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Dr Anna Gawlewicz

Profile summary

Web links

Professional biography

I currently wear two hats: I am a Lecturer in Geography at the Open University and an Urban Studies Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow. My work is broadly concerned with the issues of international migration, social diversity/difference and wellbeing. I hold a PhD in Human Geography from the University of Sheffield, UK and a combined BSc + MSc in International Relations and European Studies from the Cracow University of Economics, Poland.

I am a co-organiser of the RSA-funded research network PostCEE connecting researchers working on postcolonial and decolonial perspectives on Central and Eastern Europe.

I have worked extensively on research projects including, among others:

  • the Living Together project funded by the Urban Studies Foundation (2017-2019) exploring encounters between Polish migrants and the long-settled population in the East End of Glasgow in the context of Brexit. In a wider perspective, this project looks at migrant-'host' encounters in rapidly changing urban areas and how institutional and political 'hostile environments' affect these encounters.  
  • the Intimate Migrations project funded by the ESRC and led by Dr Francesca Stella (2015-2017) looking at the experiences of LGBT migrants from Central and Eastern Europe in Scotland. In a wider perspective, this project focuses on the role of sexuality in decisions to migrate, LGBT migrants’ sense of belonging in home and host societies, and their social networks.
  • the LiveDifference project funded by the ERC and led by Prof. Gill Valentine (2010-2014) investigating the nature of encounters with difference in two distinctive European contexts: the UK and Poland. As a PhD Candidate on the project, I explored how migration from Poland to the UK impacts on people’s values and attitudes towards difference in terms of ethnicity, religion, class, sexuality, gender, age and disability.  

Research interests

1) International migration

  • Migration and the city: migrant city-making
  • Migrant-‘host’ encounters/relations 
  • Brexit and hostile environments
  • Social diversity: attitudes to/encounters with difference
  • Transnational circulation of ideas: social remittances
  • Migration and language: migrant language of difference
  • Migration and sexuality: queer migration
  • Post/decolonial approaches to researching migration
  • Central and East European/Polish migration to the UK

2) Wellbeing

  • Mental health and employment
  • Migration and mental health 

3) Qualitative methodologies

  • Translation in research methods
  • Position/positionality of migrant researcher
  • Reflexive and intersectional methodologies

Teaching interests

I am currently involved in the production of two modules:

  • D325: Researching Geographies of Change
  • D225: Changing Geographies, Changing Britain

I am also involved in the delivery of:

  • U116: Environment: Journeys through a Changing World
  • DD102: Introducing the Social Sciences


Do we need other “posts” in migration studies? Polish migration to the UK through a postdependence lens (2020-09)
Gawlewicz, Anna
Area, 52(3) (pp. 523-530)

Revisiting geographies of temporalities: The significance of time in migrant responses to Brexit (2020-01)
Gawlewicz, Anna and Sotkasiira, Tiina
Population, Space and Place, 26, Article e2275(1)

‘Scotland's different’: Narratives of Scotland's distinctiveness in the post-Brexit-vote era (2020)
Gawlewicz, Anna
Scottish Affairs, 29(3) (pp. 321-335)

The politics of embedding and the right to remain in post-Brexit Britain (2020)
Sotkasiira, Tiina and Gawlewicz, Anna
Ethnicities ((Early Access))

Attitudes towards immigration: responses to the increased presence of Polish migrants in the UK post 2004 (2020)
Harris, Catherine; Gawlewicz, Anna and Valentine, Gill
Migration and Development ((Early Access))

Unpacking the Meanings of a ‘Normal Life’ Among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Eastern European Migrants in Scotland (2018)
Stella, Francesca; Flynn, Moya and Gawlewicz, Anna
Central and Eastern European Migration Review, 7(1) (pp. 55-72)

Beyond openness and prejudice: The consequences of migrant encounters with difference (2016-02-01)
Gawlewicz, Anna
Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 48(2) (pp. 256-272)

Language and translation strategies in researching migrant experience of difference from the position of migrant researcher (2016-02-01)
Gawlewicz, Anna
Qualitative Research, 16(1) (pp. 27-42)

Production and Transnational Transfer of the Language of Difference: The Effects of Polish Migrants’ Encounters with Superdiversity (2015-12)
Gawlewicz, Anna
Central and Eastern European Migration Review, 4(2) (pp. 25-42)

‘We Inspire Each Other, Subconsciously’: The Circulation of Attitudes towards Difference between Polish Migrants in the UK and their Significant Others in the Sending Society (2015)
Gawlewicz, Anna
Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 41(13) (pp. 2215-2234)

Beyond ‘us’ and ‘them’: migrant encounters with difference and reimagining the national (2015)
Gawlewicz, Anna
Fennia – International Journal of Geography, 193(2) (pp. 198-211)

Lived Experiences of Mental Health Problems and Welfare Conditionality (2020-09-30)
Stewart, Alasdair B. R.; Gawlewicz, Anna; Bailey, Nick; Katikireddi, S. Vittal and Wright, Sharon
University of Glasgow, Glasgow.

Ties that bind, or ties that count? The pressure on EU citizens to be ‘deserving’ migrants (2020-06-03)
Sotkasiira, Tiina and Gawlewicz, Anna
LSE Blogs