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A Genealogy of Migrant Resistance (Advert Reference: RDF20/EE/GES/HUGHES)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 24, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

That the last decades have seen a marked rise in migrant protests is widely acknowledged within and beyond the academy. Scholars in Geography and other cognisant disciplines (Sociology, Anthropology, Political Science) have paid critical attention to the emergence of solidarity movements, protests, hunger strikes, quiet tactics, creative activities, claims to citizenship and activist networks that have arisen in response to increasingly violent practices of border control. This urgent and politically important work has yet, however, to place these activities within a wider genealogy of migrant resistance.

With this in mind, ‘A Genealogy of Resistance’ address two interrelated question that are critical to understanding the emergence of what has come to be termed ‘migrant resistance’. Framing genealogy largely through the work of Michel Foucault, the project will first address the question ‘what is resistance?’ The project aims to traces how certain forms of activity have come to be developed as practices of resistance. It asks what forms, or genres of politics does a framing of these activities as resistant open up, and what does it risk foreclosing?

The second aspect of the doctoral study will be to construct a genealogy of the resistance practices of forced migrants within a case-study of their choice. This project provides the opportunity for the candidate to ground this project in accordance with their own expertise and interests. Tracing a genealogy will involve extensive archival research and applicants should state in the proposal where they anticipate this research taking place.

This project is supervised by Dr Sarah Hughes. The second and third supervisors will be Dr Kathryn Cassidy and Dr Paul Griffin.

Eligibility and How to Apply:

Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
• Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. RDF20/EE/GES/HUGHES) will not be considered.

Deadline for applications: Friday 24 January 2020
Start Date: 1 October 2020

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.

Funding Notes

The studentship is available to Home/EU/ Worldwide students where a full stipend, paid for three years at RCUK rates (for 2019/20, this is £15,009 pa) and full fees.


Principal Supervisor: Dr Sarah M. Hughes
• • Hughes, S. M. (2019) On Resistance within Human Geography. Progress in Human Geography. [Online first] https://doi.org/10.1177/0309132519879490
• • Hughes, S. M. (2016) Beyond intentionality: exploring creativity and resistance within a UK Immigration Removal Centre. Citizenship Studies. 20:427-443.
• • Maestri, G and Hughes, S. M. (2017) Contested Spaces of Citizenship: Camps, Borders and Urban Encounters. Citizenship Studies 21 (6): 625-639

Second Supervisor: Dr. Kathryn Cassidy
• • Cassidy, K., (2019) Where can I get free? Everyday Bordering, Everyday Incarceration

Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. 44 (1) p. 48-62
• • Yuval-Davis, N, Wemyss, G & Cassidy, K (2019), Bordering. Polity Press.
• • Cassidy, K, Yuval-Davis, N & Wemyss, G( 2018), 'Debordering and everyday (re)bordering in and of Dover: Post-borderland borderscapes', Political Geography, vol. 66, pp. 171-179.

Third Supervisor: Dr Paul Griffin
• • Griffin, P., (2018) Making usable pasts: collaboration, labour and activism in the archive

Area. 50(4) p. 501-508
Griffin, P. (2017), Remembering the anti-war movement: Contesting the war and fighting the class struggle on Clydeside. in J Wallis & D Harvey (eds), Commemorative Spaces of the First World War: Historical Geographies at the Centenary. Routledge Research in Historical Geography, Taylor & Francis, Abingdon.

• • Featherstone, D. & Griffin, P., (2016) Spatial relations, histories from below and the makings of agency: Reflections on The Making of the English Working Class at 50 Progress in Human Geography. 40, 3, p. 375-393

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