Dr Deirdre Conlon
Deirdre Conlon is a critical migration studies scholar in human geography. Trained at the Graduate Center, CUNY, New York, Conlon’s work examines immigration and detention issues in the US, UK, and Ireland. Her research investigates immigration enforcement and governance and their impacts on migrant experience and everyday life. Current work examines detention and destitution economies, in other words, the minute ways that irregular migrants’ experiences in detention and beyond are shaped by money, markets, commodification, and privatisation. Deirdre is co-editor (with Nancy Hiemstra, Stony Brook, NY) of Intimate Economies of Immigration Detention: Critical Perspectives (2017), published by Routledge. She has published 30+ academic journal articles and book chapters. Public scholarship includes an opinion piece in The Hill, a leading U.S. politics and policy news website, as well as contributions to the UK’s Refugee Weeks events. Conlon is a member of national and international research networks including Carceral Geography, a working group of the Royal Geographical Society with Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG); the Justice, Arts and Migration Network (JAM); and the Detention and Asylum Cluster of the Refugee Research Network, an international network of immigration studies scholars housed in the Center for Refugee Studies, York University, Toronto, CA. Conlon is on the editorial boards of Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space and Incarceration, she is also on the advisory board for the Countermapping Ireland’s Carceral Spaces project.*
Conlon’s work is typically collaborative. With an interdisciplinary background in environmental psychology her interests, teaching, and approach in research not only draw from critical human geography but also from feminist studies, urban studies, anthropology, and sociology Deirdre is interested in supporting PhD projects that engage critical migration studies and carceral geographies.
*The University of Leeds is not responsible for the content of external websites.
Current and Research Research Projects
Detention Economies (2013 – ongoing)
Dr. Deirdre Conlon (Leeds) with Dr. Nancy Hiemstra (Stonybrook, NY) (co-investigators).
This project examines the conditions under which internal economies of exchange develop and operate within migrant detention facilities. The project investigates the social, political and economic implications of demand among detained migrants for material goods such as phone cards, toiletries, and supplemental food items and provision of as well as ‘labour’ opportunities available in exchange for these goods. Initially focused on detention centres in the metro New York/New Jersey area, a larger multi-site project is planned.
- Research Matchmaking: Linking the demand and supply of research with migrants (2013-2014)
Dr. Deirdre Conlon (Leeds), Dr. Nick Gill (Exeter) (co-investigators), ESRC Knowledge Exchange Grant
This project developed the online architecture—specifically, a website and online forum for the exchange of ‘haves’ and ‘needs’ to connect the research needs of those in the migrant support community with the skills and interests of migration researchers. The site will provided resources aimed at facilitating and navigating collaborative and participatory engagement practices.
- Latino/a Engagement in Education Project (2012 –2013)
Deirdre Conlon (Saint Peter’s University, NJ), Professor David Surrey (Saint Peter’s University) (codirectors), William E. Simon Foundation funded
This community-focused project worked with community and religious organisations and local schools in Jersey City, New Jersey to facilitate Latino/a parent’s involvement in their middle and high school-aged student education; tasks included community outreach, development and implementation of workshops, seminars and ESL classes for parents and a mentoring program for Jersey City Latino/a youth.
- Making asylum seekers legible and visible: An analysis of the dilemmas and mitigating strategies of asylum advocacy organisations in the UK and US (2010-2012)
Co-investigator with Dr. Nick Gill (Exeter) and Dr. Imogen Tyler (Lancaster), ESRC Small Grant £99,000 FEC
This cross national US/UK research project charted the challenges and successes of community, non-profit organizations engaged in supporting asylum seekers and migrants held in detention centres. View the final report here.
Conlon D and Hiemstra N. (eds) (2017) Intimate Economies of Immigration Detention: Critical Perspectives Oxford: Routledge. Publisher URL
Moran D, Gill N, and Conlon D (eds.) (2013) Carceral Spaces: Mobility and Agency in Imprisonment and Migrant Detention. Surrey: Ashgate. For a review see Antipode Aug. 2013.
- Social Justice, Cities, Citizenship Research Cluster lead
- School of Geography BA Admissions Tutor
- Ph.D. Environmental Psychology –The Graduate Center, City University of New York
- Graduate Certificate Women’s Studies – The Graduate Center, City University of New York
- American Association of Geographers (AAG)
- Gender and Feminist Research Group of the RGS-IBG
FOEV5002 Skills for Urban Sustainability – MSc (convenor)
GEOG 3290 Geographies of Global Insecurities
GEOG 2005 Citizenship and Identity
GEOG 2470 Sicily: Exploring the Migration Crisis field course
GEOG 1500 Global Geopolitics, Migration and Uneven Development
GEOG 5050M Action Research in Urban Contexts – MA
GEOG 5210M Collaborative Research Placement – MA
GEOG 3055 Geographies of Encounter –
GEOG 3095 Geographies of Migration –
GEOG 5000M Research Frontiers – MA
GEOG 2040 Inside European Cities – Belgrade field course
GEOG 1310 People, Place and Politics – (convenor 2017-’19)
Research groups and institutes
- Social Justice, Cities, Citizenship