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School of Geography

Emma  Kerry Emma Kerry

Contact details

School of Geography
University of Leeds
University Road
Leeds LS2 9JT   UK



Project title:

Gendered experiences of asylum seekers: An exploration into the ways gender is (re)constructed and embodied through the lived experience of those in the UK asylum process.

Start date :

January 2013

Project overview

Using a geographical approach, my work aims to address gaps in current research and policy around the gendered experiences of people seeking asylum in the UK.  While the UK government has an obligation to consider gender when processing asylum claims, it makes few allowances for the day-to-day experiences of those seeking asylum. The current guidance is limited in its scope with little to no gender sensitive guidance on how individuals should be supported outside of the interview. Academically there has been growing interest in the lives of people seeking asylum, however, to date there have been few studies which focus on the gendered nature of this experience.

Through focussing on the scale of the body, my research explores the varying lived gendered experiences of people as they move through the asylum process, engaging with participants for a minimum of 6 months. In order to fully explore this topic the research utilizes a range of in-depth qualitative methods, including innovative methods aimed at encouraging individuals to speak about the day-to-day and ‘ordinary’ elements of their lived experiences. This allows the research to investigate the subtle ways gender may affect experiences of the asylum process and how these gendered experiences may vary at different stages of the process.

My project engages with academic and policy debates surrounding gendered experience and identity formation, embodied geographies and citizenship and belonging. It address’s questions around the (un)importance and (re)construction of gender as people move through the asylum process and considers what role the intersectionality between gender and other aspects of identity have on embodied experiences.


 Research affiliations


 White Rose ESRC 1+3 Studentship      

Research publications

  1. N. Hurrell, E. Kerry and H. Parsons (2011) “ By Day, but Not By Night”: Counter-Mapping Plattfields Park . The Bulletin of the Society of Cartographers 44 (1-2) 


  1. E. Kerry, N. Hurrell and H. Parsons (September 2010) Embodied mapping of Platt Fields. Paper To the National Cartographic Society

Qualifications to date

BA (hons) Geography (University of Manchester) 2007-2010

MA in Social and Cultural Geography (University of Leeds) 2011-2012