- Professor Laura Jeffery FRSA
- Professor of Anthropology of Migration
- 5.20 Chrystal Macmillan Building 15a George Square Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
- +44 (131) 651 3860
- Research Interests
- Forced displacement, Migration studies, Critical heritage studies, Conservation and development, Human-environment relations, Migration and development, Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH), Arts-Based Research Methods, Migration and Health, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence
Guidance and Feedback Hours
- I'm currently on research leave, so please email me for an appointment
I am a social anthropologist specialising in: 1) healthcare at the intersection of gender and protracted displacement, 2) creative engagement with migration and displacement, and 3) intangible cultural heritage and human–environment relations in the context of protracted displacement:
- Alongside Lucy Lowe, Jean-Benoit Falisse, Amina Jama Mahmud, Paulin Mutombo, Germaine Furaha, Joachim Osur, Jo Vearey, Elise Griede, and Alison Strang, I lead a UKRI GCRF Development-Based Approaches to Protracted Displacement project (2020–23) on improving healthcare at the intersection of gender and protracted displacement amongst Somali and Congolese internally displaced people (IDPs) and refugees in eight field sites in Somalia, Eastern DRC, Kenya, and South Africa. Visit displacement.sps.ed.ac.uk.
- My ongoing work on creative engagement with migration in the Maghreb includes Maghreb Action on Displacement and Rights (GCRF MADAR Network Plus 2020–24) alongside Mariangela Palladino, Mehdi Lahlou, Hassen Boubakri, Saïb Musette, Sébastien Bachelet, Maria Flood, and Anastasia Valassopoulos in collaboration with Racines in Morocco, Notre Culture D'Abord in Tunisia, and Caritas in Algeria. For information on MADAR funding opportunities, visit madar-network.org. Dounia Benslimane, Aadel Essandani, Mariangela Palladino, Sébastien Bachelet, and I also run MARAM: Mobilising Access to Rights for Artists in Morocco (AHRC KEI grant 2019-20). MARAM builds upon our previous collaboration with GADEM (Groupe antiraciste d'accompagnement et de défense des étrangers et migrants) on Arts for Advocacy: Creative Engagement with Forced Displacement in Morocco (ESRC-AHRC Forced Displacement grant 2016-18). Visit artsforadvocacy.org to view our virtual exhibitions and to download our creative arts, migration, and advocacy toolkit.
- My longstanding engagement with the displaced Chagossian community from the Chagos Archipelago culminated in the inscription of Chagossian music – sega tambour Chagos – on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding on Human Rights Day 2019. The nomination file drew on CHAGOS: Cultural Heritage Across Generations (AHRC KEI grant 2017-18 and ESRC IAA 2018-19), which I led alongside Rebecca Rotter, the Chagos Refugees Groups in Mauritius and the UK, Vinesh Hookoomsing, Saradha Soobrayen, and Crawley Museum. Visit chagos.online to browse our virtual exhibits, download recipe cards, and listen to the Chagos Tambour Group album we released in 2018. Our work on Chagossian cultural heritage built upon my previous research on: debates about environmental knowledge in the context of the controversial Chagos Marine Protected Area (MPA) and the UK government’s policy review on resettlement of the Chagos Archipelago (ESRC Research Fellowship 2009-15); Chagossian onward migration to the UK (Leverhulme ECF 2006-08); and the politics of victimhood amongst forcibly displaced Chagos islanders in Mauritius (ESRC PhD/PDF 2001-06).
I have a longstanding ethnographic interest in the islands of the Indian Ocean, particularly Mauritius and Seychelles. More recently, I worked with Luke Heslop on labour migration and the development of connective infrastructure in Maldives 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).
- Jeffery, L. 2011. Chagos Islanders in Mauritius and the UK: Forced Displacement and Onward Migration. MUP.
- Jeffery, L., M. Palladino, R. Rotter & A. Woolley (eds) 2019. Creative engagement with migration. Crossings: Journal of Migration & Culture 10, 1.
- Jeffery, L. & J. Murison (eds) 2011. Return and onward migration. Population, Space and Place 17, 2.
- Jeffery, L., M. Candea, Z.O. Biner & M.S. de Magalhães (eds) 2006. The politics of victimhood. History and Anthropology 17, 4.
Open Access articles are marked [OA]. Email me for a PDF if you do not have access to the others.
- Heslop, L. & L. Jeffery. 2020. Roadwork: expertise at work building roads in the Maldives. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 26, 2. [OA]
- Jeffery, L., M. Palladino, R. Rotter & A. Woolley. 2019 Creative engagement with migration. Crossings: Journal of Migration & Culture 10, 1. [OA]
- Bachelet, S. & L. Jeffery. 2019. Creative engagement with migration in Morocco: An ethnographic exploration of photographic encounters. Crossings: Journal of Migration & Culture 10, 1. [OA]
- Jeffery, L. & R. Rotter. 2019. Safeguarding sega: transmission, inscription, and appropriation of Chagossian intangible cultural heritage. International Journal of Heritage Studies 25, 10. [OA]
- Jeffery, L. 2019. The International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion on the Chagos Archipelago. Anthropology Today 35, 3.
- Jeffery, L. 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.
- Jeffery, L. & R. Rotter. 2016. 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. [OA] [Republished in Sociocultural Anthropology: Critical and Primary Sources 2020]
- Rotter, R. & L. Jeffery. 2016. '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.
- Jeffery, L. 2014. Ecological restoration in a cultural landscape: conservationist and Chagossian approaches to controlling the 'coconut chaos' on the Chagos Archipelago. Human Ecology 42, 6. [OA]
- Jeffery, L. 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]
- Jeffery, L. 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.]
- Jeffery, L. 2011. 'Unusual immigrants', or, Chagos islanders and their confrontations with British citizenship. Anthropology in Action 18, 2.
- Jeffery, L. & S. Johannessen. 2011. Reflections on the life and art of the Chagossian painter Clement Siatous. Wasafiri 26, 2. [Cover article]
- Jeffery, L. & J. Murison. 2011. The temporal, social, spatial and legal dimensions of return and onward migration. Population, Space and Place 17, 2.
- Jeffery, L. 2010. Forced displacement, onward migration, and reformulations of 'home' by Chagossians in Crawley, West Sussex. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 36, 7.
- Jeffery, L. 2010. Creole festivals and Afro-Creole cosmopolitanisms in Mauritius. Social Anthropology 18, 4.
- Jeffery, L. 2009. Chagossians refused right to return home. Anthropology Today 25, 1.
- Jeffery, L. 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]
- Jeffery, L. 2006. Historical narrative and legal evidence: judging Chagossians' High Court testimonies. PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review 29, 2. [OA rerelease with new Postscript 2014]
- Jeffery, L. & M. Candea. 2006. The politics of victimhood. History and Anthropology 17, 4.
- Jeffery, L. 2006. Victims and patrons: strategic alliances and the anti-politics of victimhood among displaced Chagossians and their supporters. History and Anthropology 17, 4.
- Jeffery, L. 2019. 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.
- Jeffery, L. 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.
- Jeffery, L. & D. Vine. 2011. 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.
- Jeffery, L. 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.
- Vine, D. & L. Jeffery. 2009. '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. NYU.
- Jeffery, L. 2007. ‘Our right is our land’: The Chagos Archipelago and discourses on rights to land in the Indian Ocean. In S. Bunwaree & R. Kasenally (eds.) Rights and Development in Mauritius. UoM.
Topics interested in supervising
I welcome PGR supervision enquiries relating to my current research interests in: 1) healthcare at the intersection of gender and protracted displacement, 2) creative engagement with migration and displacement, and 3) intangible cultural heritage and human–environment relations in the context of protracted displacement.
If you are interested in being supervised by Laura Jeffery, please see the links below for more information: