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We are pleased to announce the appointment of several new staff members at the RSC.

Queen Elizabeth House

Catherine Briddick is the new Martin James Departmental Lecturer in Gender and Forced Migration. Catherine has over ten years’ experience researching, providing legal advice and engaging in legal advocacy on issues relating to gender, forced migration and human rights in the UK. Catherine has practiced as a barrister, representing individuals before Courts and tribunals in addition to having managed and delivered legal advice and information services in the not-for-profit sector. She is a trustee of Asylum Welcome and a member of Asylum Aid’s Women’s Advisory Committee. Catherine received her LLM in Human Rights Law from the LSE with Distinction. She is currently completing her doctorate in the Faculty of Law at the University of Oxford. Catherine has contributed case notes to the Journal of Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Law and engages in consultancy work for research centres and NGOs. Her most recent publication is ‘Some Other(ed) Refugees: Women Seeking Asylum under Refugee and Human Rights Law’ (in the Research Handbook on Refugee Law, S Juss (ed.), Edward Elgar, 2018). Catherine teaches at the Refugee Studies Centre and has previously taught Public International Law and International Human Rights Law at the LSE. She is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Doctoral Affiliate of the Refugee Law Initiative.

Derya Ozkul is a postdoctoral research fellow for the Refugees are Migrants: Refugee Mobility, Recognition and Rights (REF-MIG) project. Derya completed her doctorate at the University of Sydney under the supervision of Prof Stephen Castles where she also worked as a lecturer and tutor. Her thesis explored the changes in diaspora movements in line with the changes in migration and diversity policies as well as homeland politics. In addition to her doctoral research, she worked as a researcher for the five-year STIM project led by Stephen Castles at the University of Sydney. This project examined international migration in Australia, South Korea, Turkey and Mexico in the context of the wider processes of social change. Prior to her PhD, she worked as a researcher at the Migration Research Centre at Koc University in Istanbul. She holds an MSc degree in Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics and a BA degree in Political Science from Bogazici University in Turkey. As a DAAD alumnus, she has held fellowships at Berlin Social Science Center (WZB) and Bielefeld University in Germany. Derya has published on precarious work, transnationalism, refugee settlement, immigration and diversity policies in Turkey, Germany and Australia. Her work includes Social Transformation and Migration (Palgrave, 2015). Her current research interests include the ethics of vulnerability and the construction of vulnerability criteria in refugee status determination.

We also have two new Early Career Fellows:

Robin Vandevoordt is working on a research project on ‘Civil Humanitarianism and the Politics of Refugee Solidarity’. He will continue doing on-going ethnographic fieldwork with several civil initiatives in Belgium, focusing on their subversive relations with governmental policies, professional NGOs and everyday social life. Drawing on his own Belgian case studies and similar initiatives across Europe, he will situate their rise in the broader context of changes in the field of humanitarian aid, European migration regimes and citizens’ desire to re-establish a moral community through direct social action. His previous research at the University of Antwerp examined the conditions of solidarity by looking at Belgian and European responses to the Syrian refugee crisis. More concretely, he studied how journalists, students, social workers and policy-makers made sense of their encounters with Syrian men and women. A crucial part of this project researcher these encounters through Syrians’ lived experiences as they rebuild their social lives in Belgium. In the future, he hopes to slightly shift his field of study to the anthropology of food, by exploring how food serves as a site of both solidarity and contention, in the encounters between (forced) migrants and citizens.

Tom Western is an ethnomusicologist researching the relations between sound, borders, displacements and citizenships. His current research centres on Athens, Greece, and at the RSC he will be working on a project titled ‘Aural Borders, Audible Displacements: Sound and Citizenship in Athens’. The project examines how sound informs experiences of displacement and mediates relationships between various communities living in the city. Sound in Athens is used to prise open questions of national belonging, and to territorialise public space, thus playing a key – but unheard – role in debates about Europeanness, freedom of movement, and the ‘refugee crisis’. This research does anthropology in sound, and uses methods of sensory ethnography and collaborative soundscape recording to open new ways of thinking about citizenship. This builds on previous research, which explored how sound recordings were used to construct nations and borders in postwar Europe, and how histories of migration were silenced in the process. Tom’s first book – National Phonography: Field Recording, Sound Archiving, and Producing the Nation in Music – is forthcoming with Bloomsbury Academic Press in 2019. He has also published in the journals Sound Studies, Twentieth-Century Music, Ethnomusicology Forum, and in several edited books.