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Dr Olivia Sheringham

Lecturer, Social and Cultural Geography

BA Modern Languages (University of Cambridge)

MA Latin American Area Studies (IAS, University of London)

MA Cultural Geography (Queen Mary University of London)

PhD Geography (Queen Mary University of London)


  • Olivia is a social and cultural geographer whose research interests and expertise span home, migration and belonging in urban contexts; cultural diversity and geographies of encounter; religion and migration; and creative and collaborative practice. Her most recent book (co-written with Robin Cohen), Encountering Difference, critically engages with theories and practices of diaspora and creolization, historically and in relation to contemporary urban spaces.
  • She has worked collaboratively with artists, in particular Janetka Platun with whom she has recently set up a social enterprise called Poeisis. Collaborations include the on-going project Globe, and a forthcoming piece on the theme of borders and bordering in the town of Tilbury, which includes working with an urban ecologist. She has also worked in partnership with refugee supper club Stories & Supper to develop and deliver a project on storytelling, food and welcome with refugees and local residents in Waltham Forest, London.
  • Before joining Birkbeck in 2020, she lectured at Queen Mary University of London and held post-doctoral positions at the International Migration Institute, University of Oxford, and the Centre for Studies of Home, QMUL.

Research and public engagement

  • Olivia’s current research focuses on exploring the potential of creative and collaborative practice for fostering spaces of welcome for migrants and refugees in urban contexts in the global North. This builds on previous research on questions of home, migration and belonging in the city (with Alison Blunt) and on-going collaborative work with artist Janetka Platun and refugee supper club, Stories & Supper. She is currently developing research that explores themes of borders and bordering in relation to processes of human and non-human migration and displacement.
  • Recent research includes home-city-street, a project (with Alison Blunt and Casper Laing Ebbensgaard) that explores home in the wider context of the neighbourhood, street and the city; a project (with Maria Villares-Varela, University of Southampton) on Migration, Religion and Entrepreneurship (funded by a BA/Leverhulme small grant); and a public engagement project on creative storytelling, food and welcome among refugees and local residents in Waltham Forest, London with the refugee supper club Stories & Supper (funded by QMUL’s Centre for Public Engagement)


  • Undergraduate:
    • Globalisation in the Contemporary World (Convenor)
    • Introduction to Human Geography (lecturer)
    • Dissertation and Literature Review (Convenor, from Summer 2020)
  • Postgraduate:
    • Research Methods (supervisor)
  • PhD:
    • Shabna Begum, ‘Stay and Fight: How a Bengali squatters movement claimed 'home' and belonging in the East End of London, in the 1970s’ (co-supervise with Kavita Datta and Alastair Owens, QMUL)
  • I would be interested in supervising students with interests in the following areas:
    • Migration, diaspora and identity formation;
    • Urban diversity and encounters;
    • Homemaking and displacement;
    • Migration and urban change;
    • Creative practice as a form of knowledge creation


  • Books
    • Villares-Varela, M. and O.Sheringham (forthcoming) Religion, Migration and Business: Exploring the Connections between Faith, Work and Entrepreneurialism in the UK. Palgrave Pivot.
    • Cohen, R. and O. Sheringham (2016) Encountering Difference: Diasporic Traces, Creolizing Spaces. Polity Press Ltd.
    • Sheringham, O. (2013) Transnational Religious Spaces: Faith and the Brazilian Migration Experience. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Journal articles
    • Sheringham, O., J. Platun, C. McAvinchey and A. Blunt (2019) ‘Globe's encounters and the art of rolling: home, migration and belonging’ Cultural Geographies. Online first.
    • Blunt, A, C. Laing Ebbensgaard and O. Sheringham (in press) ‘The ‘living of time’: temporalities of home and the city’. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers.
    • C. Laing Ebbensgaard, O. Sheringham and A. Blunt (in preparation) ‘Tales from other people’s houses’: home, dis/connection and living together in an East London neighbourhood’.
    • Blunt, A. and O. Sheringham ‘Home-city geographies: Urban dwelling and mobility.’ Progress in Human Geography43(5), 815–834.
    • Sheringham, O. (2016) ‘Markers of Identity in Martinique: Being French, Black, Creole’ Ethnic and Racial Studies, 39 (2): 243-263. 10.1080/01419870.2016.1105992
    • Sheringham, O. and M. Brightwell (2013) Consuming, creating, contesting: Latin American diasporic practices. Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, 37 (74): 11-16.
    • Cohen, R. and O. Sheringham (2013) Introduction: Islands and Identities in Cohen, R. and Sheringham, O. (eds.) Special Issue: Islands, Diaspora, and Creolization. Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies, 17 (1): 1–5.
    • Cohen, R. and O. Sheringham (2013) The salience of islands in the articulation of creolization and diaspora. Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies, 17 (1): 6–17.
    • Evans, Y., Tonhati, T., Dias, G., Sheringham, O., Souza, A., and Souza, C.  (2011) ‘Em busca de uma vida melhor : brasileiras e brasileiros em Londres’ Temas de Antropología y Migracíon, Universidad de Buenos Aires, 2: 132-152.
    • Sheringham, O. (2010) ‘Creating alternative geographies: Religion, transnationalism and everyday life’, Geography Compass, 4(11):  1678–1694.
    • Sheringham, O. (2010) ‘A Transnational space?: Transnational practices, place-based identity and the making of ‘home’ among Brazilians in Gort, Ireland’, Portuguese Studies, 26(1): 60-78.
    • Sheringham, O. (2009) ‘Ethnic identity and integration among Brazilians in Gort, Ireland’ Irish Migration Studies in Latin America, 7(1): 93-104.
  • Book chapters
    • Sheringham, O. and A. Wilkins (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.) Spaces of Spirituality. Routledge.
    • Sheringham, O. (2017) ‘Introduction’ to Balin House Projects 10 Years. Edited by artist Eduardo Padilha, Published by BalinHouseProjects.
    • Lipman, C and O. Sheringham (2016) ‘Restor(y)ing home: reflections on stories, objects, and space in BHP’. In Padilha, E. and T. Khonsari (eds.), My Home is Your Home. London: public works publishing
    • Horst, C., S. Pereira and O. Sheringham (2015) ‘A matter of class? The impact of social distinctions on the migration of Brazilians to Norway, Portugal and the UK’ In O. Bakewell, M. L. Fonseca, G. Engberson and C. Horst (eds.) Beyond Networks: Feedback in International Migration. Palgrave Macmillan.
    • Sheringham, O. (2015) ‘Creolization, diaspora and carnival: Living with diversity in the past and present’, in A. Gamlen, G. Liberatore, H. Neveu Kringelbach and N. Signona (eds.) Oxford Diasporas Programme Collection, University of Oxford.
    • Sheringham, O. and M. Sheringham (2015) ‘Everyday Life’, in von Stuckrad, K. and R. A. Segal (eds.) Vocabulary for the Study of Religion.  Brill Academic Publishers.
    • Sheringham, O. (2013) ‘Transnational faith, families, and belonging: Brazilians in London and ‘back home.’ In Jane Garnett and Alana Harris (eds.) Rescripting Religion in the City: Migration and Religious Identity in the Modern Metropolis. Ashgate.
    • Sheringham, O. (2013) ‘Brazilian churches in London and transnationalism of the middle’, in C. Rocha and M. Vasquez (eds.) The Diaspora of Brazilian Religions. Brill.
    • Translation of the above: Sheringham, O. (2015) ‘Igrejas brasileiras em Londres: transnacionalismo de nivel medio’ in C. Rocha and M. Vasquez (eds.) A Diáspora das Religioes Brasilerias. Ideias Letras. Translated by Ana Paula Figueiredo Silva.
    • Sheringham, O. (2011) ‘Faith across borders: religion in the everyday lives of Brazilians in London and ‘back home’, in Cathy McIlwaine, (ed.) Cross-Border Migration among Latin Americans: European Perspectives and Beyond. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Book reviews/Review Essays
    • Sheringham, O. (2018) Dominic Pasura and Marta Bivand Erdal (eds.) Migration, transnationalism and Catholicism: global perspectives, New York, Palgrave MacMillan, 2016. In Social & Cultural Geography 19 (8).
    • Sheringham, O. (2017) ‘Rethinking diversity in Europe: lessons from the new world?’ Review Essay: Creolizing Europe (edited by Encarnación Gutiérrez Rodríguez and Shirley Anne Tate), Liverpool University Press: 2015. In Diaspora 19, 2/3 (2017) © Diaspora: a journal of transnational studies.
    • Sheringham, O. (2014) Mette Louise Berg, Diasporic Generations: Memory, Politics, and Nation among Cubans in Spain. New York: Berghahn Books. In New West Indian Guide 88 (1&2).
    • (2013) Françoise Lionnet and Shu-mei Shih (eds), The Creolization of Theory. In The Canadian Review of Comparative Literature 40 (2), pp. 233-236.
  • Edited Special Issues
    • Cohen, R. and O. Sheringham (eds) (2013) Special Issue: Islands, Diaspora, and Creolization. Diaspora: A journal of transnational studies, 17 (1).
    • Brightwell, M.G and O.Sheringham ‘Special Issue: Latin American Diasporic Practices’ (eds). Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, 37(74),
  • Reports and working papers
    • Sheringham, O. and Villares-Varela, M. (2019) ‘Faith, migration and business: the role of Pentecostalism in migrant entrepreneurial practices in the UK’  working paper, University of Southampton.
    • Sheringham, O. (2016) ‘Living with Difference: From Diaspora to Creolization’, in Van Hear, N., Molteno, S. and Bakewell, O. (eds) A Retrospective For Robin Cohen. Oxford: Oxford Publishing Services.
    • Sheringham, O. and R. Cohen, (2013) 'Quotidian creolization and diasporic echoes: Resistance and co-optation in Cape Verde and Louisiana' IMI Working Paper 72.
    • Evans, Y., Tonhati, T., Dias, G., Sheringham, O., Souza, A., and Souza, C. (2011) ‘Por uma vida melhor’: brasileiras e brasileiros em Londres, 2010.’ Grupo de Estudos Sobre Brasileiros em Londres.
    • Sheringham, O. (2010) ‘Everyday transnationalism: Religion in the lives of Brazilian migrants in London and Brazil’ Working Paper No.2, Geographies of Religion Working Paper Series School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, Newcastle University, UK.
  • Other

Contact details


Tel: +44 (0)203 0738392