School of Social and Political Science

Dr Joel White

Job Title

Teaching Fellow

Joel White's photo

City (Address)


Country (Address)


Research interests

Research interests

Political anthropology, immigration detention, care, solidarity, anti-racism, friendship, housing, Activism, Kinship, borders, carcerality, social movement history, prison abolition, Immigration and asylum policy, work, social reproduction, trauma, care work, medical care, colonialism and imperialism



Biographical Statement

Joel White is based in Glasgow and recently gained his PhD at Edinburgh University with a dissertation entitled 'Holding Space: Friendship, Care and Carcerality in the UK Immigration Detention System.' He works closely with a number of groups in Glasgow that organise around mutual aid, migrant solidarity and anti-racism.  Joel has also been involved with the Arika and Counterflows festivals, occasionally does music and journalistic writing, and helps run a small record label called GLARC. He teaches on the Empires, 1B: Anthropology Matters and Happiness courses. He is currently working on projects to do with revolutionary friendship, social movement memory, histories of deportation resistance, and colonial prisons. 


Published writing

04.04.22 Vicarious strength: friends and befriending in UK immigration detention - Migration Mobilities Bristol (MMB) Blog 

03.08.2021: Criminalising Solidarity - Tribune Magazine

02.05.2021: The Border Business - Tribune Magazine

21.12.2020: Priti Patel’s Asylum Prisons - Tribune Magazine

Winter 2020: Whose law is it anyway? - Review of Nadine El-Enany's (B)ordering Britain: Law, Race and Empire - Radical Philosophy

20.06.20 : The Fight for Asylum Seeker Rights Behind Glasgow’s Protests - Tribune Magazine


Papers / Presentations


Becoming complicit in the UK ‘hostile environment’ 

People navigating the ‘hostile environment’ in Glasgow encounter and articulate multiple forms of complicity. ‘Thinking like’ the Home Office can here mean risking complicity in one’s own harm, along with questioning the complicity of others: NGO workers, campaign groups, and academic researchers.

Association of Social Anthropologists (ASA) Conference - Panel: Complicities: politics and ethics at the edges of responsibility - St Andrews / Online 


Imagining Abolition

On sci-fi prisons and prison abolitionist organising.

London Science Fiction Research Community: 'Beyond Borders' Conference - Panel: Collective Struggle, Collective Joy - London / Online


Locked Out: disappearance and visibility in UK Asylum housing struggles

European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) Conference - Panel: Disappearances at the margins of the state: migration, intimacy and politics - Lisbon / Online

26.09.19 Guest Lecture: Asylum and Immigration detention - Asylum and Refugee Law and Policy Course - The University of Edinburgh


Works within

Staff Hours and Guidance

Thursdays 3-5pm, please email in advance for a Teams Appointment.