Dr Leah Bassel
BA and MA (McGill), DPhil (Oxon), ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship (Oxford)
Room: Attenborough Tower 503
Tel: +44 (0)116 252 2730 (direct line)
Leah joined the department in 2011 as New Blood Lecturer in Sociology.
She was previously lecturer in Sociology at City University London (2008-11) and held Postdoctoral Research Fellowships at the Refugee Studies Centre/Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford funded by the ESRC and with the Group for the Study of Ethnicity, Racism, Migration and Exclusion at the Institute of Sociology, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium.
She completed her DPhil From Refugee Woman to Citizen: The Politics of Integration in France and Canada at the University of Oxford where she was a Commonwealth Scholar. She also holds a B.A. and M.A. from McGill University, Canada, in Political Science.
Before studying at Oxford Leah was an emergency outreach worker in Paris where she provided humanitarian assistance to asylum seekers, and initiated and organised a circus camp project for refugee youth that then became an annual event.
Her research interests are in four areas:
1. Gender and migration
Leah's work focuses on gender and migration, particularly the politics of refugee women's integration. She has examined these questions by juxtaposing highly mediatized debates over issues such as the headscarf and religious arbitration with the experiences of Muslim migrant women.
2. Citizenship and human rights
Leah examines conceptual and empirical debates over 'nationally bounded' citizenship and 'universal' human rights and has organised a conference and keynote panel on this topic in collaboration with colleagues at the Open University, Oxford University and City University London.
3. Anti-poverty mobilisation in tough times
Leah is currently studying the effects of economic crisis on minority women's activism in anti-poverty and asylum/immigration in non-governmental organisations in the UK and France.
4. Media and the Riots
Following a public symposium she co-organized in Birmingham on the August 2011 disturbances, Leah has written a report on 'Media and the Riots' in collaboration with the Citizen Journalism Educational Trust. [Click here to access the report] [Click on this link for press coverage of the report by The Guardian] [Click on this link for press coverage of the report by The Voice] [Click on this link to view evidence given to the Leveson Enquiry]
A selection of media coverage about this work is available.
Leicester Migration Network
Leah established and co-convenes the Leicester Migration Network (with Marc Scully, School of Historical Studies). This interdisciplinary initiative brings together over 70 colleagues from across the university and the city. [Click on this link for more information about the network]
Leah is interested in supervising doctoral work in the following areas: Refugee and migration studies (particularly with a focus on gender and migration), comparative political sociology, citizenship and integration, national and transnational political participation of migrants, intersectionality.
Event Organisation and Participation:
- Invited speaker at a roundtable discussion in Paris organised by the French NGO 'Coordination for the Reception of Asylum Seeker Families' (Coordination d’Accueil des Familles Demandeuses Asile or CAFDA), 2011.
- Co-organiser: English 'Riots': Civic Responses and Sociological Perspectives, 15 October 2011. [Click on this link to find out more]
- Co-organiser Citizenship and Human Rights Seminar, City University and the Open University which took place at Birkbeck College, February 2010.
- Keynote Panel: 'After Human Rights?' Co-chaired with Engin Isin. Keynote Speakers: Costas Douzinas (Birkbeck College), Conor Gearty (London School of Economics), Adam Weiss (Advice on Individual Rights in Europe Centre). [Click on this link to see the podcast]
- Stream organiser (Asylum After Empire) with Luncy Mayblin at the BSA Theory Group Conference on 4-5 July 2013 (at the Birmingham Midland Institute). [Click on this link for further information]
Current research projects
Falling through the cracks? NGO activism and minority women in tough times
In this cross-national comparative research project, Leah and her co-Principal Investigator (Akwugo Emejulu, University of Edinburgh) explore the effects of economic crisis on minority women’s activism in anti-poverty and asylum/immigration non-governmental organisations in the UK and France. In particular, they investigate how the on-going economic crisis influences the ability of minority and migrant women to use their intersectional identities and experiences of multiple discrimination as a resource for political activism and mobilisation.
£6K Grant from the Centre for Education for Race Equality in Scotland, University of Edinburgh
£1K, College of Social Science Research Development Fund, University of Leicester
£9397, British Academy Small Grant (to begin January 2013)
- Study leave until April 2013
While a lecturer at City University London, Leah won the award for Best Lecturer in the Sociology Department 2008-9 and was nominated twice for the Student Voice Award.
Current administrative duties
- College Representative for Travel and Transport (Semester 2)
- HE Academy Subject Centre Representative (Semester 2)