Laura Jeffery

Laura Jeffery
Professor Laura Jeffery
Professor of Anthropology of Migration
Social AnthropologySchool of Social and Political ScienceUniversity of Edinburgh
5.20 Chrystal Macmillan Building 15a George Square Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
+44 (131) 651 3860
Research Interests
Forced displacement, Migration studies, Environmental anthropology, Indian Ocean studies, Anthropology of Britain, Mauritius, Chagos islanders, Critical heritage studies, Environment and society, Conservation and development, Human-environment relations, Maldives, Seychelles, Ethnomusicology, Migration and development, intangible cultural heritage, roads and connective infrastructure

Guidance and Feedback Hours

  • Semester 1: Mondays 11-12 and 1-2


I am a social anthropologist specialising in forced displacement, migration studies, intangible cultural heritage, human/environment relations, and conservation and development. Projects include:

  1. CHAGOS: Cultural Heritage Across Generations (AHRC Impact and Engagement grant, 2017-18, and associated ESRC Impact Accelerator Account, 2018-19), in collaboration with Rebecca RotterChagossian groups, Vinesh Hookoomsing, Saradha Soobrayen, and Crawley Museum. Visit to browse our virtual exhibits, download Chagossian recipe cards, and listen to the new Chagos Tambour Group album. Our work on Chagossian cultural heritage builds upon my longstanding engagement with the Chagossian community: my ESRC postgraduate research (2001-06) on the politics of victimhood among forcibly displaced Chagos islanders in Mauritius and Seychelles; my Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship (2006-08) on Chagossian onward migration to the UK; and my ESRC Research Fellowship (2009-15) exploring debates about environmental knowledge in the context of the controversial Chagos Marine Protected Area and the UK government’s policy review on resettlement of the Chagos Archipelago.
  2. A series of Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) projects with Mariangela Palladino and Sébastien Bachelet. A) Arts for Advocacy: Creative Engagement with Forced Displacement in Morocco (ESRC-AHRC Forced Displacement grant, 2016-18), was in collaboration with GADEM in Rabat. Visit to view our virtual exhibitions and to download our creative arts, migration, and advocacy toolkit. B) MARAM: Mobilising Access to Rights for Artists in Morocco (AHRC Impact and Engagement grant, 2019-20) is in collaboration with Racines in Casablanca. C) MADAR: Maghreb Action on Displacement and Rights (Development Award, 2019-20) is in collaboration with Racines, Caritas, Notre Culture D'Abord, and colleagues at universities in Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisa.
  3. A work package on the development of connective infrastructure – roads, bridges, inter-island link roads, causeways, and harbours – in Maldives, working with Luke Heslop as part of Edward Simpson's ERC Consolidator Grant Roads and the politics of thought: Ethnographic approaches to infrastructure development in South Asia (2015-20). For more information, see the Roads website.



Edited Collections

Journal Articles

Please email me for a PDF if you do not have library access to these journals.

Book Chapters

Topics interested in supervising

I welcome enquiries about supervision relating to my research interests in: anthropology of displacement and migration studies; critical heritage studies; intangible cultural heritage; ethnomusicology; environment and society; human-environment relations; conservation and development; roads and connective infrastructure; political and legal anthropology; islands of the Western Indian Ocean, especially Mauritius, Chagos, Rodrigues, Agalega, Seychelles, Maldives, and Réunion; anthropology of Britain

If you are interested in being supervised by Laura Jeffery, please see the links below for more information:

PhD in Social Anthropology