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Social Anthropology:


Laura Jeffery

Laura Jeffery
Dr Laura Jeffery
Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology
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. Current projects:

  1. Principal Investigator on an AHRC Impact and Engagement project, "CHAGOS: Cultural Heritage Across Generations" (2017-18) and an associated ESRC Impact Accelerator Award (2018-19), working with Dr Rebecca Rotter. For more information, see Chagos.Online. This work 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 Chagossian onward migration 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.



Edited Collections

  • 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.

Journal Articles

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

Selected 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