My early research concerned the labour migration of Portuguese temporary workers to the UK, as well as their immigration to Canada. I was interested in the impact of migration and immigration policies on household gender relations; livelihoods, remittances and nationalism. Still in pursuit of some questions related to this early research, I collaborated with  Professors Valerie Preston and Mary Romero on When Care Work Goes Global: Locating the Social Relations of Domestic Work (Ashgate, August 2014)

My interest in nationalism and gender relations linked to a increasing concern with forced migration led to the development of the Women in Conflict Zones Network (WICZNET) which I co-founded at York University with Professor Maja Korac (now at the University of East London) in the early 1990s. One of a number of WICZNET outcomes was a co-edited book entitled Feminists Under Fire: Exchanges Across War Zones (Between the Lines, 2003) and another that Professor Jennifer Hyndman and I published called Sites of Violence: Gender and Conflict Zones (University of California Press, 2004).

While working on the gender relations of war, I began to question why so many people, especially in the global South are experiencing decades of long term exile. Research on this topic with Professor Jennifer Hyndman led to our recent co-authored book, Refugees in Extended Exile: Living on the Edge (Routledge 2017),  that takes a critical perspective on long-term displacement.

With support from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD),  York University and the Centre for Refugee Studies, we have established the Borderless Higher Education for Refugees (BHER) project in the Dadaab refugee camps in north-eastern Kenya. It began in August 2013 and brings on-line and on-site university degrees, diplomas and certificates to students in the Dadaab refugee camps.  I am currently working on a co-edited book with Jackie Bhabha and Faraaz Mahomed tentatively entitled A Better Future: The Role of Higher Education for Displaced and Marginalized People (2020).

Research Funding - Last Ten Years



Co-Lead with Don Dippo: “Building primary/secondary teaching capabilities in the Dadaab refugee camps and locally in Dadaab, Kenya by increasing access to higher education”. C$4.7M funding for 6 year project. Global Affairs Canada (GAC). Contract Signed February 7, 2013.

Co-Lead with Don Dippo: "Supporting Provision of University Degrees to Refugees and Local Populations in Dadaab, Kenya", US$200,000 for the period November 2016-April 2018. Open Society Foundations.

2011 Principal Investigator, MasterCard Foundation Grant. “Reaching Higher: the Provision of Higher Education for Long-Term Refugees in the Dadaab Camps, Kenya. C$ 249,642. Date of Award: July 12, 2011.
2011 Principal Investigator. SSHRC-Partnership Development Grant." The Provision of Higher Education for Long-Term Refugees in the Dadaab Camps, Kenya". 2011-13. C$200,000.Date of Award, April 1, 2011.
2011 Principal Investigator. York University Academic Initiative Fund. Intercultural learning through virtual and on-site exchanges between York University students, refugee students on the Thai Burma border and displaced migrant students in Ranong, Thailand. C$ 60,576.
2010 Principal Investigator. Workshop on Borderless Education: The Provision of Tertiary Degree Programs to Long-term Refugees; April 9-11, 2010, York University. SSHRC Workshop Grant: CAN$ 21,440; IDRC grant: CAN$ 8,050; UNHCR grant: US$ 5,000; LAPS Ad Hoc Grant: CAN$ 500; LAPS Dean’s Office: CAN$ 500.
2008-14 Senior Co-investigator. SSHRC Cluster Grant: A Canadian Refugee Research Network: Globalizing Knowledge. C$2.1million
2008 Principal Investigator. SSHRC Conference Grant for June 15-18, 2008. Conference: “Refugees and the Insecure Nation: Managing Forced Migration in Canada”. C$20,000
2007 Principal investigator. Open Society Institute (Budapest) for Women in Conflict Zones Conference: Revisioning and Reimagining the Future. May 15th– 18th. Inter-University Centre, Dubrovnik, Croatia. C$21,844
2007 Principal Investigator. Research Study: Disarmament, demobilization and reintegration , women and transitional justice. Grant Awarded by: International Centre for Transitional Justice. Grant Amount: US$2,000
2005-08 Principal Investigator. SSHRC Standard Grant for project: The Globalization of Homelessness in Long-Term Refugee Camps. C$163,327