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Dr Anna Gawlewicz

Profile summary

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Professional biography

I currently wear two hats: I am a Lecturer in Geography at the Open University and a Lecturer in Public Policy and Research Methods 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 Migrant Essential Workers project (as a Co-Investigator) funded by the ESRC/UKRI (2020-2022) and co-led by Prof. Sharon WrightDr Kasia Narkowicz and Dr Aneta Piekut investigating health, social, economic and cultural impacts of Covid-19 on migrant essential workers in the UK. To explore these issues with an adequate level of nuance and detail, the project focuses on one prominent migrant group, Polish migrants, as a case study.  
  • the Living Together project (as a Principal investigator) 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 (as a Research Associate) 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 (as a PhD Candidate) 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 part of my PhD, 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 Covid-19, Brexit and hostile environments
  • Migrant-‘host’ encounters/relations 
  • Migration and the city: migrant city-making
  • 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


Rural Brexit? The ambivalent politics of rural community, migration and dependency (2021-02)
Neal, Sarah; Gawlewicz, Anna; Heley, Jesse and Jones, Rhys Dafydd
Journal of Rural Studies, 82 (pp. 176-183)

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))

Social networks, language and identity negotiations among queer migrants in Scotland (2020)
Stella, Francesca and Gawlewicz, Anna
Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies ((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)

Translation in Qualitative Methods (2019-09-17)
Gawlewicz, Anna
In: Atkinson, PA; Delamont, S; Williams, R; Cernat, A and Sakshaug, J eds. SAGE Research Methods Foundations: an Encyclopedia
ISBN : 9781529745887 | Publisher : SAGE Publications

Visible Difference, Stigmatising Language(s) and the Discursive Construction of Prejudices Against Others in Leeds and Warsaw (2016)
Vieten, Ulrieke M. and Gawlewicz, Anna
In: Vieten, Ulrieke M. and Valentine, Gill eds. Cartographies of Differences: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. New Visions of the Cosmopolitan (pp. 202-221)
ISBN : 978-3-0353-9700-0 | Publisher : Peter Lang | Published : Bern

The (in)visible wall of fortress Europe? Elite migrating youth perceiving the sensitive Polish-Ukrainian border (2012)
Gawlewicz, Anna and Yndigegn, Carsten
In: Jagetić Andersen, Dorte; Klatt, Martin and Sandberg, Marie eds. The Border Multiple: The Practicing of Borders Between Public Policy and Everyday Life in a Re-scaling Europe (pp. 179-199)
ISBN : 9781409437086 | Publisher : Ashgate

EU edges and border practices: Slovenian-Croatian and Polish-Ukrainian borders as laboratories of borderwork on a post-national level (2011)
Andersen, Dorte; Gawlewicz, Anna and Yndigegn, Carsten
In: Jańczak, Jaroslaw ed. De-Bordering, Re-Bordering and Symbols on the European Boundaries. Thematicon (pp. 83-96)
ISBN : 9783832530020 | Publisher : Logos Verlag Berlin GmbH | Published : Berlin

Family Europe: the shaping of the EU’s image in the Polish press at the time of Poland’s accession to the EU (2004) and in the fifth year of membership (2008) (2009)
Mikułowski Pomorski, J. and Gawlewicz, A.
In: Skotnicka-Illasiewicz, E. ed. 5 Years of Poland’s Membership of the EU in the Social Context (pp. 200-225)
ISBN : 9788375670455 | Publisher : The Office of the Committee of European Integration | Published : Warsaw

Islamophobia on the move: circulation of anti-Muslim prejudice between Poland and the UK (2015-05-01)
Gawlewicz, Anna and Narkowicz, Kasia
In : Graduate Symposium - Muslims in the UK and Europe (17-18 May 2014, Cambridge) (pp. 90-100)

Multi-layered identities as a consequence of a regular border experience: trans-nationally migrating elite youth facing "sensitive" Polish-Ukrainian border (2011-08-08)
Gawlewicz, Anna and Yndigegn, Carsten
In : 2010 European Conference of the Association for Borderlands Studies (23-25 Sep 2010, Veroia, Greece) (pp. 241-262)

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.

Analysis Protocol: Constructions of Mental Health and Problematic Alcohol Use Within UK’s Health and Welfare Policy (2020-09)
Gawlewicz, Anna; Stewart, ABR; Bailey, N; Katikireddi, SV and Wright, S
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

La campagna inglese non è un quadro di Constable [The countryside, Britain and Brexit: the rural in national politics and identities] (2019-06-13)
Dafydd Jones, Rhys; Gawlewicz, Anna; Heley, Jesse and Neal, Sarah
Limes: Rivista Italiana di Geopolitica

What people say about migration and Brexit: stories from Glasgow’s East End (2019-05-17)
Gawlewicz, Anna
LSE Blogs, London.

Slurs like ‘letter box’ are more problematic than we think: how discriminatory language travels (2018-09-07)
Gawlewicz, Anna
LSE Blogs, London.

Intimate Migrations Final Report - Appendix 2: Recommendations from Second Consultation Event (2017-12)
Stella, Francesca; Flynn, Moya and Gawlewicz, Anna
University of Glasgow, Glasgow.

Intimate Migrations: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Migrants in Scotland (2016-12)
Stella, Francesca; Gawlewicz, Anna and Flynn, Moya
University of Glasgow, Glasgow.

[Book Review] New Mobilities in Europe: Polish Migration to Ireland Post-2004. Torben Krings, Elaine Moriarty, James Wickham, Alicja Bobek, Justyna Salomońska (2013)
Gawlewicz, Anna
Central and Eastern European Migration Review