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For each International Online School in Forced Migration we offer a limited number of fully funded places to refugees and others with lived experience of forced displacement.  To mark the legacy of the former RSC Director Dr David Turton we are pleased to announce that these bursaries will now be named the David Turton Awards. David Turton had a profound influence on the Refugee Studies Centre and a particularly important role in developing the then RSC Summer School into the international forum it has become today.

About David Turton

David was second director of the Refugee Studies Centre, taking over from the founding director Barbara Harrell-Bond and presiding over the transformation of what was previously known as the Refugee Studies Programme into the academic centre we see today.

Under the four years of his leadership, between 1997 and 2001, the RSC put in place its Master’s degree programme; expanded and professionalised the ongoing Summer School; gained financial security; and created the current model which put academic research at the heart of the Centre’s activities.

David made his career as an eminent anthropologist, conducting pathbreaking research among the Mursi in southwestern Ethiopia from the late 1960s. His work focused on the impact of long-term ecological change on human displacement and on the relationship between warfare, ethnicity and political identity. Before coming to lead the RSC, he worked for twenty years in the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester.

David served as editor of the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute and the journal Disasters as well as making six films for television on the Mursi with the documentary director, Leslie Woodhead. He wrote widely on other topics relating to forced migration, including warfare, minorities in Europe, ethnographic film and Ethiopian federalism.

David Turton passed away on Saturday, 9 December 2023.

Related information

David Turton: 1940-2023

A celebration of the life of David Turton