ben Page and Tatiana Thieme are also part of UCL’s new African Studies Research Centre.

There are also important cross-cutting links within this research cluster between migration and culture such as Caroline Bressey's work on historical black mobilities, Tariq Jazeel's work on diasporic formations, Ben Page’s analysis of colonial documentary cinema and Tom Western's work on sound and the history of radio. This research cluster supports a group of postdoctoral researchers and a large cohort of PhD students. It also maintains strong links with UCL’s Institute of Advanced Studies.

The research cluster is co-led by Prof Tariq Jazeel and Dr Ben Page.


Group members


    Recent News from the Research Group


    • Congratulations to Research Group Members Dr Ruth Judge for her appointment to a lectureship at the University of Liverpool and Dr Srilata Sircar for her appointment to a post at the India Institute at King's College London
    • Congratulations to Dr Pooya Ghoddousi on being awarded an ESRC Post-doctoral Fellowship at Queen Mary University of London
    • Welcome to Dr Tom Western, who joins UCL from University of Oslo and is bringing the Active Citizens Sound Archive with him
    • Congratulations to Professor Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh on the publication of the edited open access volume Refuge in a Moving Word with UCL Press. All 38 chapters can be downloaded for free: Download Book Here
    • Congratulations to Joanna Waters on her promotion to Professor from October 1st 2020

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