Key Research Interests and Expertise

My research interests include popular music and social activism, politics and popular culture, the creative arts and community action, collective memory and identity, culture and disaster risk reduction, music and social movements, heritage studies, and the contributions of Gypsy/Roma/Traveller groups to the societies they live in. 

My book Hugo Chávez and Alí Primera in Venezuela: The Politics of Music in Latin America (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) analyses the use of popular music in the construction of political discourses in Venezuela during the Chávez period. 

Research groups

Cultural Politics, Communications and Media Research Group

Migration Research Network

After Shock Research Network

Research grants and awards 

The Art of Disaster Risk Reduction: an arts-based approach to strengthening community and institutional capacity in Colombia (Principal investigator, 2019-2020).

This project explores innovative ways to engage with at-risk communities in Colombia, and will deepen and extend impacts achieved via Moving with Risk: forced displacement and vulnerability to hazards in Colombia (funded under the GCRF ESRC/AHRC Forced Displacement call 2016, PI Prof Roger Few [DEV]).

Soacha, Pereira and Manizales, with populations of approximately 4 million, 500,000 and 400,000 respectively, are Colombian municipalities in which 30-60% of land is prone to hydrometeorological hazards. The primary aim of The Art of Disaster Risk Reduction is to strengthen the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) capacities of marginalised communities living in these disaster-prone areas. Through music, theatre and art, community members will co-create and share knowledge about DRR, public policy, their legal rights and responsibilities, and the services available to them via institutions and government organisations.

The project brings together academics from the University of East Anglia (DEV and PPL) and Universidad de Manizales (Department of Social Psychology for Disaster Risk Management), as well as researchers from Human Rights organisation Dejusticia, representatives of the Colombian Red Cross and DRR sections of local municipalities in Colombia.

Recovery with Dignity (Co-investigator, 2018-2020)

This 2-year project, funded under the British Academy’s GCRF Sustainable Development Programme, generates applied knowledge on experiences of recovery in post-disaster settings within India using historical research and creative, participatory methodologies drawn from the humanities and social sciences. The hypothesis of the research is that recovery processes that recognise and respect the dignity of socially-differentiated populations will result in more sustainable responses, minimising ongoing trauma.

Moving with Risk (Co-investigator, 2016-2018)

This ESRC-funded project focuses on a critical but under-researched theme in studies of forced displacement: the processes through which people forced from their homes by conflict can commonly become exposed to heightened risk from environmental hazards in the places where they resettle. Effectively, such people exchange one form of catastrophic risk for another, often with little real choice in the process. The collaborative project pioneers an innovative methodology using the expressive arts in Colombia, where five decades of conflict have generated what is currently the world's largest population of internally displaced people. 


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