• David Rypel

    PhD Student in Slavonic and East European Studies UCL, 2020 to 2023

    (The Bonnart Trust UCL Endowed Fund)

    David’s ethnographic research investigates how practices of security affect and are affected by the question of where we and others belong. The relation seems rather worrying: Various endeavours supposedly aimed at enhancing our security, such as anti-terrorist measures, have notoriously produced categories of undesired people and at times with lethal consequences. But cannot security be done differently? We should not forget that security is a cultural phenomenon; it is not the same thing across (and even within) different cultural and historical contexts, and we can learn from those other “possibilities of being”. Focusing on the experience of queer people in Georgia as creative agents of security (rather than mere passive victims of hate crimes), David is particularly interested in whether non-dominant understandings and practices of security can escape the violent and exclusivist logic the concept is infamous for.

    That is, if the prevalent conception of security is the problem, perhaps there are ways to queer it. This way, he simultaneously contributes towards filling the gap in research on queerness in Georgia (and Eastern Europe in general) and furthers our understanding of queer (in)security beyond victimology.

    Before joining UCL SSEES, David received an MSc in Social Sciences (Research) from the University of Amsterdam and an Mgr in Security & Strategic Studies from Masaryk University.

  • Rebecca (or Bex) Shorunke

    MA student in Culture, Diaspora and Ethnicity Birkbeck, 2021 to 2023

    Rebecca (Bex) Shorunke is an MA student in Culture, Diaspora and Ethnicity at Birkbeck College, University of London. She began her studies in October 2021 and is interested in understanding the histories and discourses that have contributed to the construction of identity categories such as ‘race’ and ‘gender’ and their psychosocial legacies and capacity to be reframed or reinvented.

    She is also interested in how we can use intersectional frameworks to better understand how marginalised communities are treated by the police, welfare agencies and the criminal justice system, whilst acknowledging the capacity for communities to support themselves and each other, outside of the state.

    Bex completed her BA in English Literature at the University of Manchester in 2016. Her dissertation focused on the representation of African American women in poetry and prose in the seventies and eighties, and their use of the arts as an act of resistance to racist and sexist attitudes of the time. Following graduation, she worked at arts publishers and continued to build her portfolio in freelance journalism.

    She writes about intersectionality, social welfare, homelessness, and culture and has written about issues such as FGM, portrayals of blackness in the arts and the deportation of asylum seekers for Inside Housing, Stylist, Gal-dem, Dazed, Time Out, Stonewall and more.

    Up until November 2021 Bex was working at the LGBTQ+ youth homelessness charity Akt (formerly the Albert Kennedy Trust) to raise public awareness into LGBTQ+ youth homelessness and its wrap-around themes. These include racism, gender-based violence, mental health, substance misuse, sex work and trauma. She now manages the media, press and PR at Mermaids, a charity supporting trans and non-binary children, young people and their families. Through well-placed media, political campaigns and advocacy work she is platforming the experiences of trans young people and challenging the anti-trans rhetoric that is so pervasive in the government and wider society. In her spare time, Bex enjoys reading, documentaries, theatre and Crossfit.

  • Aleph Ross

    MA student in Contemporary History and Politics, Birkbeck, 2021 to 2023

    Aleph Ross is an MA student in Contemporary History and Politics at Birkbeck College, University of London, 2021-2023. She currently works part time for a charity supporting unpaid carers and has an interest in the history of social reproduction and the hidden or neglected work of care, domestic and sexual labour. She is also curious about the absorption of this work into the welfare state, and the role of feminist groups, trade unions and charities in shaping how gendered labor is performed and paid for.

    Meanwhile, she has developed a growing curiosity in Jewish migration to London in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and is eager to explore the points of overlap between this period of history and the feminist and gender histories with which she is most familiar (e.g. the role of friendly societies in funding and organising care-work in the East End). One day a week, she also works as a cheesemonger in an outdoor market and is involved in organising with the community union ACORN.

  • Jennifer Putnam

    PhD student in History. Birkbeck, 2020 to 2023

    Jennifer is a PhD student in History at Birkbeck College, University of London. Her research focuses on contemporary graffiti in sites of the Holocaust. She is interested in individual acts of resistance against the Nazi regime, how prisoners and guards interacted with the built environment around them, and unconventional forms of communication. She will document and catalogue the graffiti herself, creating a template that can be used at other sites of imprisonment and genocide.

    Jennifer received an MA in Modern History and Politics from Birkbeck College as the Eric Hobsbawm scholar for the 2019–2020 class. Her dissertation focused on the mail system in Auschwitz, comparing the official rules against the lived experiences of prisoners. She also has an MPhil in Linguistics from Trinity College Dublin, writing a dissertation entitled “Critical Discourse Analysis & Graffiti: A Case Study of Prisoner Number Graffiti in Auschwitz I”. Her BA is in Literature and Languages from Loyola University Chicago.

    Her wider research interests include modern graffiti, comparative genocide research, philately, Jewish history, Cuban history, and resistance movements. Jennifer speaks four languages – Polish, French, Spanish, and English – and is learning two more – Yiddish and German.

  • Jahan Foster

    PhD candidate in Geography, Birkbeck , 2018 to 2021

    Jahan is a PhD student in Geography, Environment and Development Studies at Birkbeck College, University of London. Her research examines the social reproduction strategies of Latin American transnational families living in London, with a view to understanding how the work of social reproduction is organised around inequalities of class, race, gender and migration status. The research is situated within a wider context of austerity politics in the U.K. and the impact these policies have had on migrant families and migrant children in terms of how they access essential services and resources for social reproduction.

    Jahan’s research engages with feminist geographies and adopts a feminist political economy approach in order to develop perspectives on transnational childhoods and social reproduction. Her broad research interests are transnationalism, gender studies, and geographies of children, with a focus on the intersections of gender, race and class. As part of her research, Jahan has been volunteering with a Latin American community organisation in London for over two years where she has supported families to access education and schooling.

    Jahan completed her BA in Politics and French from University of Bristol in 2013, during which she spent a year living in Paris studying Political Science at the Pantheon Sorbonne University. She received her MSc in Children, Youth and International Development from Birkbeck College in 2017 and alongside her PhD, has sought out work as an independent researcher in community engagement and the charity sector.

    In her spare time, Jahan enjoys playing netball and tennis, travelling and spending time with friends and family.

  • Maisha Riyah

    MA Student in Culture, Diaspora, Ethnicity, Birkbeck, 2022 to 2024

    Maisha Riyah is an MA student in Culture, Diaspora, Ethnicity at Birkbeck University of London. Her research will examine racialised and marginalised communities in the UK and their relation to colonialism and imperialism. Topics such as race and British imperialism are often brushed over rather quickly, which dismisses their significance in understanding the society and world that we live in today. She is keen to contribute to the work of Bonnart Trust and to continue tackling the intolerance and prejudice that different groups continuously experience.

    Maisha completed her BA in Politics and International Relations (IR) from Royal Holloway, University of London in 2021, specialising in global politics and decolonising the curriculum in IR. Her undergraduate dissertation focused on decolonising the curriculum and how it contributes to a global International Relations. The research primarily used qualitative data to analyse both students and academics views on both campaigns. One of the main themes she discusses in this dissertation is about the notion of the colonisation of knowledge, which tends to be dominated by the West, and how this contributes to the absence of non-Western voices in academia, especially in a subject like International Relations.

    Her paper aimed to highlight the voices of both students and academics (from Politics and IR departments) on their thoughts on decolonising the curricula and whether we need to rethink about adapting IR into becoming more global. Following the completion of her BA, she spent two years working for Royal Holloway and a year working in a Sixth form/secondary school teaching Politics and History.

    Currently, she works full time as a Peer Support Co-ordinator under the Haringey Wellbeing Network service for the mental health charity Mind in Haringey, managing and leading the development and delivery of two models of peer support services. Her roles include recruitment, training, managing, supervising, and supporting volunteers to deliver a 1-2-1 coaching service and peer support group hubs (https://www.mindinharingey.org.uk/our-services/haringey-wellbeing-network/peer-support-services/). The aim of this charity is to seek influence and improve mental health services in Haringey, raising awareness and challenging stigma and discrimination including racialised communities to receive support and access to mental health and educate about the importance of mental health issues.

    Maisha would like to increase awareness about the colonial history and deep-rooted structural racism that has strongly affected marginalised communities with their mental health and the prevalence of generational trauma that has been passed down to the younger generations.

    In her spare time, Maisha enjoys outdoor activities, walking and café hopping and trying out different countries’ cuisines and loves reading and films.

  • Oliver Trowell

    MSc in International Development Birkbeck, 2020 to 2022

    I am currently studying for a MSc in International Development, following the completion of a BA in Global Politics and International Relations at Birkbeck University in 2020. I began my studies later in life due to a progressive illness I have suffered since birth, which was partially resolved following a life-changing operation I received at the age of twenty. Nevertheless, the time I spent unwell gave me plenty of opportunities for independent study, which was largely focused on the politics, history and culture of the Middle East; with my interest originally spurred by the Arab Spring in 2010 and 2011.

    I decided to study at Birkbeck as the evening courses it offers enabled me to begin a career relevant to my interests. I started my career working in the NGO sector, in strategic communications as a politics and conflict analyst, during which the focus of my work was to counter the messaging of extremist groups operating out of Syria and Iraq.

    I have also participated in a counter-extremism initiative with young people from religious and community groups across London with training from the Mayor of London’s office. I presently work in public affairs for the property sector, which involves communicating with local civic and community groups, and lobbying local politicians and MPs on behalf of a wide range of clients.

  • Shereen Hunte

    MA student in Culture, Diaspora and Ethnicity Birkbeck, 2020 to 2022

    Shereen Hunte is an MA student in Culture, Diaspora and Ethnicity at Birkbeck College, University of London. Her research will examine the relationship between the Black British Community and the British Jewry. She strongly believes that a deeper insight into these two minorities communities in the UK can spark a powerful mutual understanding, growth and activism and consequently, disrupt the root of racial, cultural and religious intolerance. Thus far, she has completed an assignment on the relationship between the Shoah and other histories of coloniality and genocide. Currently, in her second term, she is undertaking a module on Modern Europe and Its Others: Jew, Muslim, Blacks.

    Shereen completed her BA in Italian and Classics from University of Warwick in 2016, specialising in the self-representation of minority communities in both the modern and ancient landscapes of Italy. During her study at the University of Warwick, she spent a year abroad studying at the University of Bologna, Italy. In 2016, she founded a community group for black women which she continues to lead to this day. Following the completion of her BA, she has spent the last four years in the Museum and Heritage Sector. Currently, she works at the Jewish Museum London and is responsible for the museum’s Black History Programme, community-based exhibitions and delivering school workshops on Judaism, Jewish History and the Holocaust. She also freelances for The Black Curriculum, delivering workshops and supporting their museum partnership programme.

    In her spare time, Shereen enjoys painting and writes a blog, based on books and experiences that continue to shape her life.

    She also freelances for The Black Curriculum, delivering workshops and supporting their museum partnership programme.

  • Annie Olaloku-Teriba

    PhD student in Psychosocial Studies. Birkbeck, 2021 to 2024

    Annie Olaloku-Teriba is starting a PhD in Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck College, University of London. Her research is driven by two very simple questions: How is ‘race’ made by us today? And how, in turn, does ‘race’ make us? She is particularly interested in constructing a conceptual history of ‘blackness’, tracing how our thinking about this category has changed in the last sixty years and the different social worlds that various approaches to ‘blackness’ imply. She investigates how the languages of race available to us are shaped by the specific material conditions of our society, and then in turn, how these languages of race shape not just how we think about race – but what possibilities there are to liberate ourselves from it. She is passionate about finding ways to make liberatory thought accessible to all.

    Annie received her BA in History and Politics from the University of Oxford in 2016, focusing in particular on histories and legacies of Empire in Africa and its diasporas. In the time since, she has been an independent researcher offering an historical approach to contemporary questions in ‘race’ and racialisation. She has written and spoken extensively, with her analysis appearing in Historical Materialism Journal, Aljazeera English, Channel 4, BBC Radio 1Xtra, and Freize Magazine among others. In 2020, she founded Black as in Revolution, an event series and Youtube channel centring the contemporary relevance of Black radical thought.

    Annie is part of the Salvage Journal Editorial Collective, and the host of the Salvage Live series, in collaboration with Haymarket books. She also freelances, curating exhibitions and workshops which bring histories of solidarity to life for young people.

  • Zehra Miah

    PhD student in History Birkbeck, 2019 to 2022

    Zehra is a PhD student in History at Birkbeck College, University of London. Her research considers whether ethnic, religious and racial labels have helped or hindered the integration and development of Turkish migrants in the UK between 1971-1999. Framed as an oral history project focussed on the London boroughs of Hackney and Haringey her work will specifically interrogate the labels ‘white’ and ‘Muslim’ in relation to the Turkish diaspora and how these labels have changed and impacted the community over time. Zehra’s research, whilst historically grounded, will engage with sociological and ethnographic studies using the Turkish speaking migrant population as a case study to extrapolate difficulties, invisibility and the prejudice experienced by other migrant groups.

    Zehra completed her BA in history at Birkbeck College, University of London in 2015 and followed this with an MA in European History as the Eric Hobsbawm Scholar graduating in 2018. Her MA dissertation titled ‘”The Ugly King in Paris”: Turkish Exile in Europe, 1971-1999’ used a micro-historical approach to examine the Turkish experience of exile in Europe. Her wider research interests include poverty, female criminality, trans-nationalism and intersections between race, class, generation and gender.

  • Dominic Reilly

    PhD in Psychology Birkbeck , 2016 to 2019

    Dominic Reilly is a Phd candidate in the Psychosocial Studies department at Birkbeck, University of London. His research interrogates the phenomenon of racialised ‘preferences’ – and prejudices – in the romantic sphere, using the hook-up and dating app Grindr as a virtual site of condensation through which to explore the wider racialisation of desire. Applying critical discourse analytic techniques to Grindr profiles and narrative interviews with Grindr users, the project explores the contemporary psychosocial life of historically-anchored discourses of ‘race’, gender, desire, and their intersections. Drawing on an interdisciplinary theoretical framework including object relations psychoanalysis, and queer, postcolonial and critical race theory, the project aims to better understand how ‘race’ becomes psychically and socially inscribed, and how it can be reified and amplified in online and romantic encounters. The project also aims to promote more reflexive user-engagement with Grindr in a bid to foster a more mutually-supportive culture in LGBTQ spaces.

    In addition to his research, Dominic has previously worked as a management consultant across financial services, aviation and government, and currently works in public health, co-running an LGBTQ outreach project for Terrence Higgins Trust, which is exploring new ways of using virtual spaces (such as Grindr) to conduct public health interventions. Dominic completed a BA (Hons) in History and French at UCL and Paris IV La Sorbonne, and received an MSc in Psychology from UEL.

  • Satya Gunput

    PhD in History Birkbeck, 2017 to 2020

    Satya is a PhD candidate in History at Birkbeck College, University of London. His research reappraises the history of immigration and ethnicity in post-war Britain and how it was affected by local and national government. His main focus will be reconstructing Southall, a district of London, as a site of conflict around difference since the 1950s. This will provide the basis for examining wider debates around multiculturalism among black and minority ethnic communities and the impact of policies associated with multiculturalism.

    He received an MA in Historical Research from Birkbeck College in 2016, after completing his BA (Hons) in Modern History at Christ Church, University of Oxford. His broader research interests include post-colonialism, trans-nationalism, and intersections between race, class and gender. This has comprised work into black feminist groups in Britain, the South Asian diaspora, and mental health among Afro-Caribbean migrants in Britain.

    While at Oxford, Satya was awarded a Full Blue for fencing, having captained the University’s 1st team for two consecutive years. He continues to compete in fencing at an international level. During his sporting career he has travelled widely and represented clubs in Cuba, Ukraine and France.

    We look forward to welcoming our most recent Scholar, Satya Gunput, who will embark on his studies at Birkbeck in the autumn.

  • Nafees Hamid

    PhD in Engineering Sciences UCL, 2015 to 2018

    Nafees Hamid is a PhD candidate pursuing research in the psychology of political conflicts at the University College London. His research focuses on how sacred values, social identity, and situational dynamics push and pull individuals towards political movements which are radically opposed to mainstream values. A special emphasis is placed on movements that can have potentially destabilizing consequences such as the rise of right wing nationalist movements in Europe as well as the spread of Salafist-Jihadist ideologies. His techniques include ethnographic interviews, psychological surveys, and neuroimaging experiments.

    Nafees holds a Master’s degree in Cognitive Science from École Normale Supérieure in Paris, France. He also holds a double major in Psychology and Cognitive Science from the University of California, San Diego. His previous research was focused on moral reasoning and investigated how and when it is successful as a tool for persuasion.

  • Killian O' Dochartaigh

    PhD in Architecture UCL, 2014 to 2017

    Killian O' Dochartaigh is a qualified Architect from Northern Ireland. His research interests lie within the exploration of fragmented sites, settlements& cities at specific thresholds of racial, ethnic or religious conflict. For the past 5 years he has worked in sub-saharan Africa on a number of projects contributing to the post-conflict reconstruction of Rwanda, namely a Community Centre for a local football team in Rwanda, who educate youth with a focus on conflict resolution.

    Rwanda is still emerging from the effects of the 1994 Genocide, yet underthe trajectory of development many low-income communities remain excluded due to their ethnicity. His PhD thesis questions the role of development within the post-genocidal reconstruction of Rwanda, exploring architectural & participatory design possibilities for community reintegration.

    Killian has published papers, exhibits, and lectures on the subject of geo-political territories within South Africa, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Northern Ireland and the USA running a small collaborative practice called ‘Architectural Field Office’ (www.architecturalfieldoffice.org). This design and research studio focuses on critical community driven issues relating to housing and the city and is currently working on a number of education projects in Sierra Leone.

  • Imara Ajani Rolston

    PhD in Social Psychology LSE, 2013 to 2016

    Imara Ajani Rolston is a doctoral student based in the Department of Social Psychology at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His doctoral research is a critical exploration of the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s (NMF) use of the Community Dialogues as both an HIV/AIDS prevention and social cohesion building methodology in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Beyond AIDS prevention and addressing xenophobia and racial injustice, Mr Rolston’s scholarship is particularly focused on the contribution of Community Dialogues in reshaping the responsiveness of municipalities in order to ensure basic human rights and greater access to essential services and resources. It is through this prism that Mr Rolston explores the ways in which strategic grassroots dialogue and community organizing aimed at addressing significant contextual challenges like HIV/AIDS and xenophobia can in turn serve to enhance grassroots democratic practice and potentially contribute to the evolving global democratization discourse.

    Mr Rolston brings over 12 years of professional experience to his doctoral studies. His experience ranges from restorative justice focused youth work in Toronto, Canada with Peacebuilders International to the development and management of large scale regional gender justice and women’s rights programs in the Horn and East Africa with Oxfam. He has also spent a number of years working on multilateral and bilateral AIDS intervention frameworks and national programs including the Global Fund to Fight Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM). Aside from his professional work, Mr Rolston is an emerging film maker, using film to explore the history of race and racial inequity in Canada. His first film An(other) Antilles was funded and supported by Black Artists in Dialogue (BAND) and featured in the TD Banks 2013 Then & Now Black History Month Festival.

    Mr Rolston’s doctoral research has had a direct impact on the work of global and local NGOs employing Community Dialogues. He has published online articles on Xenophobia in South Africa and currently sits on the board of Greenpeace Africa.

  • Bharath Ganesh

    PhD in Geography UCL, 2012 to 2015

    Bharath was a Bonnart Trust scholar from 2012 to 2015 in the UCL Department of Geography, exploring race, ethnicity, and multiculturalism in hip-hop culture. His thesis was titled ‘The politics of the cipher’ and draws on the intellectual tradition of African-diasporic literary theory and the tools of critical phenomenology, to demonstrates that hip-hop culture encourages a form of multiculturalism based on intercultural exchange and sharing that goes beyond tolerance.

    The project makes a number of contributions to the fields of political geography, hip-hop studies, and the politics of difference.

    Its employment of theories of affect and embodiment helps illuminate the role that popular music plays in the mediation of racial and ethnic difference, adding theoretical resources on identity and alterity to debates in political geography. It is the first study to use these theoretical frames to understand the cipher, a term whose history can be traced through African-American and Black Atlantic religion and literature in the twentieth century.

    During the PhD, Bharath was involved in developing research impact by engaging with various student organisations at the University of California, Berkeley where he organised workshops in order to incorporate the student community into the research project. In addition, Bharath has worked as a researcher for various NGOs working to counter Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hate crime, most recently as Research & Digital Projects Officer for Tell MAMA. He has authored numerous reports on hate crime and extremism and served as an expert witness on these issues in the Houses of Parliament.

    Bharath completed a BA in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of California, Berkeley and an MSc in Globalisation at University College London, where he received funding from the Bonnart Trust to continue as a PhD candidate.

  • Maria Carolina Werdine

    PhD in International Relations LSE, 2012 to 2015

    Maria is a PhD Student at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her PhD is investigating how the British counterterrorism strategy and legislation may act as a denationalizing agent, unfairly targeting the rights of the British Muslim minority. Her research is interdisciplinary, applying nationalism and securitization theory to government strategy and legal cases.

    Her broad research interests are immigration, minority studies, terrorism, nationalism, Islam and security theory. She has a BA in Communications and Media from Bournemouth University and two Masters from the LSE. Outside of her academic interests, Maria is interested in ballet, is a Tottenham Hotspurs supporter and a Star Trek fan.

  • Fowzia Mahamed

    PhD in Educational Psychology UCL, 2013 to 2015

  • Tatiana Moreira de Souza

    PhD in Planning (Architecture) UCL, 2011 to 2014

    Tatiana Moreira de Souza has completed her PhD in planning studies at University College London in 2016. Her PhD research investigated the nature and extent of interpersonal interactions in neighbourhoods having experienced physical restructuring with a view to promoting social mix through housing tenure diversification. Opting for a cross-national comparative study between the United Kingdom and the Netherlands — with case studies in London and Amsterdam neighbourhoods where live large proportions of ethnic minority groups, and drawing from participant observation, semi-structured interviews and self-completion questionnaires – her research sought to shed further light on neighbouring relations and on the extent to which local public spaces, generally improved or created during urban regeneration, facilitate cross-tenure social interaction.

    The analytical framework proposed in her thesis not only highlighted issues of geographical propinquity and homophily but also issues that were extraneous to planning and housing strategies and that affected the probability of encounters with difference and influence the way public spaces are used. Tatiana’s research interests include urban governance, social and ethnic diversity, as well as community and neighbourhood studies.

    Since 2012, she has been working as a postgraduate teaching assistant in the areas of urban regeneration, urban design, and modules discussing the main socio-economic processes impinging on urbanisation and contemporary theoretical interpretations of the development, structure and sustainability of cities. Since 2015, she has also been working as a research assistant in DIVERCITIES (www.urbandivercities.eu), a project funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration, which investigates the ways in which Europe can benefit from having an increasingly diverse population by focusing on issues related to social cohesion, social mobility and the economic

  • Amanda Conroy

    PhD in Gender Studies LSE Gender Institute, 2011 to 2014

    Amanda Conroy is a PhD Student in Gender Studies at the Gender Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science. Her dissertation uses ethnographic methods to trace the intersections between masculinity, citizenship and state sovereignty in the Minuteman movement, a set of loosely-organized groups of U.S. citizens who organize patrols of the US-Mexico border in order to protect ‘national sovereignty’ and prevent illegal migration. It is interdisciplinary in approach, integrating international relations with feminist political theory and gender studies. As such it departs from traditional International Relations, which arranges locales of analysis hierarchically, privileging studies of world systems and states over the actions of individuals and the ideas and discourses that construct fields of ethical, moral and political possibilities.

    The goal of her project is to integrate empirical research and theory in order to better understand the causes of nativism and nationalism. Amanda’s broader research interests include Renaissance and early Enlightenment political thought; contemporary political philosophy; feminist and post-colonial political theory; right-wing and conservative social movements; the intersections between gender, race, and nationalism; and the gendered dimensions of citizenship.

    She received an MA (with Distinction) in Gender Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (UK) in 2009 and a BA (Honours) in Political Science from Bryn Mawr College (USA) in 2007. In addition to her doctoral work, Amanda is on the editorial team of the Graduate Journal of Social Science (http://gjss.org) and Engenderings, the LSE Gender Institute blog. She writes for Engenderings and the LSE British Politics and Policy blog and has written for the Guardian.

  • Salim Aykut Ozturk

    PhD in Anthropology UCL, 2010 to 2013

    Aykut is a Phd candidate in anthropology at University College London (UCL). His Phd project focuses on understanding the ways Armenianness and Turkishness are being performed in Turkey. As the aim of the project is to understand the diversities and the contextualities of identity, Aykut aims at portraying the dynamics of the relationships between Turks and Armenians. For this reason, Aykut is going to do fieldwork in Istanbul among Turks, Istanbulite Armenians and the post-Soviet Armenian immigrants from the Republic of Armenia.

    Aykut holds an MA degree in Migration and Diaspora Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), where he wrote a theoretical dissertation on the location of ‘diaspora’ in relation to our liberal understanding of public and private spaces. Before coming to SOAS, Aykut did MA in Political Science & International Relations in Bogazici University, where he wrote a thesis on the influence of Palestinian politics on the democratization process of Israel.

  • Mohamad Hafeda

    PhD in Architectural Design UCL, Bartlett School of Architecture, 2009 to 2012

    Mohamad Hafeda is an artist and a designer. He is a founding partner of Febrik, a collaborative platform for participatory art and design research works in Palestinian refugee camps in the Middle East and housing estates in London. He has a PhD degree in Architectural Design at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London.

    Mohamad is a lecturer in architecture at Leeds Beckett University, United Kingdom. He is the co-editor of “ Narrating Beirut from its Borderlines,” (Heinrich Boll Foundation, 2011), and “ Creative Refuge,”(Tadween, 2014). Febrik’s projects include residencies and exhibitions at the Serpentine Galleries, South London Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, Mosaic Rooms, and Architecture Biennale Rotterdam.

  • Henry Newman

    PhD in Government LSE, 2009 to 2012

    Henry Newman’s research examines Shii ecumenical thought during the early twentieth century. His projects examines how and why Persian and Arab Shia switched from conceptualizing Sunnis as heretical infidels towards considering them fellow Muslims. During the Persian Constitutional Revolution Shia Muslims began reaching out to the Ottoman Caliph – even addressing him as ‘our caliph’. Later in the years of the First World War, Shii clerics in the Iraqi shrine cities dismissed the difference between Sunnis and Shia. These early years of ecumenical rapprochement laid the path for a fatwa issued in 1959. The fatwa by the then Sheikh al-Azhar, Mahmud Shaltut, recognised Shiism as a fifth school of Islam, equal in status to the existing four Sunni schools. Despite continued sectarian conflict that decision was a game change moment opening the door for Muslim inter-sectarian tolerance.

    Henry read Persian with Islamic Studies/History at Christ Church, Oxford; he then studied for a Masters in Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard as a Frank Knox Fellow. He has taught Nineteenth Century Iranian History at the University of York; Middle East politics at Lincoln College, Oxford; a course on Political Islam at Harvard’s Department of Government; and Government and Politics of the Middle East at SOAS. His research is supported by a scholarship from the Wingate Foundation and previously by the Spalding Trust, British Institute of Persian Studies, Sir Richard Stapley Fund and funds from LSE’s Government department. Henry has written occasionally for the Guardian’s Comment is Free as well as for Slate Magazine and the Evening Standard.

  • Adi Keinan

    PhD in Archaeology UCL, 2009 to 2012

    Adi is a digital curator (Polonsky Fellow) working for the Hebrew Manuscripts Digitisation Project (HMDP) at the British Library, and an Honorary Research Associate at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London (UCL). In 2014-2015 she took part in MicroPasts, a joint UCL – British Museum crowdsourcing initiative.

    Her PhD dissertation focused on Israeli and Palestinian archaeological inventories in the occupied West Bank in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She has a BA and MA (both with distinction) in Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures from Tel Aviv University, Israel, and had been working as a field archaeologist in excavations mainly in Israel between 2000 and 2009.

    She participated in the Israeli-Palestinian Archaeology Working Group (2005-2009), a joint bilateral group dealing with different aspects of archaeology in the occupied Palestinian territories. Her contribution was the creation of a database of all Israeli archaeological activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 1967.

    This work was the impetus for her PhD research, realising how culture, history and archaeology can promote understanding and mutual respect between Israelis and Palestinians, and not just the other way around. Cooperating with Palestinian archaeologists, she hopes to promote the idea of shared heritage, help reducing prejudice and bridge gaps between Israelis and Palestinians.

  • Yael Weisz-Rind

    PhD in Sociology LSE, 2001 to 2011

    Yael is the Executive Director of Israel’s national association for blind and visually impaired children, Ofek Liyladenu. The association is the official legal representative for the children, their parents and families and the organization is leading on Disability Rights protection and promotion.

    Previously, Yael served as the Head of Amnesty International’s International Mobilization Trust at its headquarters in London and was responsible for the organization’s global support and capacity building for its sections and national office on five continents.

    Yael combined for decades her work as a Human Rights professional with academic work both in Israel and in the UK. She studied at the Centre for Study of Human Rights at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) where she researched the issue of civil-military relations and the impact on human rights.

  • Victoria Redclift

    PhD in Sociology LSE, 2007 to 2010

    Victoria Redclift is a Trustee of the Bonnart Trust. Please read her bio here.

  • Fatima Kola

    PhD in Law UCL, 2006 to 2009

    Fatima is a PhD candidate in law and teaching fellow at University College London, where as a Bonnart-Braunthal Scholar she is writing her thesis on the effectiveness of the international prohibition of torture in the context of counter-terrorism. She is a teaching fellow in the Faculty of Laws at UCL, lecturing on Islamic Law, and teaching on the World Legal Orders and the LL.M. Human Rights courses, as well as teaching legal writing. She also served as the Postgraduate Editor of the UCL Jurisprudence Review.

    Prior to beginning her doctoral work, Fatima obtained an LL.B., and LL.M. in Human Rights from UCL. She interned at the International Rescue Committee in New York and worked on the British Institute of Comparative and International Law’s project on democracy in Iran.

    Fatima was called to the Bar at Middle Temple in 2007 and is beginning a pupillage in 2010 at Garden Court Chambers, London.

  • Ivana Radačić

    PhD in Law UCL, 2004 to 2007

    Ivana Radačić is research associate at Ivo Pilar Institute of Social Sciences in Zagreb, working in the area of human rights and feminism. She is also a visitng lecturer at the University of Zagreb, the University of Osijek and the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation, and was a visiting lecturer at University College London, and UN University for Peace, Costa Rica. In addition, she teaches at the Centre for Peace Studies, Zagreb, Centre for Women’s Studies, Zagreb and Women’s Human Rights Training Institute, Sofia and collaborates with a number of NGOs on human rights education and strategic litigation. She has published widely in the area of feminism and human rights.Ivana is currently on a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Her researh project explores how the Croatian judiciary conceptualises women’s sexual freedom, gender equality and women’s human rights in the context of rape trials. She was also a visiting scholar at the University of Kent, UK.

    Ivana was awarded Frederick Bonnart Braunthal scholarship for her PhD at UCL from 2004-2007. Her thesis entitled ‘(En)gendering Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights’ analysed, from a feminist perspective, the Court’s jurisprudence on women’s rights. Ivana also holds an LLM from the University of Michigan, a MPhil in criminological research from the University of Cambridge, and an holds LLB from the University of Zagreb.Her previous experiences include working as a lawyer at the European Court of Human Rights and internships at Interights, London, Human Rights Watch, New York and the UN International Law Commission, Geneva.

  • Tara Lai Quinlan

    Honorary Scholar - Law & Diversity, 2001 to 2001

    Dr. Quinlan is a Lecturer in Law and Diversity at The University of Sheffield’s School of Law. Her research focuses on policing, terrorism, security and criminal justice, and often involves comparative research between the United Kingdom and the United States. In 2015 Dr. Quinlan completed her doctoral research examining the development of post-9/11 partnership programmes to counter violent extremism in the UK and US. Prior to taking up a role in academia, she practiced law in New York City. She earned her Doctorate at the London School of Economics and Political Science, her Master of Laws from King’s College London, and her Juris Doctor from Northeastern University School of Law.

  • Piotr Godzisz

    PhD School of Slavonic and East European Studies, UCL, 2013 to 2016

    (The Bonnart Trust UCL Endowed Fund)

    Piotr Godzisz is a hate crime consultant with experience in research, policy and capacity building projects. He co-operates with civil society and international organizations working in the field of tolerance and non-discrimination across Europe. He holds a master’s degree in political science from the University of Warsaw. He has published in the area of hate crime. For his PhD project at University College London, he examines the development of national hate crime policies in Poland.

    Specifically, he is looking to answer the question why hate crime laws in this country cover hate speech and hate crimes based on racism and xenophobia, but leave out homophobic, transphobic or disablist violence. For this reason, he has analysed the arguments used by opponents of the expansion of hate crime laws, evaluated advocacy strategies of civil society groups as well as examined the influence of international bodies on the development of national hate crime measures.

  • Ivan Simić

    PhD in History UCL, 2012 to 2015

    (The Bonnart Trust UCL Endowed Fund)

    Ivan Simić is a PhD student at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London. He has finished his MA studies in Modern Global History at Jacobs University Bremen and Universität Bremen. Before that, he had studied history at Belgrade University in Serbia.His PhD deals with post-war Yugoslav gender policies, under the working title “Soviet Influences on Yugoslav Gender Policies 1945-1955”. It is supervised by prof. Bojan Aleksov and prof. Susan Morrissey. The research looks how gender identities and gender roles were constructed on the level of both abstract models and living practices.

    It investigates how an ideal woman and man were created, and the contrast between how these new gender roles performed in official discourses and state practices and everyday domestic reality. More specifically, this project analyses Yugoslav institutions, their ideology and practices during the initial period of socialism when many gender models were adopted from the Soviet Union: What it meant to be a socialist man or a woman; how knowledge and practices of difference were provided, legitimated and disseminated; how the institutions have incorporated gender into their assumptions and organizations; how and why sexual minorities were rendered invisible in the official media and ideology and what were the consequences of those practices.

  • Oliwia Berdak

    Interdisciplinary PhD UCL, 2008 to 2011

    (The Bonnart Trust UCL Endowed Fund)

    Oliwia is working as a Research Fellow on the University of Edinburgh project called the Europeanisation of Citizenship in the Successor States of the Former Yugoslavia (CITSEE). She is part of the gender cluster, exploring notions of male citizenship in the former Yugoslavia. Her research investigates how previous conceptions of male citizenship (the right to work and the duty to serve – through conscription) informed expectations of men during the Yugoslav Wars of Succession (1991-1995), and how they continue to position men vis-à-vis the state today.

    Oliwia obtained her PhD from University College London in November 2012. Her doctoral research, entitled ‘I Exist, I Belong, I Contribute: The Self and the Collective in Croatian National Discourse’, examined individual participation in nationalism and the re-making of the state in Croatia since 1990. Oliwia has taught on a range of courses, including Politics and Society in Central and Eastern Europe and Nations, Identity and Power in Central and Eastern Europe, receiving in 2012 the UCL Provost’s Teaching Award. Her research interests include notions of citizenship and belonging, gender, political subjectivities and European politics (including post-socialist Europe).

  • Beata Świtek

    PhD in Anthropology UCL, 2007 to 2010

    (The Bonnart Trust UCL Endowed Fund)

  • Manmeet Bhamra

    PhD in Law UCL, 2004 to 2005

    (The Bonnart Trust UCL Endowed Fund)

  • Aminur Rahman

    PhD in Economics UCL, 2003 to 2004

    (The Bonnart Trust UCL Endowed Fund)

  • Karen Levy

    PhD in Planning Studies UCL, 2002 to 2003

    (The Bonnart Trust UCL Endowed Fund)

    Karen Levy is the Director of Global Innovation at EvidenceAction. In this role, she leads the organization’s innovation strategy andoversees “Evidence Action Beta”, the department responsible for testing andbuilding a viable path to scale for promising evidence-based interventions.

    Previously, Karen served as the Regional Director of Deworm the World,providing technical and strategic support to senior government officials forthe design, implementation, and monitoring of scaled school-based dewormingprograms. Kenya’s National School-Based Deworming Program, which Karen buil tfrom a randomized controlled evaluation to a national program, now reaches over6 million children annually. Karen established Innovations for Poverty Action’scountry office in Kenya and served as Country Director from 2006-2010.

    In 1995, Karen co-founded the Tawasal Institute for community development on Kenya’scoast, and was awarded the Echoing Green Fellowship for her leadership as asocial entrepreneur. She received her PhD from the University of Londonand has lived in Kenya for over 20 years.

  • Francesca Fabbri

    PhD in Economics UCL, 2001 to 2002

    Francesca Fabbri is a Trustee of the Bonnart Trust. Please read her bio here.