IRiS Affiliates

Professor Hugh Adlington

Department of English Literature

Hugh has an interest in diverse readerships of canonical early modern English literature.  Of particular interest to Hugh are the fresh interpretations of well-known texts that such readers produce and how engaging with such texts challenges these readers' existing ways of thinking. 

Telephone: 0121 414 5672

Lorenza Antonucci

Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology

Lorenza's research comprises of intra-European inequalities, in both its causes - reconfiguration of welfare mixes, labour insecurity - and effects - votes for populist parties and anti-populist sentiments. As part of this broad research programme, she has written about the Brexit vote and, most recently, about the relationship between the Brexit vote and intra-European migration. Lorenza's forthcoming research on the gig economy will also be connected to migration and diversity, associated with the ethnic background of gig economy workers. 

Telephone: 0121 415 8486

Dr Peter Auger

Department of English Literature

Peter studies the realationships between  literature and cross-channel mobility in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe. His research contributes to understanding imitation and translation practices, the history of reading, literary reception, women’s writing, comparative and transnational literature, literary multilingualism, cultural diplomacy and language learning.

Dr Tendayi Bloom

Lecturer in Politics and International Studies 

Tendayi Bloom is a political and legal theorist who works on questions of noncitizenship and migration governance. She is author of Noncitizenism: Recognising Noncitizen Capabilities in a World of Citizens (Routledge, 2018) and co-editor of Understanding Statelessness (with K Tonkiss and P Cole, Routledge, 2017). She is currently focusing on work relating to global migration governance and to statelessness. 

Telephone: 0121 414 4246

Dr Amy Burge

Lecturer in Popular Fiction, School of English, Drama and Creative Studies 

Amy has published research on contemporary women’s historical fiction, sexualisation and women’s advice literature, medieval and modern literary representations of virginity, and a study of religion, gender, and race in late medieval and twenty-first-century popular Orientalist romance fiction. Her current research interest is in cultural masculinities and she is working, at present, on a literary history of the romantic alpha hero and race.  Amy is interested in the intersection of nation, gender, and race in popular fiction and is also working on a networking project exploring Arab and Muslim women’s genre fiction.

Twitter: @dramyburge

Professor Michalis Drouvelis

Department of Economics

Michalis’ work researches issues of human cooperation using experimental methods. He is interested in deepening understanding about how social norms are established and enforced in vulnerable populations such as refugees.

Telephone: 0121 414 6040

Professor Emma Frew

Health Economics, Institute of Applied Health Research

Emma’s interest in diversity stems from her work tackling childhood obesity within and beyond Birmingham City.   Birmingham is a super diverse City and understanding how to design and evaluate effective obesity policy within and across diverse communities is critical. 

Telephone: 0121 414 3199

Dr Ruth Gilligan

Novelist and Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing

As a writer, Ruth is interested in the potential – and potential limitations – of fiction to transcend cultural boundaries and offer empathic insights into diverse communities. This is reflected in her novels, but also in her ongoing work with the global not-for-profit ‘Narrative 4’, which believes in the power of personal stories to foster ‘radical empathy’. Since 2014, Ruth has been running Narrative 4 ‘story exchange’ projects between youths from diverse backgrounds across the UK and Ireland, in an effort to shatter stereotypes and create connections.

Telephone: 0121 414 3596

Dr Melanie Griffiths

Birmingham Fellow, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (GEES)

Dr Melanie Griffiths is an anthropologist by training, working on migrants and migration management in the UK. Her research expertise includes immigration enforcement matters, including immigration detention, criminalisation and deportation, and how these relate to questions of ethnicity, gender, class and immigration status. She also writes on time, men and masculinity, the judicial system and bureaucratic relations in the migration field. She works with a variety of migrant groups, particularly irregular and illegalised migrants, deportees and asylum seekers, as well as their British family members, offering insights into how immigration enforcement affects wider society. Melanie was awarded a prestigious Birmingham Fellowship in February 2018. She is currently leading research examining new developments in immigration enforcement evolving under Brexit. In 2014-17 she headed a Future Research Leaders project at the University of Bristol investigating the family lives and private life rights of 'mixed-immigration status' families, focusing on deportable migrant men and their British/European partners and children.  


Dr Vanessa Heggie

Social Studies in Medicine/Institute of Applied Health Research

Vanessa is a historian of modern science and medicine. She has been given a British Academy and Leverhulme small grant to start research on a new project on the history of the physiological study of racial difference in the twentieth century, particularly focusing on adaptations to non-temperate climates, and how racial physiology informed theories of human evolution.  

Telephone: 0121 415 8184

Dr Benjamin Hopkins

Birmingham Business School

Benjamin is a Senior Lecturer in the Birmingham Business School with expertise in work and employment issues.  He has published widely on the workplace experiences of central and eastern European migrants in the United Kingdom, with a particular concentration on the food manufacturing sector.  He is currently researching the impact of the Brexit process on these workers, on individual businesses, and for the sector more widely.

Telephone: 0121 414 6040

Dr Özlem Ögtem-Young

CHASM, Department of Social Policy

Özlem Ögtem-Young is a Research Fellow and Research Theme Lead (Poverty, Precarity, Savings and Debt) for the Centre on Household Assets and Savings Management (CHASM) within the Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology, developing and undertaking research into issues of poverty, precarity and financial insecurity amongst socially and economically marginalised and migrant groups. Her research expertise and interests centre on the politics of migration, conceptualisation and ethics of belonging, inequality and exclusion in the context of forced migration. Her PhD focused on the nexus of (unaccompanied) youth migration, belonging and immigration/asylum policy. She is passionate about social theory and critical, innovative methodologies and collaborative interdisciplinary approaches to research. Before joining CHASM she held a teaching position within the Sociology Department and worked as a researcher for a number of years within the School of Social Policy, School of Education and Birmingham Law School at the University of Birmingham.

Twitter: @OzlemYoung

Dr Clara Rübner Jørgensen

Social Anthopologist, Department for Disability Inclusion and Special Needs, School of Education 

Clara's main research interests centre around children and young people's experiences of migration, education and friendships, and she has previously done research in both the UK and Spain on this topic. Her current research focuses on the intersections between migration and special education needs, and how these impact on children and young people's educational experiences, social wellbeing and access to support. 

Telephone: 0121 415 8170

Dr Anna Papoutsi


Anna is an interdisciplinary researcher working at the intersection of Social Policy, Urban and Border studies with a particular focus on the production and contestation of borders through everyday practices and urban encounters. She is a co-author of New Borders: Hotspots and the European Migration Regime (Pluto Press) and Undocumented Migration: Borders, Immigration Enforcement, and Belonging (Polity Press).


Dr Maria Roca Lizarazu

Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, Department of Modern Languages

Maria has a long-standing interest in German Jewish culture, literature and memory.  She has worked on questions of (anti-)assimilation, community and togetherness in the German Jewish context.  Maria is exploring practices of world- and future-making in the space of contemporary literatures and the Arts more broadly.


Dr Ingrid Storm

Sociologist, Department for Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology 

Ingrid is a sociologist with an interest in religious, national and ethnic identities and attitudes to immigration and ethnic minorities. She mostly analyses quantitative survey data but is interested in other methods including experiments and qualitative interviews. Ingrid has previously researched the relationship between economic insecurity and religiosity, and the relationship between religiosity and attitudes to immigration in Europe. She is currently working on a H2020 project (Dialogie about Radicalisation and Equality), where she is examining the relationship between inequality and anti-Muslim attitudes among young people in large-scale cross-national datasets.