About

The Migration Lab was launched in January 2017 as a joint initiative between The University of Manchester’s Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute and the Global Development Institute. It brings together the 70+ researchers who are working on migration issues across the University. The Migration Lab has three main purposes: Firstly, it aims to support researchers at The University of Manchester to lead innovative and impact-based research on migration. Secondly, it will create spaces for interdisciplinary and intersectoral dialogue about migration both within and beyond the University. Finally, it aims to promote The University of Manchester’s migration research to academic, policy and practitioner audiences. To these ends, the Migration Lab will be running a programme of events, including an international conference ‘World on the Move: Migration, Societies and Change’. It will also support the development of several research bids.

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Our people

Professor Uma Kothari, Migration Lab Co-Founder

Uma Kothari is Professor of Migration and Post-colonialism at the University of Manchester’s Global Development Institute. Her research focuses on understanding the context, experiences and impact of historical and contemporary transnational movements of people. This work, based on empirical research, has focused on five areas: 1) migration, cosmopolitanism and urban change, 2) labour migration and unfree labour focusing on indentured labour and migrant workers in Export Processing Zones, 3) the relationship between mobility and immobility and the experiences of those who stay put in an environment characterised by out-migration, 4) climate change and population displacement and 5) representations of refugees and everyday humanitarianism.

Professor Bertrand Taithe, Migration Lab Co-Founder

Born in France, I obtained my Manchester PhD in 1992. After a Wellcome postdoc and a lectureship at the University of Huddersfield I have been back at The University of Manchester since 2000. My work is on the history of humanitarian aid, missionary and military medicine. A founder of the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute, I work closely with NGOs, in particular with MSF. My current work is on prolonged humanitarian emergencies and the history of humanitarianism. I have been editor of the European Review of History – revue europeenne d’histoire – since 1994 and the chair of Manchester University Press Editorial committee.

Dr Tanja Müller, Migration Lab Co-Founder

Tanja Müller is Senior Lecturer in Development Studies at the Global Development Institute, and a founding member of the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute. She is the author of The Making of Elite Women. Revolution and Nation Building in Eritrea (Brill, 2005) and Legacies of Socialist Solidarity – East Germany in Mozambique (Lexington, 2014). Her most recent work interrogates activist citizenship as a politics of resistance among refugee populations in urban contexts, as well as celebrity humanitarianism, the visual representation of ‘development’, and the increasing lack of ‘ground truth’ in relation to the Global South. She is also co-researcher on an ESRC-funded project that interrogates peacekeeping operations in the Horn of Africa.

Dr Tamara West, Migration Lab Research Associate

Before joining the Migration Lab, Tamara worked at the University of Birmingham as a Teaching Fellow in Cultural Heritage. She also held Research Fellow roles in the Business School and Digital Humanities Hub working on EU and AHRC projects exploring digital cultural heritage, co-production, creative networks and citizenship practices. Her PhD was in Human Geography and explored the practices and narratives of memory and identity in displaced persons camps in postwar Germany.

Dr Cathy Wilcock, Migration Lab Co-ordinator and Researcher

Cathy Wilcock is the coordinator and researcher for the Migration Lab. She was awarded her Masters and PhD from the Global Development Institute at the University of Manchester. Her research interests centre around diaspora, identities and political activism and she is particularly interested in questioning why and how diasporas form in contexts of homeland and/or hostland political upheaval. Her doctoral research explored the roles of UK Sudanese activists in Sudanese peacebuilding.