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School of Geography

Louise Waite Dr Louise Waite

Contact details

Room Manton 10.131
School of Geography
University of Leeds
University Road
Leeds LS2 9JT   UK

Email:
l.waite

Telephone:
+44 (0) 113 34 33367

Student hours:
Please email for an appointment

Research overview

Louise began her academic career in Development Studies where she studied Gender Analysis of Development. Early interests were around the conceptualisation of vulnerability with a focus on female-headed households in Iraqi-Kurdistan. Louise's research interests then moved to India and a broader consideration of work and well-being amongst vulnerable communities (especially manual labourers), and she began to explore the social theory of 'embodiment' and the usefulness of this concept for deepening our understanding of the physicality of manual labour.

Louise's current research interests span migration, citizenship and belonging in the UK; with a particular focus on discourses of ‘modern slavery’, unfree labour and exploitative work among asylum seekers and refugees, and experiences of trafficking and related anti-trafficking discourses/ initiatives. 

Research interests

  • Migration, transnationalism and diaspora
  • Citizenship and belonging
  • Social identities and living with difference
  • Integration and multiculturalism
  • Unfree/forced labour and exploitative work
  • The concepts of 'precarity' and 'embodiment'
  • The experiences of asylum seekers and refugees
  • Postsecular geographies and faith-based organisations
  • Anti-trafficking initiatives
  • 'Modern slavery' discourse
  • Development geographies

PhD Supervision

I welcome PhD applications in the following areas:

  • Migration, transnationalism and diaspora
  • Citizenship and belonging
  • Social identities and living with difference
  • Integration and multiculturalism
  • The experiences of asylum seekers and refugees
  • Unfree/forced labour and exploitative work
  • Modern slavery
  • Anti-trafficking initiatives
  • The concept of 'precarity' in contemporary lifeworlds
  • Development geographies

Research students

  • Rosa de Giralt – ESRC-CASE studentship, commenced 2007. Research entitled ‘Children and childhood in the new South American communities of the UK’. PhD awarded in 2011
  • Cath Conn – shared PhD student with Nuffield Institute of Health and Development, University of Leeds, commenced 2006. Research entitled ‘Sexual health amongst young women in Uganda’. PhD awarded 2011
  • Kristina Diprose – ESRC 1+3 studentship, commenced Sept 2009. Research entitled ‘Youth Activist Structures, Participation Poverty and 'Global' NGOs’. PhD awarded 2015.
  • Chawa Muverengwi – shared PhD student with Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies, University of Leeds, commenced Sept 09. Research entitled ‘Zimbabwe female led migration: A case for harmonising gender roles, responsibilities and sexualities?’
  • Kate Kipling – ESRC 1+3 studentship, commenced Sept 2010. Research entitled ‘Making British citizens: The role of citizenship ceremonies in integration, social cohesion and belonging
  • Emma Kerry – ESRC 1+3 studentship, commenced Sept 2011. Research entitled ‘Gendered experiences of asylum seekers: An exploration in to the ways gender is (re)constructed and embodied through the lived experience of those in the UK asylum process’
  • Reynhard Sinaga - commenced August 2012. Research entitled 'Cosmopolitanism and Everyday Transnational Queer Citizens'.
  • Iqbal Ahmed– commenced Sept 2014. Research entitled ‘Informal sector urban child workers in Bangladesh:  Their rights to participation and voice’.
  • James Grave – commenced Sept 2014. Research entitled ‘Volunteer Tourism in Uganda: Understanding the experiences of communities hosting volunteer tourism projects’.

Presentations

Conferences

  • Invited speaker, with Hannah Lewis, at Precarious Geographies Workshop, Royal Holloway, February 2015. 

  • Invited speaker, with Gill Valentine, at ESRC Seminar Series Queering ESOL, University of Leeds, November 2014. 

  • Invited speaker at Cardiff University conference entitled ‘Moving people, changing culture: Multi-disciplinary perspectives on population mobility and cultural change’, 4th-5th September 2014.

  • Waite, L and Lewis, H., Co-convenors of session at RGS-IBG entitled ‘Unfreedom through forced labour: ‘modern slavery’ knowledge formation’, London, August 2014. 

  • Waite, L., and Lewis, H., Paper on ‘‘Unchosen’ 2014 forced labour film competition preview’. RGS-IBG Annual Conference, London, August 2014. 

  • Invited speaker at Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation, June 2014.

  • Waite, L. and Lewis, H. Paper at the IRiS International Conference on Superdiversity at the University of Birmingham, paper entitled ‘Hyper-precarity: understanding and tackling labour exploitation?’, June 2014.

  • Invited speaker at Glasgow Geography seminar series. Presentation entitled ‘Conceptualising hyper-precarious migrant lives: from forced labour to unfreedom’, February 2014.

  • Invited speaker at Durham Geography seminar series. Presentation entitled ‘Precarious Lives: refugees and asylum seekers’ experiences of forced/unfree labour’, February 2014. 

  • Waite, L., Lewis, H., Hodkinson, S., Dwyer, P. (2013) Launch of research report on ‘Precarious lives: refugees and asylum seekers’ experiences of forced labour’. Refugee Council / University of Leeds. July, 2013.

  • Waite, L., Dwyer, P. (2013) Invited paper at the Forced Labour Monitoring Group’s workshop entitled ‘Forced Labour: Current Issues and Debates’. London.

  • Waite, L., Lewis, H., Hodkinson, S., Dwyer, P. (2012) Keynote paper at international conference ‘Vulnerable Workers, Forced Labour, Migration & Ethical Trading Conference’. Paper entitled ‘Precarious lives: refugees and asylum seekers’ experiences of forced labour’. University of Leeds.

  • Waite, L. and Valentine, G. (2012) Invited keynote paper on ‘Multiply vulnerable/precarious populations: creating a politics of compassion from the ‘capacity to hurt’ at the RGS-IBG Annual Conference, Edinburgh.

  • Waite, L. and Cook, J. (2012) Paper on ‘The impact of migration on parenting and intergenerational transmission in African families living in the UK’. Intergenerational Geographies: Spaces, Identities, Relationships, Encounters Conference, Leeds.

  • Waite, L. and Lewis, H. (2012) Invited paper on ‘Precarious Lives: ethical issues in researching forced labour among refugees and asylum seekers in England’. Applied Ethics Research Seminar series, University of Leeds.

  • Waite, L. (2012) Paper on ‘Precarious lives: asylum seekers and refugees’ resistance within unfree labouring’ in a session on ‘Migration and Activism: Geographies of Resistance’. AAG Annual Meeting, New York.

  • Waite, L., Lewis, L, & Hodkinson, S. (2012) Invited paper on ‘Unfreedom and forced labour’ at School of Geography seminar series, Leeds.
  • Waite, L. (2012) Invited paper on ‘Agency within unfreedom’ at University of Sussex, Anthropology seminar series.

  • Waite, L. & Lewis, H. (2011) Paper on ‘Unfree Labour’ at session at RGS-IBG conference, London.

  • Waite, L. (2011) Paper on ‘Precarious lives’ for session ‘Between absence and presence: hiding, dissimulation, invisibility and silence’. AAG Annual Meeting, Seattle.

  • Waite, L. (2011) Invited paper on ‘Precarious lives: asylum seekers and refugees’ experiences of forced labour’ at University of Sussex, Centre for Migration Research seminar series.

  • Waite, L. (2011) Paper on ‘Precarious lives: asylum seekers and refugees’ experiences of forced labour’ at an ESRC seminar series based at Keele University on ‘The impact of migrant workers on the functioning of labour markets and industrial relations’.

  • Valentine, G. and Waite, L. (2010) Paper presented at AAG session ‘Geographies of Difference and Co-existence’ entitled ‘Negotiating difference through everyday encounters: The case of sexual orientation and religion and belief’. Washington D.C., April.

  • Waite, L. (2009). Invited presentation at University of Durham conference on Urban Marginality, June.

  • Waite, L., Cook, J. & Dwyer, P. (2009). Invited presentation at University of Newcastle on Post-Accession Migration in Europe, June.

  • Waite, L., Cook, J. & Aigner, P. (2009). Presentation at University of Surrey conference on Diasporas, Migration and Identities: Crossing Boundaries, New Directions. Paper entitled ‘Settlement, belonging and place: Intergenerationality amongst African migrants in the UK, June.

  • Waite, L., Cook, J. & Dwyer, P. (2009). Presentation at RGS-IBG Conference entitled ‘‘There is only a pot so big’: Accession 8 migration and the proactive and defensive engagement of social citizenship’, August.

  • Waite, L. (2009). Paper presentation at the Centre for Development Studies seminar series entitled 'Creating a space for young women’s voices: Using ‘participatory video drama’ in Uganda', Leeds, January.

  • Waite, L. (2008). Paper presentation at WUN seminar series on Geographies of Crisis: Paper entitled ‘Migrants in Crisis? Precarity and Migrant Labourers in the UK. Leeds, December

  • Waite, L. (2008). Paper presentation at RGS-IBG session ‘Migration and Everyday Matters: Sociality and Materiality’ entitled ‘The everyday worlds of Eastern European migrants in Leeds’. London, August.

  • Waite, L. (2008). Paper presented at AAG session ‘The Politics and Practices of Participatory Video in Geographic Research’ entitled ‘Participatory Video: How to see without gazing’? Boston, April.

  • Waite, L. and Conn, C. (2008). Paper presentation at international conference on ‘Connecting People, Participation and Place. Paper entitled ‘Thinking through visual participatory methods’. Durham, January.

  • Waite, L. & Hodkinson, S. (2007) Paper presented at 7th International Conference on Diversity in Organisations, Communities and Nations entitled ‘Forced Migration and Social Exclusion: The Right to Work for Asylum Seekers in the UK', July.

  • Waite, L. and Conn, C. (2007). Paper presentation at a workshop on Methodological Challenges of using Participatory Methods in the Social Sciences entitled ‘Ethics with participatory video’. Leeds, September.

  • Waite, L.  (2007). Participation in 2-day ESRC round table discussion on ‘Migration, Health and Wellbeing: Comparative perspectives from Britain and France’. Durham, September.

  • Waite, L. (2007) ‘Migrant labourers: The new ‘precariat?’ Presentation at Association of American Geographers Annual Conference, ‘Migrant Labour: Geographical Perspectives?’ session, San Francisco, April.

  • Waite, L. (2005) “Nasty, Brutish and Short”? Alternative Readings of Manual Labourers’ Lives in Rural India. Presentation at Association of American Geographers Annual Conference, ‘Borders, Bodies and Biometrics’ session, Denver, April.

  • Waite, L. (2002) 'The embodied work and well-being of seasonal labourers' lives in Maharashtra, India'. Presentation at the British Association of South Asian Studies Conference, University of Lancaster, April.

  • Waite, L. (2001) 'The embodiment of labour: some preliminary thoughts from fieldwork'. Seminar presentation to the Sociology Department, Delhi  University, India, September.

Panels

  • Waite, L. and Lewis, H. (2014) Co-convenors of session at RGS-IBG entitled ‘Unfreedom through forced labour: ‘modern slavery’ knowledge formation’, London, August 2014. 

  • Organised international conference at the University of Leeds on ‘Vulnerable Workers, Forced Labour, Migration & Ethical Trading Conference’. Over 100 delegates attended.

  • Waite, L and Wood, N. (2012) Co-convenors of session at RGS-IBG entitled ‘Geographies of Prejudice and Discrimination in Insecure Times’, Edinburgh.

  • Prieto-Carrón, M. and Waite, L. (2011) Co-convenors of session at RGS-IBG entitled ‘Migrant workers: spaces for organising and resistance’, London, September.
  • Valentine, G. and Waite, L. (2010) Co-convenors of session at AAG entitled ‘Geographies of Difference and Co-existence’, Washington D.C., April.
  • Organised University of Leeds conference (2010) on ‘Journeys and Justice: Forced migration, seeking asylum and human rights’ with partners from LMU, Amnesty and Leeds Asylum Seekers Support Network. January, 2010. In excess of 200 participants, including public Q-time event chaired by Jenni Murray.
  • Waite, L and Phillips, D. (2009) Co-convenors of session at RGS-IBG entitled ‘Migration and Everyday Matters: Sociality and Materiality’, Manchester, August.
  • Waite, L., Cahill, C. and Kindon, S. (2008) Co-convenors of session at AAG entitled ‘The Politics and Practices of Participatory Video in Geographic Research’, Boston, April.
  • National Conference on ‘Good Asylum’ (2008) organised with Leeds Met and Leeds Asylum Seekers Network, Leeds University, November.
  • Waite, L and Phillips, D. (2007) Co-convenors of session at Association of American Geographers Annual Conference, San Francisco, April 2007 entitled ‘Rethinking Social and Spatial Integration, Multiculturalism and Multicultural Citizenship’
  • Co-organiser (2006) of launch conference of Citizenship & Belonging research cluster, conference entitled ‘Citizenship and Belonging in the 21st Century’, University of Leeds, March.
  • Convenor (2006) of session at RGS-IBG Annual International Conference ‘Participatory Approaches to Community Cohesion and Integration Research’. A paper session sponsored by the Participatory Geographies Working Group of the RGS-IBG.
  • Co-Convenor (2004) of a panel at the British Association of South Asian Studies Conference entitled: 'Agency and Exclusion in South Asian Contexts'. April 2004, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK