Dr Melanie Griffiths BA (Oxon), MA, DPhil

Dr Melanie Griffiths

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Birmingham Fellow

Contact details

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Griffiths is a social scientist, working on mobility and immigration enforcement in the UK. She has been a Birmingham Fellow at the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences since February 2018, after completing an ESRC Future Research Leaders grant at the University of Bristol.


PhD (DPhil)


Dr Griffiths has been a Birmingham Fellow since February 2018. Based at the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, she is leading research on new developments in immigration enforcement. Between 2014-17, she was PI of an ESRC Future Research Leaders grant at the University of Bristol, working on the family lives and Article 8 rights of 'mixed-immigration status' families and men at risk of deportation.

In 2013, Dr Griffiths was an Associate Research Fellow at the University of Exeter, working with Dr Nick Gill on an ESRC-funded project looking at asylum appeals. Her DPhil research was conducted at the University of Oxford, on the British asylum system, with a particular focus on refused asylum seekers and immigration detainees. It considered the role and negotiation of identification requirements in the asylum system. Dr Griffiths also writes on time, uncertainty, masculinity and bureaucratic relations in the migration field.


Research interests:

Migration broadly (including irregular, undocumented, family, asylum, EEA), immigration enforcement and incarceration, ‘foreign criminals’ discourse, time, men and masculinity, family life and Article 8 rights, belonging and citizenship, bureaucracies, law and the judiciary, identity and identification. 

Research identifier:

ORCID: 0000-0002-3331-2196, https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3331-2196

Other activities

  • Chair of trustees: Open Door (NGO in Oxford), 2011-
  • Member of the management committee (a trustee): Asylum Welcome (NGO in Oxford), 2011-
  • Member of the Detention Forum (London-based NGO), 2011-


Journal publications

2017 - Griffiths, M. Foreign, Criminal: a doubly damned modern British folk-devil. Citizenship Studies, v.21(5), pp.527-546 (open access).

2017 - Griffiths, M. Seeking asylum and the politics of family. Families, Relationships and Societies.

2016 - Gill, N., Burridge, A., Griffiths, M., Allsopp, J. Linguistic incomprehension in British asylum appeal hearings. Anthropology Today, v.32, pp.18-21.

2015 - Griffiths, M. ‘Here, man is nothing!’ Gender and Policy in an Asylum Context. Men and Masculinities, v.18(4), pp.468-488.

2015 - Gill, N., Rotter, R., Burridge, A., Griffiths, M., Allsopp, J. Inconsistency in asylum appeal adjudication. Forced Migration Review, v.50.

2014 - Griffiths, M. Out of Time: the Temporal Uncertainties of Refused Asylum Seekers and Immigration Detainees. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, v.40(12), pp.1991-2009.

2013 - Griffiths, M. Living with Uncertainty: Indefinite Immigration Detention, Journal of Legal Anthropology, v.1(3), pp.263-286.

2012 - Griffiths, M. Anonymous Aliens: Questions of Identification in the Detention and Deportation of Failed Asylum Seekers, Population, Space and Place, v.18(6), pp.715-727.

2012 - Griffiths, M. ‘Vile liars and truth distorters’: Truth, trust and the asylum system, Anthropology Today, v.28(4), pp.8-12          

Book Chapters and Working Papers

2017 - Griffiths, M. The changing politics of time in the UK’s immigration system. In Timespace and International Migration, eds. E. Mavroudi, A. Christou & B. Page. Camberley: Edward Elgar.

2015 - Griffiths, M. The Convergence of the Criminal and the Foreigner in the Production of Citizenship. Citizenship and its Others, eds B.Anderson and V.Hughes. Basingstoke: Plagrave Macmillan.

2015 - Griffiths, M. ‘A Proud Tradition’? Immigration detention in the United Kingdom. In Immigration Detention: The migration of a policy and its human impact, eds. A.Nethery & S.Silverman. London: Routledge.

2015 - Griffiths, M. Identity, in Oxford Bibliographies in Anthropology, ed J. Jackson. New York: Oxford University Press.

2014 - Griffiths, M. Men and the Emotional World of Immigration Detention. Migration: The COMPAS Anthology. Available: http://compasanthology.co.uk/men-emotional-world-immigration-detention/

2013 - Griffiths, M., A. Rogers & B. Anderson (2013). Migration, Time and Temporalities: Review and Prospect. COMPAS Research Resources Paper. Oxford: COMPAS

2013 - Griffiths, M. ‘Establishing Your True Identity’: The Negotiation of Discourses of Identification by Detained Asylum Seekers in Oxfordshire, in ‘People, Papers, Practices: Identification and Registration Practices in Transnational Perspective’ eds I. About, J. Brown, and G. Lonergan (Palgrave Macmillan).

2013 - Griffiths, M. Frenzied, Decelerating and Suspended: the Temporal Uncertainties of Failed Asylum Seekers and Immigration Detainees, COMPAS Working Paper, WP-13-105.

2011 - Griffiths, M. Identity across the Generations: a Familial Perspective, in Life and Philosophy: Essays to honour Alan Montefiore, eds C.Audard-Montefiore, N.Bunnin, P.Flather, M.Fraser and S.Lewis. Oxford: FEP Publishers.

2005 - Jackson, A. & M. Griffiths. ‘Culture and Participation’ chapter & themes.Our Common Interest: Commission for Africa report. Available: http://www.commissionforafrica.info/2005-report

Book Reviews

2016 - Griffiths, M. Book review: Bosworth, M. (2014). Inside Immigration Detention: foreigners in a carceral age, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Journal of Refugee Studies, 29(3), 425-427.

2015 - Griffiths, M. Book review: Moran, D., N. Gill & D. Conlon (eds.) (2013). Carceral Spaces: Mobility and Agency in Imprisonment and Migrant Detention, Farnham: Ashgate. Cultural Geographies, 22(3), 552.