We received a strong field of applicants with a particularly vibrant range of disciplinary backgrounds for The London Arts Humanities Partnership (LAHP) Collaborative Doctoral Award. This project will be co-directed by ULIP and QMUL’s School of Geography in collaboration with the Pôle d’exploration des ressources urbaines (PEROU), an arts-based activist group based in Paris. Spanning philosophy, anthropology, geography, literary studies, architecture and urban planning, many of the candidates also attested to significant prior experience with field work in informal migrant camp environments in Paris, northern France and the Mediterranean.
This experience will be invaluable for the student who will be considering how ‘acts of hospitality’ are performed, narrated, reshaped and contested in the challenged Parisian neighbourhoods known as La Chapelle, which has been the site of successive waves of large camps and continues to be a destination point for people on the move from East and Central Africa and the Middle East towards refuge in European States. The student will be bringing these considerations to bear on the PEROU’s current project to obtain UNESCO recognition within its safeguarding framework of the ‘intangible cultural heritage’ of these acts, opening up a series of theoretical perspectives on the relation between the cultural and linguistic specificities of acts of welcome and what roles they play in the transformation of social and spatial experience. The project has all the promises of establishing strong comparative Franco-British perspectives on situations which are both common to both countries and significantly informed by the different national environments and discourses in both policy and research, as well as developing an important collaboration with the innovative PEROU organisation.
The panel composed of Professor Alison Blunt (QMUL), Dr Anna-Louise Milne (ULIP) and Professor Antoine Hennion (PEROU/ Ecole des mines) is currently interviewing a short-list of contenders and looks forward to making its recommendation to the LAHP.