Researchers

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Tekalign Ayalew (Stockholm University)
Tekalign Ayalew joined the department of Social Anthropology at Stockholm University as a PhD student and Early stage researcher within the CoHaB network – Constructions of Home and Belonging - in the field of transdisciplinary Diaspora studies in 2012. His PhD project is about diasporas and transnational labour migration and circulation of migrants between host and home countries. Tekalign obtained his BA degree in History and Heritage Management and MA degree in Social Anthropology both from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia in 2004 and 2009 respectively. His master thesis deals with Risks, Resilience and Achievements in Child and Youth life in Arba Minch, Ethiopia. Tekalign worked as lecturer in the department of Sociology and Social Anthropology both in Arba Minch University and Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.



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Alba de Béjar (The University of Northampton)
Alba de Béjar is a Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher at the University of Northampton. Her fields of interest comprise Feminist, Postcolonial, Citizenship, and Diaspora Studies. As a PhD candidate, she has participated in several international conferences, collaborated in the organization of two international conferences, as well as published parts of her research in edited volumes. She is currently working towards the completion of her Doctoral Dissertation which entails a comparative study of the trope of the cyborg in Ridley Scott's popular science fiction film Blade Runner (1982) vis-à-vis Larissa Lai's speculative fiction novel Salt Fish Girl (2002)

 

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Dr Dace Dzenovska (University of Oxford, COMPAS)
Dace Dzenovska is a Senior Researcher / Marie Curie Fellow at the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society, University of Oxford. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociocultural Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.A. in Humanities and Social Thought from New York University. Her research focuses on developing Eastern European perspective as method for analysis of contemporary forms of political life in Europe. To that end, she has studied tolerance promotion initiatives within the context of postsocialist democratization in Latvia and the politics of migration in Europe after European enlargement. She is currently completing a book manuscript entitled “Tolerance Work: Coloniality and Europeanness After Socialism.” Her articles have been published / are forthcoming in Comparative Studies in Society and History, Anthropological Theory, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Ethnos, and Social Anthropology. She has also published a Latvian- language book on the politics and ethics of mobility in the context of post-EU enlargement migration.

For links to Dace Dzenovska's blogs at the COMPAS blog site click here and here.


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Tania González (Stockholm University)
Tania González is a PhD student at the Department of Social Anthropology of the Stockholm University, and research fellowship at the Marie Curie Initial Training Network CoHaB (Diasporic Constructions of Home and Belonging) since September 2012. She obtained her degree in Journalism at the Complutense University of Madrid in 2005. In 2008 she concluded her degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Barcelona. From September 2010-March 2011, she was a visiting researcher at the Center of Advanced Studies (CEA) at the National University of Córdoba (Argentina). Tania has been involved in several research projects: “Migration Policies and FamilyTransnationalism. Latin American Migration to Spain” funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation and coordinated by the Migrant Researchers Interdisciplinary Group, Treatment of third country nationals at the EU’s external borders” and “Fundamental rights situation of irregular immigrants in the EU”,both of them led by International Centre for Migration Policy Development (IMCPD) and funded by European Union Agency on Fundamental Rights (FRA), and “Observatory about Mass Media and Immigration in Andalucia”(OMECIA), coordinated by the Intercultural Studies Laboratory at the University of Granada. Her main research interests include gender, generation, migration, family relationships, care work, emotions, and transnationalism.


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Jayana Jain (Punamiya) (WWU Münster)

Jayana Jain Punamiya is a PhD student at the Department of English, University of Mumbai and has joined the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster as an Early Stage Researcher within the EU ‘Marie Curie’ Initial Training Network’s Programme ‘CoHaB’ in October 2014.She completed her M.A. (Honours with Research) in English in May 2012 from the Department of English, University of Mumbai. Her M.A. dissertation, “The Mapping and the Re-mapping of a Nation: Exploring the Unmapped Spaces in Nuruddin Farah’s Maps dealt with the mapping of territorial politics in Somalia and the resulting torments on the bodies of the novel’s central characters. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and another in Education from St. Xavier’s College, University of Mumbai.  She also holds a diploma in Event Management and has attended the Winter Semester (2011-12) as an Exchange Student at the Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Germany.  She has worked as a Teaching Assistant in several schools and colleges in Mumbai and is currently working towards the completion of her doctoral thesis titled “Nation, Home and Identity: An Inquiry into Diasporic Trajectories in Selected ‘Post- 9/11’ Pakistani Novels and Hindi Films”.Her research interests include postcolonial studies, diaspora studies, gender, Hindi film studies, cultural history, terrorism and counterterrorism.

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Holly Morgan (WWU Münster)
Holly Morgan is currently undertaking research at Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität in Münster, Germany. She recently completed her MA in English with a concentration in Women’s Studies at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Canada. Her MA research project, “Performance and Desire: Que(e)rying The Closet in the South Asian Diaspora,” focused on queer female subjectivity in South Asian fiction and film and was funded by a Joseph Armand Bombardier Canadian Graduate Scholarship through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.  Throughout her MA, Morgan was employed as a Graduate Teaching Assistant. During the first year of her program, Morgan also worked as a Graduate Research Assistant to Dr. Anna Guttman, whom she assisted on the project “Postcolonial India and Jewishness: Narrating Global Identities,” which was funded by a Standard Research Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Morgan also holds an HBA in English with a minor in Women’s Studies, and a Bachelor’s degree in Intermediate and Secondary Education with a focus on English and Social Sciences.


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Dr Lynda Ng (University of Oxford, English Faculty)

Dr Lynda Ng is the Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow in English Literature at the University of Oxford. Her current project is titled “Home as Elsewhere: Global Networks, Expatriates and the Chinese Diasporic Experience in Europe.” It looks at the differences between diasporic and expatriate experiences, and the way such experiences influence and shape literary works. This project also highlights the historical role of the Chinese diaspora as a cultural conduit between East and West, showing how foreign influences come to be appropriated and reconfigured within both Chinese and Anglophone national literatures. In addition to this, Dr Lynda Ng has published essays on nationalism, postcolonialism and Australian literature. Her edited collection, Indigenous and International, is due out with Giramondo Press next year. Comprised of essays by eight authors from six different countries, this volume examines the landmark novel Carpentaria by Indigenous Australian author Alexis Wright from a range of different national perspectives, situating this novel within a global rather than a local context.
Read more about Dr Lynda Ng's participation in the 2nd Chinese Australian Literary Forum (CALF) here...

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Emma Patchett (WWU Münster)
Emma Patchett has an LLM (Merit) in International and European Human Rights Law (University of Leeds, 2008) and a BA (Hons) (1st class) in English Language and Literature (King’s College London, 2007). Her LLM thesis was on "Passive Euthanasia and the Determination of Best Interests in the Case of Infants with Congenital Disabilities", and modules included a focus on International Law and Indigenous Rights, Family Law, and Media Rights and the Law. Her BA dissertation was entitled ‘Indigenous Australian Autobiography and the issue of ‘Aboriginality’’.



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Ruby Rana (Mumbai University)

Ruby Rana joined CoHaB as a Doctoral Fellow and Early Stage Researcher in October 2012. Earning both a B.A. degree in Psychology and a post-graduate diploma in Intercultural Education and Training from the University of Victoria, she focused on social and cross-cultural psychology, identity, and biculturalism. Outside of her academic pursuits Ruby spent four and a half years working at the University of Victoria’s English Language Centre (ELC) in the areas of intercultural leadership, socio-cultural facilitation and recreation.  Working with upwards of two thousand young adults from approximately twenty different countries every year at the ELC, Ruby’s interest in intercultural and international dynamics increased. She went on to complete an M.A. degree in Intercultural and International Communication from Royal Roads University; where her M.A. research was presented as an ethnographic narrative of a transnational Diasporic Indian negotiating belonging between India and Canada. Ruby’s related writings regarding: diversity within the Indo-Canadian community; the social context of Sikhism in British Columbia; and interviews she held with Canadian Diasporic Indians, have been recently published in a Canadian post-secondary textbook titled Diversity, Culture, and Counselling: A Canadian Perspective, second edition. As a member of the Indian Diaspora, Ruby is keen on questioning socially constructed cultural norms and exploring how these widespread conceptualizations impact feelings of home, belonging, and identity. Ruby’s current research interests include: exploring personal narratives; identifying points of similarity and difference within the Indian Diaspora; and writing in support of diasporic members who are navigating their own sense of connectedness and belonging.


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Iulia Rascanau
(Mumbai University)
Iulia Rascanu is an Assistant Professor of English and communication in business with the Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies, Romania. In October 2012, she became a Research Fellow within the EU ‘Marie Curie’ Programme ‘Diasporic Constructions of Home and Belonging’ and is working as an ESR with the University of Mumbai, India. Her research interests encompass transnational and diaspora studies, postcolonial studies, postcolonial feminism, migration studies, diasporic South Asian literature and film. She holds a university degree in English and French literature and linguistics and a Master’s degree in American Studies, both awarded by the University of Bucharest. Her professional interests include professional higher education, business English curriculum design, cultural communication and socio-economic studies. She has participated with articles in a number of national and international conferences and published genuine papers in professional magazines on topics such as ESP, literary studies, socio-cultural studies. She is co-author of two English textbooks for students and co-translator of the Britannica Encyclopedia into Romanian. She also worked as language trainer with various well-known corporations in Romania.


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Siri Agnete Schwabe (Stockholm University)

Siri A. Schwabe joined the Department of Social Anthropology at Stockholm University as PhD student and early stage researcher (ESR) with CoHaB in the fall of 2012. Siri earned her M.Sc. in Anthropology at the University of Copenhagen in 2011 with a thesis on identity, performance, and social reproduction among a community of young men in Copenhagen. Her main research interests include: migration, youth, performance, and gender.


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Nydia Swaby (SOAS)
Nydia A. Swaby has a BA in Anthropology and a minor in African American Studies from Rollins College in Winter Park, FL (2004) and a MA in Women's History from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY (2011). At Sarah Lawrence she was involved in the annual Women’s History Conference, coordinated logistics for the International Black Power Studies Symposium (2010), and co-founded Re/Visionist, an online publication that promoted a critical analysis of history and contemporary issues through the lens of multiple feminisms.  Her MA thesis entitled ‘Woman Radical, Woman Intellectual, Woman Activist: The Political Life of Pan-African Feminist Amy Ashwood Garvey’ underscored Black women’s engagement in antiracist and anti-imperialist activism as sites of struggle in which feminist consciousness emerges. Prior to enrolling at SOAS, Nydia worked at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, New York as a research assistant for its Scholars-in-Residence program (2012) and as Senior Page in the Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Books division (2010-2011). She has presented her work at the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora Conference (2011) and to students in ‘The Long Civil Rights Movement: History and Literature’ summer-school course at New York University (2011). Her research interests include Black feminist theory and praxis, Black women’s activism in Britain, the Caribbean, and the United States, diaspora theory, post-colonial theory, and gender theory.


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Melanie Wattenbarger (Mumbai University)
Melanie Wattenbarger graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in Religion, Pre-Theology, and Humanities-Classics. She earned her MA in Liberal Studies from Ohio Dominican University. Her publications include book reviews for World Literature Today out of the University of Oklahoma and a book review for the Rocky Mountain Review. She has presented her work on teaching English composition to diverse and non-traditional students at the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association Conference in 2011. Mrs. Wattenbarger also has an essay published in the anthology Western Pennsylvania Reflections: Stories from the Alleghenies to Lake Erie.


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Špela Drnovšek Zorko
(SOAS)
Špela Drnovšek Zorko holds a BA in Liberal Arts and Sciences from University College Utrecht (2009) and an MA in Anthropology and Cultural Politics from Goldsmiths, University of London (2011). Her past research has dealt with gender and Balkan identity in the context of performative art, and with refugee family narratives in the aftermath of Yugoslavia. She has presented her work at ASA 2012 (New Delhi) and EASA 2012 (Paris) and has also worked as an independent researcher and freelance poetry translator. Špela joined the Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies in September 2012 as a PhD student/Early Career Researcher. Her research straddles the disciplines of anthropology and gender studies, focusing on the reception and interpretation of family narratives in the British-Yugoslav diaspora(s) in order to ask how mediated memories of Yugoslavia shape gendered notions of home and belonging at the intersection of diaspora and post-socialism.