UCLan Research Centre for Migration, Diaspora and Exile (MIDEX)

Image credit: 'Toes' by UCLan PhD student Jade Montserrat

The UCLan Research Centre for Migration, Diaspora and Exile (MIDEX) will develop in-depth, state of the art, impactful and interdisciplinary analysis, of transnational cultural, political, social, socio-legal and historical topics concerning the three main themes of migration, diaspora and exile.

It will research contemporary migration in Britain and Europe and beyond including such issues as the Windrush scandal, deportations and detentions and the racialisation of migrants with the rise in xenophobia and far-right political parties.

The Centre will also research ways that refugees, migrants and rest of civil society are challenging these inequities through links to community groups beyond the University that work with refugees and migrants such as Preston Black History Group, Sewing Café, Lancaster, Lancashire County Council (Syrian Resettlement Programme) and Preston City of Sanctuary.

Since these issues have shaped our world for millennia, the centre will not only conduct research on contemporary cases, but it will also tackle past ones, such as the Spanish exile after the Civil War, the cultural history of the Black Atlantic diaspora, and the responses of Asian societies to their colonial past. Uniting researchers from the social sciences, law and humanities, the centre builds on UCLAN's existing research strengths in the field, including Black British artistic practice (2017 Turner Prize winner, Lubaina Himid), Migrant Nurses (Mick Mckeown), Russia Abroad (Olga Tabachnikova), Spanish literature in exile (Eduardo Tasis), Peace and Justice Studies (Kim McGuire) and Chinese Migration (Lara Momesso). MIDEX would create synergies with other UCLAN researchers working on related themes and existing centres/institutes, such as the Vladimir Vysotsky Centre for Russian Studies and the Institute for Black Atlantic Studies (IBAR). It will also collaborate with the Northern Institute of Taiwan Studies (NorITS), the Institute of Korean Studies at UCLan (IKSU), the Centre of Austronesian Studies (COAS) whose members include leading researchers on migration issues in the Asia Pacific.  

MIDEX has three main objectives:

  • to strengthen interdisciplinary research by establishing a network of scholars (including research students) from all faculties of the university and allowing them to engage with the international community and broader publics;
  • to put its members in a position to produce high quality outputs and develop impact case studies by offering them access to research grants, publication and impact cases support and visiting fellowship opportunities;
  • to increase its visibility by organising seminar programmes, conferences and other activities in collaboration with community groups, media outlets and other third parties while developing materials that disseminate the research through books, broadcasts, webpages etc.

MIDEX has 7 research strands:

  • Access, Integration and Inclusion
  • Asia Pacific Diaspora and Migration
  • Black Atlantic Diaspora
  • Culture, Social and Environmental Change
  • Identities
  • (Im)mobilities
  • Representations of Migration, Diaspora and Exile in Media, Literature and Art

Find out more about each strand.

The Centre, together with the Institute of Black Atlantic Research, hosted Queen Quet of the Gullah/Geechee Nation in October 2019, as part of Black History Month. Find out more.

In 2019 Dr Nicole Willson, Leverhulme Trust Early Career Research Fellow at UCLan’s Institute for Black Atlantic Research, discovered a translation of the original will of Marie-Louise Christophe, first Queen of Haiti, who died in Pisa in 1851, in the UK National Archives. The discovery led to a featurette in the December issue of the BBC’s History magazine and an appearance on Dan Snow’s ‘History Hit’ podcast. Dr Willson is working on a 3-year research project that seeks to recover the hidden histories of women in the Haitian Revolution. You can find more information about her project, along with an open access transcription of Marie-Louise Christophe’s will, on her project website.

Inside the Invisible front cover



Professor Alan Rice has co-written the first academic monograph on the 2017 Turner Prize winner, UCLan’s Professor Lubaina Himid, published by Liverpool University Press in October 2019. He co-wrote this monograph with Professor Himid, Professor Celeste-Marie Bernier of the University of Edinburgh and Dr Hannah Durkin of Newcastle University.




Black women artists event


In January 2020 UCLan also hosted a major symposium ‘Creative Conversations: Black Women Artists Making and Doing’.  Some of the country’s best black female artists gathered as part of a celebration of the achievements of black women’s art in Britain over the past four decades.  Central to the celebrations was the work of Professor Lubaina Himid CBE, Professor of Contemporary Art at UCLan, who in 2017 became the first black female artist ever to win the prestigious Turner Prize.  Read the news story to find out more about this event. Click here to watch a short video about the event. and click here to view a collection of films that record both days of the symposium.


The Centre holds a series of Seminars, Conferences and Events throughout the year. To see the current programme please click the links below:

To find out more please contact Centre Director Professor Alan Rice or Centre Deputy Directors Dr Eduardo Tasis and Dr Lara Momesso.