Uma Kothari

Prof

If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile

Teaching

Postgraduate Teaching

 

Development theory and history, social policy and social change, migration and diasporas, representations of development, colonialism and postcolonialism

 

Other research

I am currently involved in the following research and writing projects:

Environmental change and everyday life.  This involves two funded projects(ESRC/DfID; Australian Research Council). The everyday is central to understanding how environmental change occurs and its daily impacts on people’s lives. This project uses innovative visual methods in small islands in the Maldives to explore people’s changing everyday routines and activities in the context of environmental change. 

Research on popular representations of humanitarianism and solidarity focuses on how visual images and textual representations of refugees are produced, circulated and interpreted. It examines how they are used to disseminate ideas that vilify migrants as well as instil humanitarian ideas of care for distant strangers.

On-going research examines the cultural geography of seafarers. This project explores the social geography of maritime life, focusing on changing encounters between ships, seafarers and shores and the changing cultures, experiences and geographies of seafaring. Sea mobilities have always connected people, places and things and the volume of goods conveyed by sea is ever-increasing. However, the maritime transportation of goods is rapidly changing with increasing ship-size, mechanisation and containerisation. Subsequently geographies of seafaring are also transforming and producing new kinds of connectivities.

Arts-based Community Education in Fragile Contexts. This project develops a new research network of academics and practitioners from Kenya, India and South Africa focusing on arts-based education. It explores non-formal education in culture and the arts in communities living in fragile situations with a focus on digital arts, performing arts, visual arts, heritage conservation, and cultural sustainability.  

 

Biography

Current positions:

  • Professor, Migration and Postcolonial Studies, Global Development Institute, University of Manchester, UK
  • Vice- Chancellor’s Fellow, School of Geography, University of Melbourne, Australia (2017 – 2019)

Educational background:

1985 - 1990 PhD Geography/Sociology, University of Edinburgh (ESRC Scholarship)
1982 - 84 MA Geography/History, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
1981 - 82 BA (Hons.) Geography, Middlesex University, London
1979 - 81 Dip HE Geography, Westminster College, Oxford

Membership of committees and professional bodies

  • European Association of Development Institutes
  • UK Development Studies Association (elected council member)
  • Royal Geographical Society/ Institute of British Geographers (fellow and member)

Research interests

My research focuses on four inter-related areas:

Critical analyses of histories, discourses and representations of international development and humanitariansim

Transnational migration, refugees and diasporas

Environmental change and everyday life

Postcolonial studies

Activities and esteem

Esteem indicators and advisory work

  • Vice President of European Association of Development Institutes
  • Advisory Board for Norwegian Research Council
  • Advisory Board, In Place of War
  • 2018: REF panel for Development Studies
  • ESRC peer review college
  • Elected Council Member, Development Studies Association
  • 2014 Elected council member of the UK Development Studies Association
  • 2013  Conferred Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences
  • Former External Research Assessor, School of Global Studies, Sussex University

Book series editor and editorial board member

  • 2015 - present: Co-editor, Frontiers of Development book series, Oxford University Press
  • 2015 - present: Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development, Editorial board
  • 2014 - 2016: Editorial advisory board member, Manchester University Press
  • 2012 - 2017 Third World Quarterly, Editorial board
  • 2007 -present: Journal Fur Entwicklungspolitik (Austrian Journal of Development Research), Editorial board 

Organisation of conferences and research seminars

  • 2018 New Geographies of Global Inequalities and Social Justice, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • 2017 From International to Global Development, Global Development Institute, University of Manchester
  • 2017 Time, temporality and environmental change, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • 2016 Critiquing development research, DSA panel, Oxford University
  • 2016 Visual solidarity and popular representations of development, DSA panel, Oxford University
  • 2016 Visual Solidarity conference, University of Manchester
  • 2016 Understanding categorisations of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, University of Manchester
  • 2015 International Development Volunteering, National University of Singapore
  • 2014 The Impact of Budget Cuts on BME Populations Workshop, University of Manchester
  • 2014 Emerging spaces of cosmopolitanism in development panel, RGS/IBG annual conference, London
  • 2014 Geographies of colonial & postcolonial exile panel, RGS/IBG annual conference, London
  • 2014 Theorising Resistance in Development Workshop, University of Manchester

Invited conference keynote and plenary

  • 2018 Understanding Global Inequalities, New Geographies of Global Inequalities and Social Justice, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • 2017 Decolonising Research Ethics, Critical Development Studies Network conference, Melbourne
  • 2017 Global Universities Engagement Summit, University of Melbourne
  • 2017 Global Solidarity, Everyday Humanitarianism and Refugees: Challenging the boundaries of Development, EADI General Conference 2017: Globalisation at the Crossroads, Bergen, Sweden
  • 2016 ‘Is the Water safer than the Land’, DevNet, University of Wellington, New Zealand
  • 2016 The power of a warm welcome: Public representations of refugees and the forging of everyday humanitarianism, Deans lecture, University of Melbourne. Australia
  • 2016 The Aid Effect, NORGLOBAL, Oslo, Norway
  • 2016 Rethinking Migration and Mobility, The Changing Face of Global Mobility: Celebrating 10 years of the International Migration Institute, Oxford University
  • 2015 Time, Temporality and Volunteers, International Development Volunteering conference, National University of Singapore
  • 2015 Contesting colonial rule: mobility, confinement and the politics of exile, Harvard 
  • University Weatherhead Initiative on Global History conference A History of Penal Regimes in 
  • Global Perspective, 1800-2014, Harvard, US
  • 2014 The future of development, Roskilde University, Denmark
  • 2014 Representations of development and the construction of a common humanity, Centre for Critical Development Studies, University of Toronto
  • 2014 Co-production of Knowledge, Presidents Plenary, RGS/IBG annual conference, London

Invited seminar/conference presentations

  • 2018 Human Geography Seminar Series, Monash University, Melbourne
  • 2018 Geography Seminar Series, Kings College, London
  • 2017 From International to Global Development conference, University of Manchester
  • 2017 Encountering Europe Otherwise, Migration and Mobilities Research network, RMIT, Melbourne, Australia
  • 2017 Colonial Imaginaries and postcolonial development: representations of travel and tourism, Massey University, New Zealand
  • 2017 Visualising Solidarity: Forging everyday humanitarianism through public representations of development, Department of Anthropology and Development Studies, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • 2017 Popular representations of development, Postcolonial Studies Institute, Melbourne
  • 2017 Encountering Europe Otherwise: on the road with postcolonial travellers, School of Geography seminar series, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • 2017 Visualising Solidarity: Forging everyday humanitarianism through public representations of development, School of Environmental and Life Sciences seminar series, University of Newcastle, Australia
  • 2016 ‘Is the Water safer than the Land’, Devnet conference, University of Wellington, New Zealand
  • 2016 Visual Solidarity and Refugees, Humanitarian and Development Studies seminar series, University of Western Sydney, Australia
  • 2016 Representing Development, Centre for Human Rights Research, University of Wollongong. Australia
  • 2016 Is the water safer than the land?: representations of Syrian refugees and the politics of a warm welcome, University of Manchester Insights lecture
  • 2016 Representations of Development, Development Studies Seminar Series, SOAS, University of London
  • 2015 Popular representations of development, Birkbeck annual lecture, University of London
  • 2015 Contesting colonial rule: mobility, confinement and the politics of exile, A History of Penal Regimes in Global Perspective: 1800-2014 conference, Harvard University, USA
  • 2014 Development, Participation and the ever-present Tyrannies?, York University
  • 2014 Representations of Development, Open Space, Open University

Other conference and seminar papers presented

  • 2017 Colonial Imaginaries and Tourism Development, Critcal Tourism Conference, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
  • 2017 On the Road with Non-Western travellers, AusMob Conference, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • 2017 Encountering Europe, Intimacies at a Distance, La Trobe University, Australia
  • 2017 Solidarity, everyday humanitarianism and refugees: the shifting borders of global development, Institute of Australian Geographers Conference, Brisbane, Australia
  • 2017 Visualizing Inequalities. Engaging with (critical) visual methods in Geography, Nordic Geographers Meeting, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2017 Global production networks and informal spaces of consumption: Barcelona street traders, Mauritian stallholders and ‘before time’ clothing production, Nordic Geographers Meeting, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2016 Solidarity through Culture Jamming, Imagining Solidarity Conference, University of Manchester
  • 2016 Beyond Internationalism: More-than-national thinking at the twilight of Empire, Annual Association of American Geographers Conference, San Francisco, USA
  • 2016 Transnational networks of resistance: contesting colonial rule and the politics of exile, Resistance and Empire Conference, University of Lisbon
  • 2016 Public representations of Syrian refugees and the forging of everyday humanitarianism, RGS/IBG Conference, London
  • 2016 Visual Solidarity, DSA Annual Conference, University of Oxford
  • 2016 Challenging Development Research, DSA Annual Conference, University of Oxford
  • 2016 The power of a warm welcome: Public representations of Syrian refugees, Everyday Humanitarianism Conference, LSE, University of London
  • 2015 Culture jamming and the politics of representation, NORDEV, University of Gothenburg
  • 2014 Colonial Representations and Island Imaginaries, Race in the Americas (RITA) Group: Across the Indian Ocean conference, University of London
  • 2014 Contesting colonial rule: transnational networks of resistance and the politics of exile
  • Connected Histories of Decolonisation workshop, Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London
  • 2014 Constructing global interconnectedness: the role of new development actors, RGS/IBG 
  • annual conference, London
  • 2014 Promoting business, imperial trade and development: the role of artists in the EMB poster campaign, Sustainability and the Celebrity-Business-Development Nexus Conference, University of Copenhagen
  • 2014 Trade, consumption and development alliances: the Empire Marketing Board poster campaign, ISA, Toronto

 

Other research

Research Grants

  • 2019 - Australian Research Council Discovery Project grant focussing on sea-level rise and everyday lives in small island states. This project aims to advance understanding of the impacts of sea-level rise and associated policy responses on the everyday lives of island communities. Focusing on village relocation in Fiji and fortification and land reclamation in the Maldives, the project will analyse people's changing everyday experiences and practices. The project seeks to enable international and interdisciplinary collaborations, and to produce new knowledge on the opportunities and challenges of diverse policy responses to sea-level rise. The project’s findings will be beneficial for countries facing the threat of sea-level rise, as well as national governments and international agencies that support and fund climate adaptation. ($445,000 AUD)
  • 2019 - In collaboration with HCRI and In Place of War, funding for Arts-based Community Education in Fragile Contexts. The project will focus on the development of a new research network of academics and practitioners from Kenya, India and South Africa focusing on arts-based education. It will explore non-formal education in culture and the arts in communities living in fragile situations with a focus on digital arts, performing arts, visual arts, heritage conservation, and cultural sustainability. (£35k)
  • 2017-2019 Environmental Violence, Economic Development and the Everyday Livelihoods of Islanders, ESRC/DfID Development Frontiers (£260K) (PI)
  • 2015 Imagining Solidarity, Journal of Development Studies conference grant (£4500) (PI)
  • 2014 The Impact of Public Spending Cuts on BME Populations, School Research Stimulation Fund, University of Manchester (£3000) (PI)
  • 2014 Theorising Resistance in Development, IDPM Research grant (£2000) (PI)
  • 2012-15 Cosmopolitan Development, Australian Research Council, AUS$500K (£350k) (partner investigator)
  • 2012 - 15 Perceptions and Understandings of Climate Change and Migration, NORGLOBAL, The Research Council of Norway, NOK4,000,000 (£440k) (co-investigator)

Supervision information

Current PhD supervision

  • 2015 - Maria Rodriguez: Forced Migration and the Capacity to Aspire

  • 2015 - Robert Smith: Theatre for Development

21 successfully completed:

  • 2018 - Edward Ademolu - Rethinking Audiences: Representations of Africa and the Nigeria Diaspora 

  • 2016 - Luis Eduardo Perez Murcia - Losing and Remaking Home: Conflict and displacement in Colombia

  • 2016 - Helen Underhill - Learning and unlearning in struggles for social change: Activism in the continuing Egyptian revolution. 

  • 2016 - Cathy Wilcock - Building Peace from Diaspora: UK Sudanese opposition activists, peacebuilding and hybridity

  • 2013 - Daniel Bendix - Colonial Power in Development: Tracing German Interventions in Population and Reproductive Health in Tanzania

  • 2011 - Robert Ahearne - Understanding Contemporary Development: Tanzanian Life Narratives of Intervention

  • Annapaola Letizia

  • Sarah Mosedale

  • Rory Stanton

Read unembargoed PhD theses

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

Vice- Chancellor’s Fellow, School of Geography, University of Melbourne

20172019

Member, The Research Council of Norway

20152019

Areas of expertise

  • G Geography (General)

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global inequalities
  • Global Development Institute

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics where Uma Kothari is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles

Network

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or