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Social Anthropology:


Laura Jeffery

Laura Jeffery
Professor Laura Jeffery
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 (ICH) and human-environment relations in protracted displacement contexts:

  1. Alongside Lucy Lowe, Jean-Benoit Falisse, Amina Jama Mahmud, Paulin Mutombo, Germaine Furaha, Joachim Osur, Jo Vearey, and Elise Griede, I lead a UKRI GCRF Development-Based Approaches to Protracted Displacement project (2020–23) that aims to improve 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.
  2. My ongoing work with Mariangela Palladino and Sébastien Bachelet includes MADAR: Maghreb Action on Displacement and Rights (GCRF Development Award 2019–20) in collaboration with RacinesCaritasNotre Culture D'Abord, Mehdi Lalou, Saïb Musette, and Hassen Boubakri. Alongside Dounia Benslimane and Aadel Essandani of Racines, we 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 Etrangers et Migrants) on Arts for Advocacy: Creative Engagement with Forced Displacement in Morocco (ESRC-AHRC Forced Displacement grant 2016-18). Visit to view our virtual exhibitions and to download our creative arts, migration, and advocacy toolkit.
  3. My longstanding engagement with the displaced Chagossian community from the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean culminated in the inscription of Chagossian musicsega tambour Chagos, on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding on Human Rights Day 10 December 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, Chagossian groups, Vinesh Hookoomsing, Saradha Soobrayen, and Crawley Museum. Visit to browse our virtual exhibits, download Chagossian 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 and Seychelles (ESRC PhD/PDF 2001-06).

I also worked with Luke Heslop and Rebecca Rotter on the development of connective infrastructure in Maldives as part of Edward Simpson's Roads and the politics of thought: Ethnographic approaches to infrastructure development in South Asia (ERC Consolidator Grant 2015-20).



Edited Collections

Journal Articles

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

Book Chapters

Topics interested in supervising

I welcome PGR supervision enquiries relating to my current research interests in: healthcare at the intersection of gender and protracted displacement; creative engagement with migration and displacement; intangible cultural heritage (ICH) and human-environment relations in protracted displacement contexts.

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

PhD in Social Anthropology