Research Team

Dr Hannah Lewis – Principal Investigator

Hannah is Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow in Sociological Studies. She has explored how policies shape the daily lives of people who migrate in studies of community in asylum seeker dispersal, the destitution of refused asylum seekers, ‘race’ and multicultural strategies.  This work has centred on concepts of precarity and contingency and how the social and legal status of migrants can create freedoms and unfreedoms that may increase susceptibility to poverty, exclusion and forced labour. Her work has been published in a range of peer-reviewed journals including Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Progress in Human Geography, Leisure Studies and the Journal of Refugee Studies, in third sector and statutory research publications, and in books: The modern slavery agenda: politics, policy and practice, Policy Press, 2019 (with G. Craig , A. Balch and L.Waite); Vulnerability, exploitation and migrants: insecure work in a globalised economy (with L.Waite, G. Craig & K. Skrivankova, Palgrave, 2015), Precarious lives: forced labour, exploitation and asylum (with L.Waite, S. Hodkinson & P. Dwyer, Policy Press, 2014).

Dr Rebecca Murray Postdoctoral Research Associate

Rebecca joined the University of Sheffield Department of Sociological Studies in May 2019. Rebecca leads the analysis and dissemination of the project. This role builds on Rebecca’s academic research and practice across the statutory and non-statutory sector focused on the marginalisation and precarity encountered by forced migrants. Rebecca completed her ESRC-funded PhD in Human Geography at the University of Sheffield in January 2017. Rebecca’s doctoral thesis entitled ‘Navigating the Higher Education Border: Routes to Belonging for Forced Migrant Students in the UK & Sweden’, is a comparative study exploring the role of universities in creating ‘routes to belonging’ for forced migrant students in the UK and Sweden. Rebecca continues her work in the field of forced migration and higher education through her position as an honorary Research Associate at the University of Exeter. In 2016, Rebecca was awarded an honorary fellowship by the University of Winchester, and in 2019 an honorary doctorate from Keele University.

Professor Emma Tomalin Co-Investigator

Emma Tomalin is Professor of Religion and Public Life at the University of Leeds, UK. Her research interests include a focus on religion and sustainable development, and religion and gender. Related to these areas her most recent publications are ‘Religions and Development’ (Routledge, 2013) and ‘The Routledge Handbook of Religions and Global Development’ (2015). She is currently the principle investigator on a project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council in the UK called ‘Keeping faith in 2030: Religions and the Sustainable Development Goals’, that involves research and events in the UK, India and Ethiopia.

Professor Louise Waite, Co-Investigator

Louise Waite is Professor of Human Geography at the University of Leeds, UK. Her research interests span migration and slavery; with a particular focus on discourses of ‘modern slavery’, unfree/forced labour and exploitative work among asylum seekers and refugees.  She is currently working on two projects in addition to this one: the first exploring why the moral/ rhetorical power of anti-slavery has moved to the centre of contemporary political debates over immigration, and the second investigating the barriers to addressing modern slavery in the global clothing value chain. Louise has published on these themes in a range of peer reviewed journals including Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Progress in Human Geography, Geoforum and Antipode; and in forthcoming and recent books: Modern Slavery in the UK: Politics, policy and practice (with H. Lewis, G. Craig & A. Balch, Policy Press, 2018) Vulnerability, exploitation and migrants: Insecure work in a globalised economy (with H. Lewis, G. Craig & K. Skrivankova, Palgrave, 2015), Precarious lives: forced labour, exploitation and asylum (with H. Lewis, S. Hodkinson & P. Dwyer, Policy Press, 2014)

Dr Gwyneth Lonergan – (Previous Research Associate)

Gwyneth Lonergan worked with the project at the University of Sheffield as a postdoctoral research associate April 2017 to May 2019. She is now at the University of Lancaster.  She was awarded a PhD in Sociology from the University of Manchester in October 2016. Her thesis explored the impact of local geographies on migrant women’s activism in Manchester and Sheffield.  Her research interests include migration, citizenship, critical race theory, feminist theory, neoliberalism, urban geography, and social movements.  She has presented at several international conferences, and has previously been published in Feminist Review and Citizenship Studies