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University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies


Ms Julia DoyleEmmanuel College Derek Brewer Scholarship

Supervisor: Dr Lauren Wilcox (University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies)

Navigating Gendered and Racialised Discursive Landscapes as a Refugee Subject: The Genres and Contexts of Syrian Refugee Narratives


My PhD research focuses on storytelling by Syrian refugees, namely involving feminist & postcolonial readings of texts including original oral history interviews, memoirs, first person journalistic accounts and other media. My research is positioned in IR as well as the broader, interdisciplinary fields of refugee/migration studies, narrative studies. The motivation of my research is to explore the production of subjectivity in the context of numerous discourses around refugee identity which often requires negotiation of existing stories about forced migration and tropes around security, difference and the meanings assigned to journeys. I am especially interested in how systems of gender and race are understood and intertextually engaged with in reference to space, security, movement, memory and identity. My oral history data collection is supported by The Welcoming, a migrant and refugee support service in Edinburgh. My dissertation will also focus on the politics of researching refugee subjects and communities, the relationships of power and privilege between the academy and research subjects as well as developing feminist collaborative methodologies which attempt to respond to such analyses of academic practice.


I completed my BA in History and English at Merton College, Oxford in 2014 and graduated from a Research MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics in 2016. Following that I trained as a CELTA qualified English as a Second Language teacher and taught university students in Seville, Spain until returning to the U.K. to begin my PhD. Throughout my studies, in different disciplines and at different institutions, I have focused on narrative, identity, trauma and forced migration, most notably in regard to post-Partition India and Pakistan in both my BA and MSc theses. My PhD research marks a turn to studying these themes in a contemporary context. Alongside my studies, I have written for a recently launched foreign affairs website that aims to promote writing by women on International Relations and foreign policy; my articles have focused on the ‘scripts’ of online diplomacy after disaster and on the silencing of female politicians in their respective houses of representation.

Research Interests:

Memory; trauma; narrative; collective identity; national identity; forced migration; borders; oral history; human security; subjectivity.

Other writing:

‘From Westminster to Washington, an “Old Boys Club” is Silencing Female Politicians’ (28/09/17)

 ‘We’ll Keep You in Our Tweets: Leaders Respond to Tragedy in the Digital Age’ (01/06/17)