Dr Annabelle Wilkins


I am a post-doctoral researcher on the MaHoMe project with particular interests in relationships between migration, home and belonging. I have a background in human geography, anthropology and sociology, with expertise in ethnography, in-depth interviews, policy analysis and visual methods. Alongside my work on the MaHoMe project, I have been a post-doctoral researcher on the UKRI project 'Stay Home: rethinking the domestic during the COVID-19 pandemic' at Queen Mary University of London, where I focused on how the pandemic impacted on experiences of home among migrants and people of faith in London and Liverpool. Before joining Kingston University, I was a Research Associate on the AHRC Translating Asylum project at the University of Manchester, where I examined how refugees in the UK have been provided with language support, drawing on archival research, policy analyses and the narratives of refugees and interpreters with experience of displacement. 

My doctoral research explored the experiences of home, work and migration among Vietnamese communities in East London, drawing on the narratives of participants who migrated from Vietnam to London between 1979 and 2014, alongside ethnography and participatory visual methods. This research highlighted multiple forms of home-making in domestic, public and virtual spaces, as well as revealing how migrant home-making is enabled and constrained by precarious work, insecure housing and immigration policies. This research was published as a book entitled Migration, Work and Home-Making in the City: Dwelling and Belonging among Vietnamese Communities in London (Routledge, 2019).

I have authored and co-authored peer-reviewed book chapters and articles in journals including Area and Gender, Place and Culture. My research has been featured in publications including The Conversation and Refugee History. I have also disseminated my research in exhibitions at the Museum of the Home and the Imperial War Museum. I am currently Associate Editor of the journal Crossings: Journal of Migration and Culture. 

Academic responsibilities

Postdoctoral Researcher, MaHoMe project


  • BSc (Hons) Sociology, University of Bristol
  • MA Social Anthropology, University of Bristol
  • PhD Geography, Queen Mary University of London



Wilkins, A. (2023) The politicisation of social anchoring: language support and community building within Vietnamese refugee-led organisations in London. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 49(7), 1845-1863. 

Tipton, R., & Wilkins, A. (2021) Vietnamese refugees in Britain: Language, translation, and the politics of protection in camp life and beyond. Interpreting and Society, 1(1), 51–69.

Wilkins, A. (2018) The ethics of collaboration with museums: researching, archiving and displaying home and migration. Area 50(3), 418-425.

Wilkins, A. (2017) Gender, migration and intimate geopolitics: shifting senses of home among women on the Myanmar-Thailand border. Gender, Place and Culture 24(11), 1549-1568.


Migration, Work and Home-Making in the City: Dwelling and Belonging among Vietnamese Communities in London, Routledge (2019).

Book section

Wilkins, A. (2023) Maybe in the future I'll have two homes': temporalities of migration and family life among Vietnamese people in London. In J. Waters and B.S.A. Yeoh (eds.), Handbook of Migration and the Family, Edward Elgar.

Wilkins, A. (2023) Gendering home and migration. In P. Boccagni (ed.), Handbook of Home and Migration, Edward Elgar.

Sheringham, O. and Wilkins, A. (2018) Transnational religion and everyday lives: spaces of spirituality among Brazilian and Vietnamese migrants in London. In N. Bartolini, S. MacKian and S. Pile (eds.) Geographies of Spirituality. London: Routledge.

Project reports

Burrell, K. et al. (2021) At Home in Liverpool During COVID-19, QMUL: London. 

Blunt, A. et al. (2022) At Home in London During COVID-19: Policy Recommendations and Key Findings, QMUL: London. 

Conference presentations

'No Place Like Home' exhibition panel discussion, Museum of the Home, June 2023

Managing Migrant Lives through Home – a narrative documentary ethnography of immigration and integration policy in Denmark, Sweden and the UK. IMISCOE conference, online, 2021.

Translating humanitarianism: the forgotten role of language in humanitarian action' (with Dr Rebecca Tipton). Social History Society conference, Lincoln, 2019.

Qualifications and expertise

  • Migration
  • Integration
  • Refugees
  • Qualitative research methods
  • Creative research methods
  • Participatory research methods
  • Vietnamese communities in the UK

Areas of specialism

  • Migration studies
  • Cultural and social geography
  • Anthropology

Social media

LinkedIn Twitter