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News Updates for 2011
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News and Events 2007
News and Events 2006
News and Events 2005
News and Events 2004


June 2011: CRONEM Conference

'Diasporas, Migration & Identities' research programme reviewed

A roundtable discussion was held during the CRONEM Annual Conference 2011 at the University of Surrey. CRONEM is the Centre for Research on Nationalism, Ethnicity and Multiculturalism.

The roundtable was entitled:

The AHRC ‘Diasporas, Migration and Identities’ Research Programme. Where did it get us?

Kim Knott, AHRC Programme Director: Diasporas, Migration and Identities, led a discussion on the contribution to our understanding of diasporas and global migration made by this trans-disciplinary research programme
The director opened the roundtable with some information about the Programme, followed by interventions from:

  • an award holder and co-editor
  • an external critic
  • a project researcher

Each of whom spoke on the subject of the Programme’s contribution for 5-10 minutes from the perspective of their role.
Questions and comments from the floor were then taken.
The director closed with brief comments on future developments.

The award holder and co-editor: Sean McLoughlin, co-editor Diasporas: Concepts, Intersections, Identities (Zed Books 2010), PI on network ‘Writing British Asian Cities’, and Senior Lecturer in Religion, Anthropology and Islam, University of Leeds

The external critic: Nicholas Van Hear, Deputy Director, Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), University of Oxford, and a member of the research team of one of two new Leverhulme programmes on the ‘Impact of Diasporas’

The project researcher: Kanwal Mand, researcher on ‘Home and Away: Experiences and representations of transnational South Asian children’, Lecturer in Sociology, University of Brighton

The programme director: Kim Knott, University of Leeds
‘Diasporas, Migration and Identities’ was a trans-disciplinary research programme funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council from 2005-10. It included arts and humanities scholars from all over the UK working on individual research, large collaborative and interdisciplinary projects, and in international networks. The aim was to research, discuss and present issues related to diasporas and migration, and their past and present impact on subjectivity and identity, culture and the imagination, place and space, emotion, politics and sociality.
The final programme report and project findings are available on the website,

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March 2011: Engagement with Policy

Direct impact on government and other public policy is hard to prove, leaving academics in some cases only able to cite the commissioning of research, presentation of findings at briefings, and inclusion of results in government publications as probable evidence. In addition to a Home Office commissioned review of arts and humanities research on ‘The roots, practices and consequences of terrorism’ (Knott et al, 2006), programme and project interventions included Gillespie et al (Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Wilton Park, conferences on diplomacy and diasporas and other briefings re BBCWS and digital diasporas), Good and Gibb (discussions with UK Border Agency as well as other public bodies on asylum narratives) and Knott (parliamentary briefings on diasporas, security and religious issues; and participation in a ‘question time’ panel on security, terrorism, religion and diversity in advance of the 2010 election). Holt, who worked for many years as a political lobbyist on Middle East issues and held a small grant for ‘Memory, identity and change: Palestinian refugee women in Lebanon’, provided evidence to the Foreign Affairs Committee which was later published in their report, Global Security: the Middle East, 2007. She was invited to arrange a British Parliamentary delegation to visit Palestinian organisations in Lebanon. Calder, Cole and Seglow, ‘Toleration and the public sphere’, attracted policy makers and lobbyists to participate in their workshops in Newport, Stirling, London, York and Belfast. The team aimed to get debates on toleration, immigration and citizenship, cultural identity and freedom of expression ‘out of the academic arena and connect them with the practical, policy issues faced by real communities’ (Calder, ‘Questions that must be asked’, Western Mail, 19 October 2006).

Other policy interventions (non-governmental) included Polezzi et al’s participation in an ESF/COST Science Policy Briefing on cultural literacy, and Sales et al’s engagement with Westminster Council and various Chinese organisations in association with ‘Images and realities of London’s Chinatown’. Speakers from London Chinese Community Centre, Chinese Immigration Concern Committee, National Healthy Living Association and Migrants’ Rights Watch attended the workshop, ‘New research on Chinese migration’, and received their policy report.

Impact on the policies and practices of local and regional service providers and community organisations also arose from the work of O’Neill and Hubbard (Network: Making the Connections). They fostered and strengthened connections between Loughborough University, NIACE, regional community arts organisations, regional universities and various statutory and voluntary sector organisations as well as new arrival communities, groups and individuals. O'Neill also facilitated a support group for NAWEF (Nottingham Women's African Empowerment Forum). Through their workshops, e.g. on 'Refugee Lifelines' (organised with NIACE and artists in exile) and 'Making Connections: Helping Asylum Seekers through arts inclusion’ (organised with Dreamers, an unaccompanied young asylum seekers project, Leicestershire Youth Service and Charnwood Arts), they raised awareness of the lived experiences of refugees and of the asylum seeker–asylum-migration nexus, and fed into regional policy debates on people’s reasons for migration to the UK and concepts and senses of belonging. According to O’Neill, a number of workshop participants found employment as a direct result of the project: artists were engaged on projects, had invitations to exhibit their work, and arts organisations received further funding to continue their work.

Another area of public provision where the programme can be seen to have had an impact on both policy and practice is in museums and galleries. The ‘Tate Encounters’ project was instrumental in reflecting on and affecting change in cultural diversity policy and practice within the museum. In their end-of-award report, the team recounted the process whereby their findings and ideas about audiences, public engagement and museum display were disseminated within Tate, thus drawing in its policy makers, trustees and other staff. The high level of support secured through their Tate Organisational Study led to them being invited to give a presentation to the ‘Tate for All’ working group (in 2008), chaired by the Director of Tate National responsible for Tate's policies of equality and access across staffing, collections and programming, and this was followed by an invitation to lead a Tate-wide, cross-departmental seminar, ‘Tate Think’, and to give a presentation to the Tate National department which brought together Directors and Chief Curators from Tate Liverpool, Tate St Ives, Tate Britain and Tate Modern. The Tate Encounters team was invited to participate in a series of working seminars called for by the Tate Trustees to inform Tate's Audience Development Strategy, 2012-15, which included discussions with representatives from DCMS, the policy think-tank Demos, and the consultancy group Audiences London. In addition to internal Tate interventions, as part of Black History Month in November 2008, the team presented their research at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to an audience of over fifty from DCMS, MLA, the heritage and museums and galleries sectors, and various voluntary bodies and arts organizations.

Examples of outputs designed specifically to have an policy impact beyond the UK included Rajah-Carrim’s report to the Government of Mauritius on the role of new technology (through online chats, emails, and text messages) in changing diasporic and national allegiances in Mauritian multi-ethnic society, and research by Gillespie’s ‘Tuning In’ team on digital diasporas and the BBC World Service (reported in the BBC’s international journal, World Agenda) and Iran and the BBCWS’s Persian service. A 12-month AHRC placement fellowship, on ‘The Art of Intercultural Dialogue: Evaluating the “Global Conversation” at the BBC World Service’ is in development, an aim of which is ‘to increase the impact of … “Tuning In: Diasporic Contact Zones at the BBC World Service” on policy and practice at the WS and at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with regard to engaging overseas publics via interactive and social media initiatives’ (Gillespie).

Award holders and researchers’ participation in and meetings with NGOs and community organizations abroad was further testimony to their engagement and potential impact, e.g. Chatterji et al’s relationships with Ain-o-Shalish Kendra, Al-Falah Bangladesh, Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee, Community Development Association, Chhayanaut Bhavan, LEDARS and Nijera Kori (all in Bangladesh), and with the Institute of Objective Studies and the Minorities Welfare Board in Kolkata, India; and Kaiser’s links with governmental bodies including the Refugee Directorate and Office of the Prime Minister, the Makerere Institute for Social Research, the Refugee Law Project, UNHCR and other national and international NGOs in Uganda.

A key international impact of Meinhof and Kiwan’s large grant was Meinhof’s co-authored policy report on Cultural Diasporas (with Heidi Armbruster) for the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education. The report examined ‘the contribution that artists from a non-EU background make towards cultural life and cultural industries in Europe and beyond. In particular, it look[ed] at how such artists form "diasporas" which in turn create networks of cultural exchange inside the EU and with third countries’ with particular reference to those from African, Balkan and Turkish backgrounds (Meinhof and Armbruster, Cultural Diasporas, EU Policy Department B, Culture and Education, 2008).

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February 2011: Collaboration and Partnerships

This month we launched a podcast page on the website featuring interviews with award holders whose projects involved work with external partners. See the Podcasts page. Most of these were conducted by Norman Winter, a producer of audio content for broadcast and internet. The podcasts feature ‘Tate Encounters’, ‘Fashioning Diaspora Space’, ‘Every Object Tells a Story’ and 'Tuning In'. ‘Africans in Roman York’, an interview conducted with Hella Eckardt by Jake Gilmore of AHRC, is also available. The podcasts showcase the research conducted by project teams, but also explore issues of multi- and interdisciplinarity, working across academic/non-academic boundaries, the needs and expectations of different partners, and the benefits for public awareness, policy, education, and museum curation and research. Further podcasts will be added.

One of the objectives of the ‘Diasporas, Migration and Identities’ programme was ‘to facilitate connection, communication and exchange – at both programme and project level – between researchers and a wide range of individuals and organisations who have an interest in their research and its outcomes, including those in the cultural sector, media, government, public and voluntary bodies, and to contribute to the development of public policy. This would have been impossible without the involvement of researchers, creative practitioners, organisations and public bodies from beyond the university sector.

It was very appropriate and timely that several large projects were commissioned that comprised strategic partnerships between university academics and external bodies. Two of these involved Independent Research Organisations recognised by AHRC, Tate Britain (Dewdney et al) and the V&A; (Crang et al); the third, a research engagement with the BBC World Service (Gillespie et al). As the programme proceeded, however, other partnerships developed. Network award holders, for example, worked with key partners such as the film company, Scenario Films (Berghahn), the independent oral historian, Irna Qureshi (McLoughlin et al), Arts Council East Midlands and regional arts and community organisations (O’Neill), and the Motion Picture Division of the Library of Congress (Bell). Pahl’s small project, Artefacts and Narratives of Migration, brought in matched funding from ‘Creative Partnerships’, and engaged with a museum and gallery, local families, a school, a Sure Start centre, a visual artist, MLA Yorkshire and NIACE.

UK and international non-academic engagement is featured in the Final Report, in sections 4.2.2, ‘Developing and sustaining collaborative partnerships’, where information can also be found on collaborations between academics from different universities, and between different research programmes, and in section 4.4 on engagement/exchange with stakeholders.

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January 2011: Public awareness

From 2005-10, the programme generated nearly 400 outputs with public audiences in mind, including publications of various kinds, events, websites, exhibitions and creative works. You can read more about these in the Final Programme Report. Here I will focus on some of the websites, exhibitions and other events.

Over 20 websites were developed within the programme, mostly in association with networks and large research projects, with several designed explicitly for public use. Two of these house diasporas and migration resources for teachers and children which were developed from ethnographic and exhibition material collected and developed by project teams. Every Object Tells a Story ( – family learning through objects in the home and museum – includes a learning pack produced by Kate Pahl and the artist Zahir Rafiq in association with the Museums and Libraries Association Yorkshire.

Bangla Stories ( contains accounts by migrants who left their homes and families after the partition of India in 1947. Produced by Joya Chatterji and Claire Alexander in association with the Runnymede Trust, it contains teaching resources and lesson plans, and includes information on how to conduct an oral history interview with a relative. ‘Home and Away’, the project by Katie Gardner and Kanwal Mand on Bangladeshi children’s transnational experiences, also has stories on this website (see also below).

Writing British Asian Cities (Seán McLoughlin and team), though generally an academic website (, continues the oral history theme, with more than thirty interviews by local historian, Irna Qureshi, recorded with people from Bradford and Manchester on their relationship with their cities.

Manchester’s Migration Histories (Laurence Brown) (, also makes use of oral history, but in this case to map migrant movements, routes, locations and connections. The website – still under construction – uses Google Map to locate places identified in oral history accounts, and will eventually include maps produced using GIS. With reference to another attempt at dissemination, the project investigator noted the difficulty of competing for public attention: “In August 2008, the project presented a stall as part of the Manchester Caribbean Carnival in Alexandra Park in Moss Side. [It] publicised the project and its web-page, although we were slightly over-shadowed by the neighbouring stall which involved two young men rapping gospel tunes while wearing inflatable sumo-suits”.

Striking Women ( began life as oral history interviews and visual images of South Asian women’s participation in the Grunwick strike of 1976 and Gate Gourmet dispute in 2005. The research team (Ruth Pearson, Linda McDowell and Sundari Anitha) worked with the Women’s Library to produce an exhibition of photographs and text illustrating the strikes from the perspective of the women involved.

Other public exhibitions were mounted in association with the programme. One of the most significant in terms of location and visitor numbers was Home and Away, held at the V&A; Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green from January-March 2009. Estimates suggest that it was attended by about 1,000 visitors, but was brought to the attention of many more through coverage on the Bengali diaspora television station, STV, and the BBC news website.

Two other projects have had an impact on public awareness through exhibitions. A team researching diasporic communities in Roman Britain (Hella Eckardt, Mary Lewis and Gundula Müldner) contributed to the new Roman exhibition at the Yorkshire Museum (launched in the summer of 2010). With the help of a reconstruction artist, Aaron Watson, and author, Caroline Lawrence, their research was accessibly presented in ways suitable for children. The programme network on ‘Viking Identities’ (Judith Jesch and team) contributed to a new display on Viking genetics and ancestry at the Jorvik Viking Centre in York in 2006. The team’s Centre for the Study of the Viking Age has also run events for teachers, museum and heritage professionals, the media, and re-enactors on subjects such as population genetics, literature, numismatics, sculpture, history, and archaeology.

‘Fashioning diaspora space’, a collaborative project between the V&A; and researchers at Royal Holloway (Philip Crang and team) held an exhibition at the Royal Geographical Society in May 2009. Moving Patterns featured the work of artist, Helen Scalway. Also accessible in her blog (, her attractive and thought-provoking pieces on the engagement between South Asian design, the built environment in East London, and the fabric, collections and colonial location of the V&A; itself have attracted much comment. Her work, along with essays by other members of the team, can be seen in British Asian Style: Fashion and Textiles Past & Present (edited by Christopher Breward, Philip Crang and Rosemary Crill and published by the V&A;) which takes images from the museum’s collections, from the high street and the catwalk to explore fashion history, new design and style.

‘Devolving Diasporas’, a project investigating the relationship between reading, location and migration (James Procter, Bethan Benwell and Gemma Robinson), reached out to the public in several different ways. Reading groups in Scotland, England, Nigeria, India and the Caribbean run with the aim of collecting data for the project, simultaneously functioned to share information about it. In addition, a youth dance theatre performance of Jackie Kay’s autobiographical work, The Adoption Papers, was held at the Macrobert theatre in Stirling in June 2007. It was followed in 2009 by a national poetry competition for school children. Whose Scotland? attracted over 300 entries, and was won by 13-year-old Anju Gopalan of Edinburgh whose poem can still be read on the AHRC website (

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December 2010: Events

During the Diasporas, Migration and Identities programme more than 530 academic and 125 public events were held, in addition to some 60 public exhibitions and performances. A wide range of types of events were held by award holders from conventional seminars, workshops and conferences, to witness seminars, exhibitions and policy briefings. Concerts, dramatic performances, film screenings, poetry readings and reading groups were all held. Networks and workshops funded within the programme were responsible for many of these with highlights in 2006 and 2007 including:

  • Academic and practitioner workshops organised in association with the Forum for the Comparative Study of Jews and Muslims in Britain, Europe and North America (Ansari and Cesarani)
  • A series of five workshops on Toleration and the Public Sphere (Calder, Seglow and Cole) on issues such as freedom of expression, immigration and citizenship, multiculturalism, and democracy and difference
  • Three workshops and an international conference which focused on cultural theory and diasporas (‘Hybridity, Mestizaje, Creolisation, Lusotropicalism, Transculturation - Old Terms for New Phenomena?’, ‘Borders and Bordering’, ‘Queer Diasporas’ and ‘Creolising Europe’) (Gutierrez Rodriguez and Littler)
  • Seminars held in conjunction with the Viking Identities Network (Jesch, Carroll, Callow and Lee) on gender, memory, identity and 21st century Vikings, and the annual Midlands Viking Symposium for interested local people
  • >
  • A symposium on Dress and the African Diaspora with theorists, curators, stylists, designers, historians, and fashion industry specialists covering different diasporic locations: Kwala-Zulu Natal, Dakar, Saint Louis du Sénégal and Bamako, Republic of Niger, Antwerp, Paris, Germany, Switzerland, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Britain, United States, Jamaica, Trinidad, Bahia (Tulloch).

In the final eighteen months of the programme, it was large projects that held conferences and workshops on subjects such as Rituals of Diaspora (Chatterji and Alexander), Fashioning Diasporas (Crang, Breward et al), Tate Encounters (Dewdney, Walsh et al), Black Sea Cities (Humphrey and Navaro-Yashin), Families, Gender and the Life Course (Gardner and Mand), Migrating Music: Media, Politics and Style (Toynbee and Bueck; Gillespie), BBC Persian Service and the Iranian Revolution of 1979 (Sreberny and Torfeh; Gillespie), Music and Migration (Meinhof and Kiwan), and Diasporic Encounters, Sacred Journeys (Werbner and Johnson).

More than fifty public performances and exhibitions were held in association with the programme, as well as those intended solely for academic audiences. Performances were of many kinds, such as concerts, installations and exhibitions of art, literary readings and reading groups, dramatic productions and film screenings, and were often accompanied by discussions or roundtables. Highlights included:

  • A concert of Afghan music, with Belqiss Younusi, Timur Shaidaie and Veronica Doubleday, London 2006, and performances by John Baily and Veronica Doubleday at the final programme conference in Guildford
  • A concert and roundtable discussion on ‘Music and Migration’ at the Turner Sims Concert Hall in Southampton with musicians from Madagascar, Morocco, Algeria, France and the UK (Meinhof et al)
  • Golden, two solo art exhibitions by Susan Pui-San Lok, Chinese Arts Centre in Manchester and Beaconsfield, London
  • A Sense of Belonging, an exhibition showcasing the work of emerging exiled artists, Bonington Gallery, Nottingham, in association with the AHRC KT Fellowship that followed O’Neill’s network award, online at The Guardian,
  • Reading groups, held in association with the British Council’s Encompass website, which enabled readers of Small Island and Things Fall Apart in India, London and Nigeria to communicate (Procter et al)
  • A poetry reading by Shamshad Khan, as part of ‘Writing British Asian Cities’ event at Indus 5 Restaurant in Manchester and covered by satellite TV station, Channel M (McLoughlin et al)
  • A public lecture by the author, Amitav Ghosh, on ‘Belonging, Diaspora and Community', hosted by LSE and the Runnymede Trust, to accompany the launch of the Bangla Stories website in association with ‘The Bengal Diaspora’ (Chatterji and Alexander)
  • Asylum Monologues, performed by Actors for Refugees, and performance workshops run by Attic Theatre for unaccompanied refugee young people (Gilbert)
  • Performance of a dramatised dance version of The Adoption Papers, by Jackie Kay, Macrobert Theatre, Stirling (Procter et al)
  • Film screenings and Q&A; sessions with directors: En Garde (Germany, 2004) Ayse Polat, and Last Resort (UK, 2000) Pawel Pawlikowski (Berghahn and Sternberg)

Films, recordings and DVDs were produced in association with some of these performances and the associated research. With additional financial assistance from the programme, ethnomusicologist John Baily produced Scenes of Afghan Music: London, Kabul, Hamburg, Dublin. Ulrike Meinhof’s team produced TNMundi: Diaspora as Social and Cultural Practice charting the musical performances and other events associated with their project. Desmond Bell, whose network on the early cinema of the Irish in America made available film clips never previously seen, produced his own documentary film, Children of the Dead End, on the life and work of the Irish migrant author, Patrick MacGill. Two films were also made by Claudia Liebelt as part of ‘The Footsteps Project’ on Filipino migrants (Werbner), documenting the experience of returnee migrants, Cycles of Care, and a pilgrimage trip to Bethlehem, Pilgrimages for a Cause. Two slide shows on Filipino celebrations (UK and Saudi Arabia), and two exhibitions of photographs (Saudi Arabia and Israel) were also produced (Werbner, Pingol, Liebelt). These can be accessed from the project website, An exhibition of posters publicising networks and large projects was produced for the programme and shown at various events including the final showcase. In addition, a number of major project exhibitions were produced which illustrated the visual and creative aspects of the research, and brought it to the attention of a wider public. In some cases, it was difficult to gauge audience numbers, but the estimates of award holders ranged from between 150 to more than 1,000.

  • Ferham Families, featuring objects precious to local Pakistani families and their narratives, was held at the Walker Art Gallery in Rotherham in 2007 (Pahl), see
  • Home and Away, on transnational children’s experience, was shown at the V&A; Museum of Childhood in 2009(Gardner et al)
  • Moving Patterns, which exhibited the work of the researcher-artist, Helen Scalway, was hosted by the Royal Geographical Society in 2009 (Crang), see
  • Odessa – Istanbul: Visions of the City was exhibited in Cambridge, at Bosphorus University and at the World Club in Odessa in 2009 (Humphrey)
  • Striking Women, on South Asian women’s labour protests, was shown first at the Women’s Library in 2009 and reproduced online in 2010 (Pearson), see

Further online information about project events can be found by following these links:

Programme events,

The Ferham Families exhibition (Pahl), Rotherham art gallery, 2007,

Workshops, Comparative study of Jews and Muslims in Britain (Ansari), Europe and North America, 2006-7,

Migrant cinema conferences (Berghahn), 2006-7,

Performance and asylum symposium (Gilbert), 2007,

Workshops and conference, Migration and diasporas cultural studies network (Gutierrez Rodriguez),

Seminars and outreach events, Viking identities network (Jesch),

Five cities events, Writing British Asian Cities (McLoughlin),

Seminars and practitioner workshops, Making the connections (O’Neill), Sense of belonging exhibition (O’Neill),

Workshops, Mobility and identity: the Italian case (Polezzi),

Emotions and human mobility conference series (Svasek),

Moving patterns exhibition by Helen Scalway (Crang), Fashioning diasporas conference (Crang),

Research-in-process, Tate Encounters (Dewdney),

Conferences and workshops, Tuning In (Gillespie),

Cultural events, concerts and symposia, TNMundi (Meinhof),

Striking women exhibition (Pearson),

Devolving diasporas workshops and ‘Reading after Empire’ conference (Procter),,

‘Diasporic encounters, sacred journeys’ conferences (Werbner),

South Asians making Britain exhibition (Nasta, affiliated project),

Writing Manchester exhibition and other events (Pearce, affiliated project),

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November 2010: Selected Publications

The Diasporas, Migration and Identities Programme ended formally in May 2010.  A report on the work of the programme in 2009-10 can be found here (, and the Director’s final report is forthcoming.  The Director’s Impact Fellowship has now begun, and various publications, events and web developments are planned for the forthcoming year.  Katie Roche, the programme administrator, is joined by a research assistant, Richard Gunn, who will be helping to collate and review project publications, produce a web glossary, and develop the postgraduate page. 
This section will be updated regularly with information about programme and project outputs.  In addition to news about current publications and other impacts, each update will see a different focus, with information about programme books, websites, special issues of journals, outputs from exhibitions, learning resources, media coverage of research, databases and archives.
In this post the focus is on books and special journal issues published to date in association with the programme.  Further details, and information about articles and book chapters can be found on our ‘Publication’ pages ( With most large projects coming to an end this year, many books and articles are still in press or forthcoming. 

  • Muslim-Jewish Dialogue in a 21st Century world (eds Ansari and Cesarani, 2007)
  • Golden (Notes) (Lok, 2007)
  • Anthropology, Art and Cultural Production (Svasek, 2007)
  • This Sporting Planet (Woodward and Goldblatt, 2008)
  • Hidden Gems (ed, Osborne, 2008)
  • Embodied Sporting Practices: Regulating Bodies (Woodward, 2009)
  • Risorgimento in Exile: Italian Émigrés and the Liberal International in the Post-Napoleonic Era (Isabella, 2009)
  • Citizenship Acquisition and National Belonging: Migration and Membership in the UK and Beyond  (eds Calder, Cole and Seglow, 2009)
  • Materialising Exile: Material Culture and Embodied Experience among Karenni Refugees in Thailand (Dudley, 2010)
  • Stambeli: Music, Trance and Alterity in Tunisia (Jankowsky, 2010)
  • European Cinema in Motion: Migrant and Diasporic Cinema in Contemporary Europe (eds Berghahn and Sternberg, 2010)
  • Artifactual Literacies: Every Object Tells a Story (Pahl and Rowsell, 2010)
  • Asylum, Migration and Community (O’Neill, 2010)
  • British Asian Style: Fashion and Textiles Past and Present (eds Breward, Crang and Crill, 2010)

    The programme’s own book, Diasporas: Concepts, Intersections, Identities (edited by Kim Knott and Sean McLoughlin, 2010) published last month by Zed Books, contains contributions by some 20 award holders and researchers as well as a further 30 international scholars.

    Other major publication highlights are special issues of journals, including the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (Svasek, 2010), New Cinemas (Berghahn, 2009), Research in Drama and Education (Gilbert, 2008), Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television (Gillespie, 2008), Irish Political Studies (Calder et al, 2007), Viking and Medieval Scandinavia (Jesch, 2009), South Asian Popular Culture (Berghahn/Iordanova 2006), Fashion Theory (Tulloch, 2010), South Asian Diaspora (Gillespie, 2010), International Journal of Scottish Literature (Procter/Robinson, 2008), Journal of Visual Culture (Lok, 2007), The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology (Werbner and Johnson, 2010).

    [Award holders: If your book or special issue has not been included here (we are sure we have missed some), please send us an email and we will add it.]

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February 2010

Diasporas, Migration and Identities Final Showcase Event held at Tate Britain on 10 February 2010. Click here for Kim Knott's Presentations: one and two. You can also see the following presentations by award holders: Laurence Brown, Philip Crang, Hella Eckardt, Marie Gillespie, Maggie O'Neill, Kate Pahl, Carol Tulloch, Kath Woodward. You can also see Keith Best's presentation at the Round Table discussion. There is also a showreel of images shown at the event. We would like to thank award holders for sending the images, especially Helen Scalway, Susan Lok, Maggie O'Neill and Kanwal Mand for contributing images and artworks for the exhibitions. We would also like to thank John Baily, Ulrike Meinhof and Dama and the Madagascar All Stars for providing the music.


September 2009

"Research, Partnership and Impact in the Arts and Humanities ": Joint Conference, Diasporas, Migration and Identities Programme, Faculty of Arts, University of Leeds, Weetwood Hall, Leeds, 22 and 23 September 2009. Here is the Programme for the conference. You can also view the following presentations: Calvin Taylor, Andrew Dewdney and Victoria Walsh, Graeme Gooday and Almut Grüner, Ananya Kabir and Fareda Khan, Scott Palmer and Sita Popat, and Kate Pahl and Andy Pollard

August 2009

Europe and the Rest: a dialogue between Etienne Balibar and Zygmunt Bauman.

This debate, hosted by Leeds Institute for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies, between Balibar and Bauman on Europe in postcolonial context: Europe and the Rest: a dialogue between Etienne Balibar and Zygmunt Bauman has now been posted on LU tube (Leeds University UTube) and is accessible from this link - or via the ICPS website –

June 2009

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Joint Conference with CRONEM, University of Surrey, 11 - 12 June 2009
Centre for Research on Nationalism, Ethnicity and Multiculturalism (CRONEM) 
University of Surrey / Roehampton University
Diasporas, Migration and Identities: Crossing Boundaries, New Directions
The aim of this international conference was to examine the past and present impact of diasporas and migration on nation, community, identity and subjectivity, culture and the imagination, place and space, emotion, politics, law and values. For more information about the conference and to read some of the papers presented there, please visit:   Click here to see some photographs from the conference


December 2008

A postgraduate conference was held jointly with AHRC/ESRC Religion and Society Programme at Camden Lock Holiday Inn, 15 December 2008. The keynote lecture was given by Thomas Tweed, who is currently Shive, Lindsay, and Gray Professor, Department of Religious Studies, University of Texas at Austin.  His research interests are in religion and transnationalism; religion and place; method and theory in the study of religion; Catholicism in America; Asian religions in America.  An acclaimed and award-winning scholar, he edited Retelling U.S. Religious History (1997) and co-edited Asian Religions in America: A Documentary History (1999), and wrote The American Encounter with Buddhism, 1844-1912: Victorian Culture and the Limits of Dissent (1992; 2000), Our Lady of the Exile: Diasporic Religion at a Cuban Catholic Shrine in Miami (1997), and, most recently Crossing and Dwelling: A Theory of Religion (2006).  Click here to see the Programme for the day. Click here to see a photograph of participants at the event.

November 2008

A workshop for large grant award holders was held at Weetwood Hall in Leeds from 19-21 November at which award holders showcased their work.

August 2008

RGS/IBG Annual Conference 26 - 29 August 2008: A three-panel session was presented at this much larger event in conjunction with the AHRC Landscape and the Environment Programme, and the Leverhulme Diaspora Cities project.

July 2008

Joint Conference: Encounters and Intersections: Religion, Diaspora and Ethnicities: 9-11 July 2008, St Catherine's College, Oxford
The Diasporas, Migration and Identities Programme held a joint conference with the AHRC/ESRC Religion and Society Programme, and the ESRC Identities and Social Action Programme. Click here to see a booklet containing a list of the accepted abstracts.

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June 2008

The Programme is now more than half way through (it ends in February 2010). All the projects are well under way with nearly all the small projects and workshops, and some of the networks now completed. Further information about them can be found on the 'Research' pages. As well as project details from grant applications you will now find progress and highlights for 2007 for large projects and networks (listed as 'End of Year Report 2007' beneath project titles). You can read my report for 2007 on the 'Publications' page (open '2007').

You will find information about forthcoming events on the 'Events' page, including details of the next postgraduate event to be held in London, 15-16 December. You will find information about other events organised by project teams on the same page.

April 2008

A book symposium was held in Leeds on 9 and 10 April for contributors to a forthcoming book which will be an outcome of the Diasporas, Migration and Identities Programme.

Two new working papers were added in April 2008, by Russell King and Anastasia Christou (on Cultural Geographies of Diaspora, Migration and Transnationalism: Perspectives from the Study of Second-Generation ‘Returnees’) and Sonia Ashmore (on Colour and corruption: issues in the nineteenth century Anglo-Indian textile trade). Don't forget to check out our affiliated Inter-Sections blog (about migrations past and present), on


November 2007

A workshop, for Large Grant and Network award holders, was held on 12 November 2007. Professor Kim Knott gave an update on the Programme's progress.

June 2007

A Workshop was held for Large Grant award holders at the University of Leeds on 21 June 2007. Professor Kim Knott gave a presentation which described progress of the Programme to date.

April 2007

Inter-Sections: This is a new blog run by postgraduate researchers and affiliated to the Programme. It is concerned with migration, past and present, in all its forms - refugee, diaspora, exile, return, temporary, labour, tourist - and related issues of identity and community organisation. See

March 2007Professor Kim Knott gave a lecture about the Diasporas programme and some aspects of her own research at the annual Leeds-Durham-Sheffield PGR Training Lecture on 5 March 2007. The title of the lecture was "Diasporas and the Contemporary Politics of Faith". You can see a video of Kim's lecture:


December 2006

The first of two planned Postgraduate Conferences was held at the University of Leeds on 13 and 14 December. See our Postgraduate page for further details. For an update on the Programme see the attached Powerpoint presentation, which was given by the Director at the Conference.

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November 2006

A Workshop for Networks and Workshops award holders was held on 27 November at the University of Leeds.

September 2006

Details of the Large Grant awards have now been posted on the website under Large Research Grants.

August 2006

Final decisions about large grants were made. Fifteen awards were made. Thanks to all those who submitted full applications, and many commiserations to those of you who were unsuccessful.

June 2006

A Workshop for Small Grant award holders was held on 19 June at the University of Leeds.

March 2006

The Commissioning Panel considered 157 applications for large Research Grants at a meeting in early March, of which 25 were invited to proceed to full application stage. Full applications will be submitted in early May. We would like to thank everyone, whether successful or not, for their interest in the Programme. We appreciate the considerable amount of work that colleagues put into preparing outline proposals and that many will have been disappointed.

January 2006

Small Grants and Network and Workshop Grants awarded, and most have begun work on their projects. You can find out more about these by looking on the Research page.


November 2005

  • Announcement of results of Small Grants and Network and Workshop competitions.
  • AHRC Call for Applications, Diasporas, Migration and Identities Large Grants Scheme ( in a new window click on "Research Grants Scheme"), closing date for outline applications 20 January 2006.

June 2005

Closing date for applications for Small Grant Scheme and Network and Workshop Scheme.

May 2005

AHRC Call for Applications, Small Grants Scheme and Network and Workshop Scheme.

April 2005

Launch of Diasporas, Migration and Identities Programme, Museum of Immigration and Diversity, 19 Princelet Street, London.

January 2005

Appointment of Director, Diasporas, Migration and Identities Programme.


Autumn 2004

Pre-programme seminars in Bristol, Liverpool, London, Edinburgh.

Summer 2004

AHRC Working Group, Diasporas, Migration and Identities.

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