Aydan Greatrick (2018 Cohort)

Aydan Greatrick


About me: I hold an MSc in Global Migration from UCL and a BA (Hons) in History from the University of Cambridge. My masters thesis focused on the the humanitarian roles played by Turkish LGBTQ+ organisations who offer support to refugees from Syria. I have applied this research through my work with the Centre for Transnational Development and Collaboration, an organisation which specialises in gender, sexual and bodily rights research and advocacy. Prior to starting my PhD, I also worked in the UCL Department of Geography as the Project and Communications Coordinator of the AHRC-ESRC funded Refugee Hosts project, which is exploring local community responses to displacement in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.

My research: My project seeks to improve our understanding of the roles played by queer, LGBTQ+ or ‘non-normative’ communities in contexts of protracted displacement. In order to do this, I will conduct a comparative analysis of the experiences of and responses to queer refugees living in Beirut and Berlin. Focussing on these two sites will allow me to explore the spatial topography of sexual rights advocacy, and its relationship with the wider geopolitical context of displacement from Syria. My analysis will also cover the role communities, newly arrived refugees, states and international humanitarian practitioners play in supporting queer refugees on the one hand, and shaping sexual rights discourses on the other.

The difference my research makes: Overall, my research aims to improve the humanitarian protection environment that confronts non-normative refugees in Europe and the Middle East through empirical research and policy-based advocacy. In so doing, my interdisciplinary project aims to interrogate commonly held assumptions about sexuality in Arabic-speaking contexts versus European contexts, and the role these play in shaping LGBTQ asylum policies, geopolitical discourses of sexual difference, refugee rights, as well as the experiences, performances and identities of displaced queers. Ultimately, by co-producing knowledge with displaced queer communities and organisations in and from the Middle East, this project hopes to centralise the subjectivities of queer refugee experiences into mainstream humanitarian practice. This will also contribute to queer scholarship, migration scholarship, and work on humanitarianism, by providing a pertinent and timely case-study for academic and policy audiences.

Supervisors: Dr Richard Mole and Prof Ann Varley


Pathway: Gender and Sexuality

Location: Centre for Multidisciplinary and Intercultural Inquiry

Email: aydan.greatrick.15@ucl.ac.uk

Twitter: @AydanEG

Academia: https://chicons.academia.edu/AydanGreatrick