ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow
Dr Regina Serpa
University of Stirling
‘Choice, constraint and conditional citizenship: Analysing migrant homelessness within ‘crimmigration’ systems’ is a collaborative study with University of Stirling and the University of Leiden (Netherlands) examining the major challenges facing migrant groups and the implications of deep social exclusion for policy and practice. The research involved a collaboration with a leading Foucauldian scholar (Dr Kim McKee from the University of Stirling) and an international expert in socio-legal studies (Prof. Maartje van der Woude from Leiden Law School).
A main objective of the 12-month ESRC postdoc (2020/2021) was to maximise research impact of my doctoral research on the growing challenges of migrant homelessness. My thesis used a comparative approach to analyse the housing strategies of homeless migrants in Scotland and Massachusetts (based on 70 in-depth interviews) – exploring the intersections between migration and housing need in North America and Europe. During the fellowship I focussed on publishing academic work, foregrounding the personal accounts of the causes and consequences of migrant homelessness. I planned to publish several journal articles, aimed at diverse academic audiences, in order to contribute detailed knowledge of how socially excluded groups negotiate a complex ‘system of systems’, involving the intersection of housing, welfare and immigration policies.
Fellowship accomplishments / highlights:
In my workplan I had planned to submit a book proposal and 4 journal articles over the course of the 12-month postdoctoral fellowship. Publications include:
Serpa, R. (2023) Migrant Homelessness and Crimmigration Control. Routledge, London.
McCall V, Gibson G, Rolfe S, Serpa R & Lawrence J (2022) Promoting Inclusive living via Technology- Enabled support [INVITE Lay Summary]. Longleigh Foundation. Stirling.
Serpa, R. (2022) ‘Crisis, crimmigration and necropolitical exception: Understanding bordering practices in housing and welfare policy’. Journal of Criminology [in Dutch –‘Huisvestings en welzijnsondersteuning in de crimmigratiepraktijk: Surveillance, uitputting en uitsluiting van binnenuit’. Tijdschrift voor Criminologie].
Serpa, R. (2022) ‘Providing an authentic voice? Understanding migrant homelessness through critical poetic inquiry’, Social Sciences, Vol. 11(1), pp. 6-21.
Serpa, R. and Saunders, E. (2022) ‘Towards and effective Right to Housing in Scotland’, in Gall, G. (ed.) Creating a Fairer Scotland. Pluto Books, London.
Serpa, R. (2021) ‘The exceptional becomes everyday: Border control, attrition and exclusion from within’. Social Sciences. Vol. 10(9) pp. 329-342.
Serpa, R. (2021) ‘How can SNP and the Greens end the housing crisis in Scotland?’ Scottish Left Review, Issue 123 May/June 2021, pp.18.
Additionally, the post-doc also enabled me to pursue research funding:
· Successful application to participate in the British Academy’s virtual sandpit event on ‘Understanding Communities’ in October 2021, resulting in two research funding bids in collaboration with Nottingham Trent University and London South Bank University (both to be submitted by the end of November 2021).
· Awarded editorial support from the Bassi Foundation for the manuscript for Routledge’s Explorations in Housing Studies series.
· Submitted proposals for an international, interdisciplinary conference on crimmigration in June 2022 with the British Academy, as well as research bids for Leverhulme’s Early Career Fellowship and ESRC’s New Investigator’s Grant – which were unsuccessful for the 2021 rounds of funding).
Advice for future fellows:
My number one advice for fellows is to stay motivated – the ESRC post-doc is an intense one year period, involving a range of activities such as data collection, writing, grant and proposal writing, presenting, teaching, mentoring and training. Everything you hope to achieve in the post-doc is unlikely to materialise in this 12 month period – and that is totally OK! I am now two years out from completing my postdoc and I am still benefitting from the hard effort I put in back in 2020/21. For example, I have recently just celebrated the publication of my first monogram as a result of the book proposal I submitted during the postdoc and now I am enjoying my first permanent lectureship which is enabling me to return to the well-developed research proposals I had crafted two years ago. So keep that enthusiasm up, be ambitious and plan for the long term.