Dr Julia Morris

julia morris



Postdoctoral Associate

Julia Morris is the Post-doctoral Fellow at The New School’s Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility and a Postdoctoral Associate at the University of Oxford’s Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology. She is a political anthropologist whose research focuses on migration and its relationship to the uneven dynamics of political economic development.

Her doctoral research in sociocultural anthropology at Oxford drew on extensive ethnographic fieldwork in Geneva, Australia, Fiji, and the Republic of Nauru to examine the outsourcing of asylum processes to new localities. This research, funded by Oxford’s Anthropology Department and the Social Science Research Council, generated questions on the commodification of human mobility and the challenges of social movements. It argued that anti-political practices are caught up in the replication of similar human processing models elsewhere, while simultaneously stirring Nauru’s social geographies.

Julia currently has a book manuscript under edit on the consequential damages of phosphate and refugee processing in Nauru, with a focus on the relations between high-risk mineral and migrant extractive industries. She has also published in Global Networks and with Routledge publication house on global migration governance and knowledge networks. Previously, she held a research appointment at Oxford’s Centre on Migration, Policy and Society.

Building on her doctoral work, her ongoing research deepens the connections between resource extraction and uneven development, with a longitudinal study of climate change impacts in Nauru. The project engages with Marxian political economic theory that speaks to the lopsided ways in which one part of the globe is converted into a field of production for supplying (or mitigating) the other. 

Julia is a keen educator and has lead undergraduate and graduate field intensives to Jordan, where students examine the work of nongovernmental organizations focused on Syrian resettlement. She has taught at the University of California, Berkeley and The New School, and given frequent guest lectures and seminars.  

Julia has also worked with US-based organizations focused on the privatization of immigration detention.

Recent publications:

2017 "Power, Capital and Immigration Detention Rights: Making Networked Markets in Global Detention Governance at UNHCR." Global Networks 17 (3): 400-422.

2017 "The Uneven Production of Illegality: A Response to The Daily’s ‘The Sheriff Bind.’" Forced Migration Forum.

2017 “Outsourcing the Refugee “Crisis.”” Social Justice Journal Blog

2016 "In the Market of Morality: International Human Rights Standards and the Immigration Detention Improvement Complex." In Intimate Economies: Critical Perspectives on Immigration Detention. Hiemstra, N. and Conlon, D., eds. London: Routledge.

2016 "The Mythologies of the Nauruan Refugee Nation." CounterPunch.

2015 Review of Moran, D., Gill, N. and Conlon, D., eds. Carceral Spaces: Mobility and Agency in Imprisonment and Migrant Detention. In Population, Space and Place 20 (8): 757-759.

2014 Review of Hall, A. Border Watch: Cultures of Immigration, Detention and Control. In Space and Polity 18 (1):  110-112.

2014 "Baay Fall Sufi Da'iras: Voicing Identity Through Acoustic Communities.African Arts, 47/1.

2013 "Reflections on Applied Research into Immigration Detention." Guest Post for the University of Oxford’s Law and Criminology Department blog, Border Criminologies.


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