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. 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 in 2017 and in the Refugees: Forced to Flee exhibition at the Imperial War Museum in 2020. 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. (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

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. 

Online publications

Vietnamese refugees in Britain: displacement, home and belonging. Refugee History (February 2020).

The importance of Oral History for Documenting Life Story Narratives of the Migration Experience. Translating Asylum  (June 2019).

Voluntary organisations' archives and records: why do they matter? Translating Asylum (March 2019).

Building a home: how Vietnamese migrants did it in East London. The Conversation (2015).

Conference or workshop item

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

Wilkins, A. (2018) Re-assembling the home through new work-home relations'. Studies of Home Seminar Series, Institute of Historical Research, London, January 2018.

Wilkins, A. (2017) Home, mobility and the city for Vietnamese migrants in London. ERC HOMING workshop: Researching Home and Migration. University of Trento, Italy, June 2017.

Wilkins, A. (2016) Moving objects, connecting worlds: mobilities and meanings of spiritual objects among Vietnamese people in East London. RGS-IBG Annual Conference, London (August 2016).

Areas of specialism

  • Migration studies
  • Cultural and social geography
  • Anthropology

Social media