- Dr Laura Jeffery
- Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology
- 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
- By appointment
I am a social anthropologist specialising in forced displacement, migration studies, intangible cultural heritage, human/environment relations, and conservation and development. I am currently working on three projects:
- Senior Researcher on Professor Edward Simpson’s ERC Consolidator Grant, "Roads and the politics of thought: Ethnographic approaches to infrastructure development in South Asia" (2015-20), working with Dr Luke Heslop on the development of connective infrastructure – roads, bridges, inter-island link roads, causeways, and harbours – in Maldives. For more information, see the Roads project website.
- Principal Investigator on an ESRC-AHRC GCRF Forced Displacement grant, "Arts for Advocacy: Creative Engagement with Forced Displacement in Morocco" (2016-18), working with Dr Mariangela Palladino and Dr Sébastien Bachelet. For more information, see the Arts for Advocacy project website.
- Principal Investigator on an AHRC Impact and Engagement project, "CHAGOS: Cultural Heritage Across Generations" (2017-18) and associated ESRC Impact Accelerator Award (2018-19), working with Dr Rebecca Rotter, Professor Vinesh Hookoomsing, Saradha Soobrayen, Chagossian groups, and Crawley Museum. For more information, see Chagos.Online. This project builds upon my ESRC doctoral research on the politics of victimhood among forcibly displaced Chagos islanders in Mauritius and Seychelles, my Leverhulme postdoctoral research on the onward migration of Chagossians to the UK, and my ESRC Research Fellowship 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.
- 2019 forthcoming (with M. Palladino, R. Rotter & A. Woolley). Creative engagement in migration research. Crossings: Journal of Migration and Culture 10, 1
- 2011 (with J. Murison). Return and onward migration. Population, Space and Place 17, 2
- 2006 (with M. Candea, Z.O. Biner & M.S. de Magalhães). The politics of victimhood. History and Anthropology 17, 4
Please email me for a PDF if you do not have library access to these journals.
- 2017. ‘We don’t want to be sent back and forth all the time’: ethnographic encounters with displacement, migration, and Britain beyond the British Isles. Sociological Review Monograph 65, 1.
- 2016 (with R. Rotter). Sustenance, nourishment, and cultivation: plants as living cultural heritage for dispersed Chagossians in Mauritius, Seychelles, and the UK. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 22, 2 [Open Access]
- 2016 (with R. Rotter). 'We no longer have faith and trust in anyone': misadventures in community consultation on the future of the Chagos Archipelago. International Development Planning Review 38, 4.
- 2014. Ecological restoration in a cultural landscape: conservationist and Chagossian approaches to controlling the 'coconut chaos' on the Chagos Archipelago. Human Ecology 42, 6 [Open Access]
- 2014. Neither confirm nor deny: WikiLeaks evidence and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations in the judicial review of the Chagos Marine Protected Area. Anthropology Today 30, 3 [Cover article] [See also Global Justice Academy blog on WikiLeaks Evidence in Court]
- 2013. 'We are the true guardians of the environment': human-environment relations and debates about the future of the Chagos Archipelago. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 19, 2 [See also Response and Reply in JRAI 19, 4]
- 2011. 'Unusual immigrants', or, Chagos islanders and their confrontations with British citizenship. Anthropology in Action 18, 2
- 2011 (with S. Johannessen). Reflections on the life and art of the Chagossian painter Clement Siatous. Wasafiri 26, 2 [Cover article]
- 2011 (with J. Murison). The temporal, social, spatial and legal dimensions of return and onward migration. Population, Space and Place 17, 2
- 2010. Forced displacement, onward migration, and reformulations of 'home' by Chagossians in Crawley, West Sussex. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 36, 7
- 2010. Creole festivals and Afro-Creole cosmopolitanisms in Mauritius. Social Anthropology 18, 4
- 2009. Chagossians refused right to return home. Anthropology Today 25, 1
- 2007. How a plantation became paradise: changing representations of the homeland among displaced Chagos islanders. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 13, 4 [Showcased by JSTOR Daily 2016]
- 2006. Historical narrative and legal evidence: judging Chagossians' High Court testimonies. PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review 29, 2 [Open Access rerelease with new Postscript 2014]
- 2006 (with M. Candea). The politics of victimhood. History and Anthropology 17, 4
- 2006. Victims and patrons: strategic alliances and the anti-politics of victimhood among displaced Chagossians and their supporters. History and Anthropology 17, 4
Selected Book Chapters
- In press. Sustainable Mauritius? Island ecology, environmental change, and debates about energy efficiency in a Small Island State in the Indian Ocean. In I. Haltermann & J. Tischler (eds.) Environmental Change and African Societies. Brill.
- 2018. ‘For Mauritians, joy; for Chagossians, sadness’: Mauritian independence, the sacrifice of the Chagos Archipelago, and the suffering of the Chagos islanders. In R. Ramtohul & T.H. Eriksen (eds.) The Mauritian Paradox: Fifty years of development, diversity and democracy. UoM.
- 2011 (with D. Vine). Sorrow, sadness, and impoverishment: the lives of Chagossians in Mauritius. In S. Evers & M. Kooy (eds.) Eviction from the Chagos Islands: Displacement and Struggle for Identity against two World Powers. Brill.
- 2011. 'A lost people'? Chagossian onward migration and echoes of marginalisation in Crawley. In S. Evers & M. Kooy (eds.) Eviction from the Chagos Islands: Displacement and Struggle for Identity against two World Powers. Brill.
- 2009 (with D. Vine). 'Give us back Diego Garcia': unity and division among activists in the Indian Ocean. In C. Lutz (ed.) The Bases of Empire: The Global Struggle against US Military Posts. Pluto.
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: