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Jonathan Harris BA, MPhil

Jonathan Harris BA, MPhil

PhD student

My research focuses on the geographies of Amazigh cultural and political associations in France. Drawing on critical geopolitics and diaspora studies, I aim to understand themes of indigeneity and citizenship in re-conceptualisations of 'home'. I am supervised by Prof. Sarah Radcliffe.

Biography

After studying for an undergraduate degree in Geography at the University of Cambridge, where I undertook research in Tunis on attitudes to emigration after the Revolution of 2011, I was awarded an ESRC-funded studentship to study for an MPhil and PhD in Geography. Now in my fourth year, I have undertaken a year of fieldwork based in Paris and occupied a position as a Visiting Research Associate at the Queen's University of Belfast whilst writing up the thesis.

Qualifications

  • BA (First) in Geography at the University of Cambridge
  • MPhil in Geographical Research at the University of Cambridge

Research

Imazighen, commonly referred to as 'Berbers', are North Africa's indigenous people. France is estimated to be home to nearly two million people of Amazigh descent, and also serves as a meeting point and base of operations for a wide variety of Amazigh activists from across North Africa. From France, activists are able to collaborate in campaigning on behalf of disparate Amazigh populations, marginalised by the post-colonial nation-states of North Africa. In so doing, they actively participate in the transformation and assemblage of a new creation - the idea of a contiguous Amazigh nation. This nation's space, Tamazgha, is a developing geographical product of the diasporic Amazigh movement, an imaginative geography with real effects. My research transnationally situates the processes of nation-building by framing the Amazigh diaspora as a cultural 'interstitial zone' where nationalist discourses and politics emerge. By bringing a political geography perspective to the contested political space of Tamazgha, my research aims to more fully understand the changing relationship between state, territory, and nation across the Mediterranean.

Publications

  • Harris, J. 2015 "El Harka; Perceptions of the Migration-Development Nexus in Post-Revolution Tunis", Population, Space and Place, 21(6):493-505
  • Harris, J. 2018 Book Review: "Historical Dictionary of the Berbers (Imazighen) (2nd ed.)", The Journal of North African Studies ​23(1-2):369-371
  • Harris, J. 2018 "Between Nativism and Indigeneity in the Kabyle Diaspora of France", ​EuropeNow​, Open-Access Online http://www.europenowjournal.org/2018/01/31/between-nativism-and-indigeneity-in-the-kabyle-diaspora-of-france/

Teaching

  • Member of staff on the department field trip to Morocco, March 2015, 2016, 2017
  • Part 1A Cultural, Historical, Urban and Unequal Geographies supervisions 2016-2018 (Fitzwilliam College 'Supervisor of Studies')
  • Part 1B Citizenship Seminars 2016-2017
  • Guest Lectures:
    • June 2015 "​Migration, Development and the Arab Spring"​ at Newnham College, Cambridge
    • March 2015 ​"The Geography of the Middle East"​ at Prince's Trust, London