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 Amanda Schmid-Scott

Amanda Schmid-Scott

PhD Student




Amory Building, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4RJ , UK


Following my undergraduate studies in visual communication at the University for Creative Arts, I worked for three years for a leading documentary film-company in London as Researcher and Assistant Producer, producing awareness-raising films for broadcast. I took the lead on a short film series Seeking Refuge (BBC Two), exploring the experiences young refugees face upon arrival to the UK, which went on to win a BAFTA award. Alongside this position, I studied an MA in anthropology, graduating in 2012 from Goldsmiths, University of London with a distinction; I chose to focus my MA research on forced migration and issues affecting refugees: I used my studies to examine the concept of the refugee figure in relation to detention practices as well as notions of belonging and displacement and conducted my fieldwork amongst refugees living in south Lebanon.

After completing my MA, I worked for Praxis, an NGO in east London working with vulnerable migrants. Then in 2013 I moved to Addis Ababa to work as a Research Consultant for an innovation design consultancy. I was involved in a number of major projects including their biggest contract with UNHCR. For this project I conducted fieldwork in refugee camps on the border to Somalia, living and working in the camps and using our research to devise a practical handbook providing innovative solutions for UNHCR to improve services to the Somali refugee community. Within this position I also conducted fieldwork for Mercy Corps in Jigjiga, east Ethiopia, and Samaritan’s Purse in Moroto, northeast Uganda.

In September 2015 I returned to the UK and, awarded the ESRC Studentship, began my PhD in Human Geography at the University of Exeter. My PhD is a culmination of my various academic, professional and cultural experiences, for which I am exploring the lived experience of immigration detention in the UK. I am especially interested in the ways in which different forms of power interact within spaces of detention and how visual approaches to research allow abstract and theoretical ideas to be communicated.

I am currently a member of the Spatial Responsibilities research group.

Broad research interests:

My academic interests include borders, non-citizenship, immigration detention and different forms and ways of understanding violence and resistance.


My recent conference papers include:

2016 - ‘(Un)exceptional violence in immigration detention’, Borderless Worlds - For Whom? Ethics, Moralities and (In)justice in Migration and Tourism Conference, University of Oulu, Finland

2016 – ‘Civilised brutality?’, International Conference on Migration, Irregularisation and Activism, University of Malmö, Sweden



Supervision / Group

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