MMB Insights and Sounds

MMB Insights and Sounds is a series of videos recorded on Zoom in which MMB members interview colleagues around the world on areas related to their research. The first series in 2021 was recorded by MMB Director Bridget Anderson in response to the COVID-19 pandemic when it was impossible to meet colleagues in person. It included a special section on ‘De-exceptionalising Displacement.’ The 2022 series of twelve interviews can be seen below.


Exploring evidence-based EAL strategies: what works and why?

Robert Sharples talks to Martin Preston about his recent book, Teaching EAL: Evidence-based Strategies for the Classroom and School (Multilingual Matters, 2021). They discuss three significant contributions the book makes: how language is acquired, how language works within the wider curriculum and how teachers and school leaders can use this knowledge to implement outstanding EAL policies.

Robert Sharples is a Lecturer in Language and Education in the School of Education, University of Bristol. His research focuses on language, education and migration, in particular what happens when globally mobile young people encounter institutions like schools.

What is ‘from-the-below’ migration infrastructure?

Bingyu Wang talks to Juan Zhang about her concept of ‘from-the-below’ migration infrastructure and about knowledge mobilities between the global North and South. She discusses the phenomenon of North-South academic circulation, focusing on the emotions and aspirations of those on the move, and why it’s important to consider more mundane forms of infrastructure such as digital technologies.

Bingyu Wang is Professor in the Department of Sociology of Zhou Enlai School of Government at Nankai University, and the Associate Editor of the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. Her most recent book is ‘New Chinese Migrants in New Zealand: Becoming Cosmopolitan? Roots, Emotions and Everyday Diversity’ (Routledge, 2019).

Identity and language learning: how do ESOL learners integrate in the UK?

Jill Court talks to Martin Preston about her work on language learning, integration and identity. She discusses how migrant learners engage with language learning within the context of wider notions of their integration pathways. Her mixed methods research provides compelling evidence as to how migrants integration trajectories are shaped by wider discourses on English proficiency.

Jill Court is an Associate Teacher at the University of Bristol where she completed her PhD on the interconnection between language learning, integration and identity in the trajectories of adult migrant learners of English. Her research is rooted in her previous career teaching English to adults from migration backgrounds.

How do migrant networks sustain migration infrastructure?

Lan Anh Hoang talks to Juan Zhang about her research on the roles that migrant networks play in sustaining the migration infrastructure for Vietnamese before and during the pandemic, and the implications these might have for post-pandemic migration. She also discusses her ongoing observations on the unfolding conflict perceived and experienced by Vietnamese migrants in Russia.

Lan Anh Hoang is Associate Professor in Development Studies in the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne, Australia. She is the author of Vietnamese Migrants in Russia: Mobility in Times of Uncertainty (2020). Her current project examines brokerage and migrant networks in the Vietnam-Australia migration corridor.

Teaching and learning English: how does language impact teachers’ trajectories?

Frances Giampapa talks to Martin Preston about the findings of her recent research into teachers’ identities and the implementation of bilingual language curriculums in a town in Spain. She looks particularly at how hierarchisation of language impacts on teacher trajectories.

Frances Giampapa is a Senior Lecturer in Education (TESOL/Applied Linguistics) in the School of Education, University of Bristol. Using linguistic ethnography, her research focuses on the migration, language and identities nexus across multilingual contexts. 

How do migrants (re)produce racialised and class hierarchies in Dubai?

Saba A. Le Renard talks to Sarah Kunz about their recent book Western Privilege: Work, Intimacy and Postcolonial Hierarchies in Dubai (Stanford University Press, 2021). They explain how ‘Westerness’ is an integral part of the social order in Dubai and how it matches, but does not fully overlap, with whiteness. They also discuss how the idea of neoliberal multiculturalism helps to make sense of the reproduction of race and inequality in a city that presents itself as a peaceful, cosmopolitan melting pot.

Saba A. Le Renard is a Researcher in Sociology at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Paris.

Why are male refugees not seen as fathers?

Esther Dermott talks to Natasha Carver about her research with Syrian refugees in the UK and Sweden – refugees who are fathers but typically processed as individuals without dependents. She discusses the gendered political narratives in each country’s immigration policies and how this impacts on the men’s ability to integrate and receive settlement support.

Esther Dermott is Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Bristol. She is known for her work on families, parenting, intimacy and poverty, with a specific focus on fathers and fathering.

How to understand the securitisation of mobility post-pandemic?

Biao Xiang talks to Juan Zhang about his ideas around new infrastructural processes at work in migration following COVID-19, the ‘shocks’ experienced by migrants within this infrastructure and the ‘securitisation of mobility’ enforced in some countries during the pandemic.

Biao Xiang is Director of the Department of Anthropology of Economic Experimentation, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle. He is the winner of the 2008 Anthony Leeds Prize for his book Global Bodyshopping and the 2012 William L. Holland Prize for his article ‘Predatory Princes’. His 2000 Chinese book ‘跨越边界的社区’ (published in English as Transcending Boundaries in 2005) was reprinted in 2018 as a contemporary classic.

When do migrants head South and how do they integrate?

Rose Jaji talks to Sarah Kunz about her book Deviant Destinations: Zimbabwe and North to South Migration (Lexington Books, 2019). She explains the origins of the research project and why it focuses on migrants’ motivations for moving. Working with those from the global North living in Zimbabwe she found that their motivations directly challenged normalised categories within migration studies.

Rose Jaji is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology, University of Zimbabwe, and Senior Researcher at the German Institute of Development and Sustainability, Bonn. To read more about Rose’s work on migrants from the global North see her MMB blogpost.

Why does being a lesbian mother make asylum-seeking harder?

Mengia Tschalaer talks to Natasha Carver about her research on the difficulties of being a lesbian asylum-seeking parent, whose circumstances often mean they have to leave their children behind. Their identity as a ‘mother’ is seen by authorities as incompatible with an asylum claim based on being a ‘lesbian’.

Mengia Tschalaer is an Honorary Research Associate at the University of Bristol, Research Fellow at Brunel Law School and Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Political Science, City University of New York. She is a legal and social anthropologist who examines how Westernised conceptions of human rights affect the access to justice of minority groups.

How do colonialism and empire shape migration today?

Ranabir Samaddar talks to Sarah Kunz about his recent book The Postcolonial Age of Migration (Routledge, 2020). He explains how a postcolonial perspective adds to our understanding of migration and how imperial genealogies contribute to border-making practices today. He discusses why the migrant is characterised as ‘the abnormal’, and in what ways migrants and refugees are made both visible and invisible in the economic and political spheres. He also considers how COVID-19 has impacted on his thinking, which led to his latest book, A Pandemic and the Politics of Life (2021).

Ranabir Samaddar is Distinguished Chair in Migration and Forced Migration Studies at the Calcutta Research Group. He has pioneered peace studies programmes in South Asia and worked extensively on issues of justice and rights in the region.

What’s the difference between ‘migrant time’ and ‘citizen time’?

Vicky Canning and Monish Bhatia talk with MMB Director Bridget Anderson about their co-edited volume, Stealing Time: Migration, Temporalities and State Violence (2021). They discuss the ideas that led to the book, their diverse contributors from around the globe and how ‘migrant time’ differs from ‘citizen time’.

Vicky Canning is Associate Professor of Criminology in the School for Policy Studies and Head of the Centre for the Study of Poverty and Social Justice, University of Bristol. Monish Bhatia is a Lecturer in Criminology at the Birkbeck, University of London and coordinator of the Race Matters Network (part of the British Society of Criminology). They are both Associate Directors at the University of Oxford’s Border Criminologies.