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Transnational Spaces

The Transnational Spaces cluster brings together UCL Geography researchers working on migration and diaspora, critical geopolitics, borders and citizenship. The cluster directs two expanding research centres - the Migration Research Unit and the Equiano Centre - and MSc programmes in Global Migration and Globalisation.

Migration and Diaspora. Research on ethnicity and integration provides new historical depth to scholarship on the black presence in Britain, extending conventional discussion of race and racism and understanding of Islamic minorities in Europe (Claire Dwyer, Caroline Bressey). Research questions the explanatory power of ‘ethnic capital’ (Claire Dwyer), the economic determinism of debates over skilled migration, advances social network theory (Alan Latham) and modifies celebratory accounts of remittances (Ben Page). Studies also provide fresh insight to ‘new African diasporas’ developmental and political activities, with studies focusing in Cameroon and Tanzania (Ben Page).

Transnational Spaces of Meaning and Memory. Scholarship explores cosmopolitan spaces in and beyond London, developing new visual, historical and ethnographic methods (Tariq Jazeel). Research provides new insight into transnational constructions of ‘home’ (Ben Page) and the legacies of London’s connections to the slave trade (see a short video of Caroline Bressey and Gemma Romain’s research on London’s Black Artists and Models in the Jazz Age). Research sheds fresh light on anti- colonial networks, the politics of exile and solidarity, and transnational anti-war mobilizations (Caroline Bressey, Alan Ingram). Work on transnational religious spaces poses innovative questions about faith in suburbia (Claire Dwyer is working with photographer Liz Hingley, Leverhulme Artist in Residence on “Photographing Faith in Suburbia”), diasporic pilgrimage (Pushpa Arabindo), and investigates the transnational influence of the American evangelical movement (Jason Dittmer).

Critical Geopolitics, Borders and Citizenship. Research combines studies of transnational media with critical analyses of borders, territoriality and citizenship. It provides new insight into links between geopolitics, contemporary art and popular culture through studies of artists’ responses to the Iraq war (Alan Ingram) and practices of memorialisation (Jason Dittmer). Research on particular discourses and landscapes of nationalism (Jason Dittmer, Tariq Jazeel) highlights the transnational development of what are ostensibly national phenomena such as architecture and superheroes). Research furthers critical geopolitical thinking on the interplay between security discourses and the reshaping of space (Alan Ingram), as well as materialist approaches to diplomacy (Jason Dittmer) and geopolitics (Andrew Barry).

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