Prof Uma Kothari

Professor of Migration and Postcolonial Studies

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Research interests

My research focuses on four inter-related areas:

Critical analyses of histories, discourses and representations of international development and humanitariansim

Transnational migration, refugees and diasporas

Environmental change and everyday life

Postcolonial studies

Other research

I am currently involved in the following research and writing projects:

Environmental change and everyday life.  This involves two funded projects(ESRC/DfID; Australian Research Council). The everyday is central to understanding how environmental change occurs and its daily impacts on people’s lives. This project uses innovative visual methods in small islands in the Maldives to explore people’s changing everyday routines and activities in the context of environmental change. 

Research on popular representations of humanitarianism and solidarity focuses on how visual images and textual representations of refugees are produced, circulated and interpreted. It examines how they are used to disseminate ideas that vilify migrants as well as instil humanitarian ideas of care for distant strangers.

On-going research examines the cultural geography of seafarers. This project explores the social geography of maritime life, focusing on changing encounters between ships, seafarers and shores and the changing cultures, experiences and geographies of seafaring. Sea mobilities have always connected people, places and things and the volume of goods conveyed by sea is ever-increasing. However, the maritime transportation of goods is rapidly changing with increasing ship-size, mechanisation and containerisation. Subsequently geographies of seafaring are also transforming and producing new kinds of connectivities.

Arts-based Community Education in Fragile Contexts. This project develops a new research network of academics and practitioners from Kenya, India and South Africa focusing on arts-based education. It explores non-formal education in culture and the arts in communities living in fragile situations with a focus on digital arts, performing arts, visual arts, heritage conservation, and cultural sustainability.  

 

Research Grants

  • 2019 - Australian Research Council Discovery Project grant focussing on sea-level rise and everyday lives in small island states. This project aims to advance understanding of the impacts of sea-level rise and associated policy responses on the everyday lives of island communities. Focusing on village relocation in Fiji and fortification and land reclamation in the Maldives, the project will analyse people's changing everyday experiences and practices. The project seeks to enable international and interdisciplinary collaborations, and to produce new knowledge on the opportunities and challenges of diverse policy responses to sea-level rise. The project’s findings will be beneficial for countries facing the threat of sea-level rise, as well as national governments and international agencies that support and fund climate adaptation. ($445,000 AUD)
  • 2019 - In collaboration with HCRI and In Place of War, funding for Arts-based Community Education in Fragile Contexts. The project will focus on the development of a new research network of academics and practitioners from Kenya, India and South Africa focusing on arts-based education. It will explore non-formal education in culture and the arts in communities living in fragile situations with a focus on digital arts, performing arts, visual arts, heritage conservation, and cultural sustainability. (£35k)
  • 2017-2019 Environmental Violence, Economic Development and the Everyday Livelihoods of Islanders, ESRC/DfID Development Frontiers (£260K) (PI)
  • 2015 Imagining Solidarity, Journal of Development Studies conference grant (£4500) (PI)
  • 2014 The Impact of Public Spending Cuts on BME Populations, School Research Stimulation Fund, University of Manchester (£3000) (PI)
  • 2014 Theorising Resistance in Development, IDPM Research grant (£2000) (PI)
  • 2012-15 Cosmopolitan Development, Australian Research Council, AUS$500K (£350k) (partner investigator)
  • 2012 - 15 Perceptions and Understandings of Climate Change and Migration, NORGLOBAL, The Research Council of Norway, NOK4,000,000 (£440k) (co-investigator)

Projects

Research and projects

No current projects are available for public display