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Political geography, bordering, everyday geopolitics, institutional geographies

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Kathryn is a political geographer, whose work explores the processes and practices of bordering contemporary societies and the ways in which these are being disrupted both through collective and mundane actions.

She is a Senior Fellow with the ESRC's UK in a Changing Europe initiative (2022-2025), where she is working on a project entitled ‘Debordering Europe through the 2022 Ukrainian Refugee Crisis: Analysis of Responses in the UK, Poland and Romania’. The project analyses responses to the displacement of people from Ukraine in three countries - Poland, Romania, and the UK - and involves working with policy-makers, third sector organisations, host communities, and refugees from Ukraine in each country.

From 2019 to 2021, Kathryn undertook research, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, which advanced theoretical debates in critical border studies by developing dis/order as a conceptual lens for analysing bordering processes and practices. This conceptual work was underpinned by an empirical study of the institutionalisation of bordering within three different parts of the UK's public sector: health care, higher education and social security.

Her current research builds upon earlier work, which focused on the ways in which borders and the processes and practices through which they are (re)made have moved from the margins into the centre of contemporary social and political life. This research primarily emanated from a collaboration with colleagues from the EUBorderscapes (2012-2016) project, Professor Nira Yuval-Davis and Dr. Georgie Wemyss.  

Kathryn has wider research interests in abolitionism, geopolitics and institutional geographies. Her PhD research in Ukraine and Romania explored the alter-geopolitical lives of those living in borderland communities.

Kathryn completed her undergraduate studies in geography at the University of Nottingham, before moving on to study for an interdisciplinary MA at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, UCL in 1999-2000. After a few years of working in the private sector, she returned to academia in 2005 to complete an MA and PhD at the University of Birmingham, which were funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. 

She taught at the University of Birmingham in the 2006-2007 academic year and whilst carrying out research in Ukraine, she also gave a series of lectures at Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University. She was a research fellow at the University of Babes-Bolyai in Romania from January to July 2009. Prior to joining Northumbria in September 2013, Kathryn worked in the School of Geography at Queen Mary, University of London, initially as a Teaching Fellow and then as a Lecturer in Human Geography. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Social Anthropology, PhD, The Informal Economies of the Ukrainian-Romanian Borderlands, University of Birmingham

… → 29 Jul 2011

Award Date: 29 Jul 2011

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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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