Portrait of Dr Kate Smith Dr Kate Smith

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kate.smith@hud.ac.uk | 01484 472761



Biography

I took up the post of Research Fellow: asylum and migration (children and family wellbeing) in the Centre for Applied Childhood, Youth and Family Research, at the University of Huddersfield in September 2015. I also work as a practitioner manager at WomenCentre, Calderdale and Kirklees developing collaborative and participatory services and projects with women seeking asylum, refugees and new migrants. I was awarded a PhD for my thesis entitled "Challenging dominant narratives: Stories of women seeking asylum" (ESRC funded) in February 2015. My research interests centre broadly on the areas of migration, asylum and refugee studies. This includes contesting the inequalities and injustices that coincide with asylum and immigration policies and practices.

Research interests

I have a strong commitment to qualitative and participatory methods, developing projects and research that contributes to the well-being of women, children and families. I am particularly interested in the construction of narratives, including dominant narratives as they intersect with the stories of women and children. My current work is concerned with constructions of vulnerability and the politics of vulnerability in relation to migration, as well as theories and practices of resistance. 

Research and Scholarship

Research Projects:

  • 2016-2017 ‘Songs for bridging the world’ – based at WomenCentre, Kirklees. Participatory-action research and a co-produced project with women migrants who have mental health and wellbeing concerns, to explore and promote issues of human dignity and human rights through song, story and myth. Creative Minds Fund.
  • 2015-2016 ‘Rough tracks of life’ – based at WomenCentre, Kirklees. Participatory-action research and a co-produced project with women living in Kirklees looking at the role of music therapy women’s lives. The project was documented and disseminated in audio and video recordings, a public performance, artwork and interviews. Creative Minds Fund.
  • 2014-2015 ‘Stories of female genital mutilation - Voices of women and digital storytelling’. Participatory-action research with women from communities affected by FGM. ROSA fund for girls and women.
  • 2013-2015 ‘Asylum support for children and young people living in Kirklees: Stories of mothers’. Research with women seeking asylum and their children. National Children’s Research Centre.
  • 2013-2015 A collaboration with Dr. Kelly Lockwood and Dr. Tatyana Karpenko-Seccombe, looking at transnational mothering with international women postgraduate students. Intellectual Climate Fund.  
  • 2010-2013 ‘Women Together’. Participatory-action research, training and a co-produced project work with women seeking asylum, refugees and new migrants and their children affected by rape and sexual violence. Comic Relief.
  • 2009-2014 1+3 Scholarship. ‘‘Challenging dominant narratives: Stories of women seeking asylum’. Economic Social Research Council (ES/H011803/1).

Methodological interests:

  • Women-centred and child-centred approaches/methods
  • Participatory, qualitative and ethical approaches/methods
  • Narrative methodologies
  • Feminist perspectives
  • Qualitative data analysis - the Listening Guide (formally voice centred relational method)

Membership:

  • British Sociological Association
  • Leeds Migration Research Network
  • Equal North: Research and Practice Network
  • WomenCentre, Calderdale and Kirklees

Publications and Other Research Outputs

2017

Lockwood, K., Smith, K. and Woodiwiss, J. (2017) ‘Moving forward :opportunities and challenges’. In: Feminist narrative research : opportunities and challenges. : Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 207-212. ISBN 978-1-137-48567-0

Woodiwiss, J., Smith, K. and Lockwood, K. (2017) ‘Doing feminist narrative research’. In: Feminist narrative research : opportunities and challenges. : Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 1-10. ISBN 978-1-137-48567-0

Woodiwiss, J., Smith, K. and Lockwood, K. (2017) Feminist narrative research: opportunities and challenges . Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9781137485670

Smith, K (2017) ‘Women, asylum and resistance: A feminist narrative approach to making sense of stories’. In: Feminist narrative research: Opportunities and challenges. London: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 179-202. ISBN 978-1137485670

Smith, K (2017) ‘Working with women affected by Female Genital Mutilation and their role in speaking about and against Female Genital Mutilation’. In: Introduction to FGM/Forced Marriage/Honour Based Abuse (Calderdale Safeguarding Children Board), Thursday 18 May, 2017, Halifax, Calderdale

Smith, K (2017) ‘Narratives of Vulnerability and the Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement Programme’. In: Engage Research Festival, 25-28 April 2017, University of Huddersfield

Smith, K (2017) ‘‘Vulnerability’: Rethinking stories about ‘the refugee’’. In: British Sociological Association Annual Conference 2017, Tuesday 4 - Thursday 6 April, Manchester

Smith, K (2017) ‘New and enduring vulnerabilities: Rethinking stories about 'the refugee’.’. In: Europe, Migration and the New Politics of (In)Security: Experiencing (in)securities, March 2017, University of Leeds

Smith, K (2017) ‘Despite repeated failings, private firms continue to run asylum housingThe Conversation . ISSN 2044-5032

Smith, K (2017) ‘Rethinking stories of migration with children, women and families’. In: Centre for Applied Childhood, Youth and Family Research, Annual Conference 2017. Improving lives: making a difference with childhood, youth and family research., January 2017, University of huddersfield

2016

Smith, K (2016) ‘‘Women Speak Out’: Stories from women who have been affected by Female Genital Mutilation.’. In: Safeguarding – An introduction to Female Genital Mutilation, Forced Marriage and Honour Based Violence, Friday 9 December, 2016, Halifax, Calderdale

Smith, K (2016) ‘Resisting narrative borders: Stories of women seeking asylum.’. In: Borderlands - Biennial gender Research Conference, Wednesday 23 Nov 2016, University of Hull

Smith, K (2016) ‘Telling stories of resistance and ruination: Women seeking asylumJournal of Resistance Studies , 2 (2), pp. 33-64.

Smith, K (2016) ‘Degrading living conditions for asylum seekers are fuelled by privatisationThe Conversation . ISSN 2044-5032

2015

Smith, K (2015) Open Letter to members of the House of Lords regarding the Immigration Bill 2015 - Second Reading 22nd December, 2015. Centre for Applied Childhood, Youth and Family Research (Unpublished).

Smith, K (2015) Social workers welcome refugees to the UK – joint statement and call for action by the Association of Professors of Social Work (APSW), British Association of Social Workers (BASW), Joint University Council Social Work Education Committee (JUC SWEC) and Social Work Action Network (SWAN).. APSW, BASW, JUC SWEC and SWAN .

Smith, K. and Lockwood, K. (2015) Asylum support for children and young people living in Kirklees: Stories of mothers Kirklees: WomenCentre

Smith, K (2015) Women and migration. Introduction to migration Leeds, UK: Migration Yorkshire

Smith, K (2015) ‘Stories Told By, For, and About Women Refugees: Engendering ResistanceACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies , 14 (2), pp. 461-469. ISSN 1492-9732

2014

Smith, K (2014) ‘A human rights approach to training and campaigning to end Female Genital Mutilation’. In: The University of Huddersfield Midwifery Society presents….. FGM Conference, Monday 15 September 2014, University of Huddersfield

Smith, K (2014) ‘The Voice of the Child and Female Genital Mutilation’. In: Driving forward quality and improvement in Children and Family Services., 15th September 2014, University of Huddersfield

Smith, K (2014) Challenging dominant narratives: stories of women seeking asylum Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Smith, K (2014) ‘Making sense of stories: Narratives of women seeking asylum’. In: Troubling Narratives: Identity Matters, 19th - 20th June 2014, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, United Kingdom

Smith, K (2014) ‘Narratives of resistance. Listening to women seeking asylum in the UK’. In: Displaced Women: Multilingual Narratives of Migration in Europe. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 27-44. ISBN 978-1443855280

2013

Smith, K (2013) ‘'Stories told by, for and about women refugees'. In: Women's Stories, Women's Lives. A Feminist Research Symposium.’. In: A Feminist Research Symposium, 8th March 2013, University of Huddersfield

Smith, K (2013) ‘Harmful practice: Detention and women seeking asylum in the United Kingdom’. In: Personal and Public Lives and Relationships in a Changing Social World. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 18-39. ISBN 9781443849685

2012

Smith, K. and Jones, A. (2012) ‘Experiences of Asylum Seeking Women and Their Children in United Kingdom Detention Facilities: A Matter for Rights EnforcementScientific Annals of the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University. New Series. Sociology and Social Work Section , 2 (5), pp. 138-153. ISSN 2066-8961

2011

Smith, K (2011) ‘The experiences of women seeking asylum in the UK: A literature review’. In: Understanding the Social World Conference 2011, 13th - 15th July 2011, University of Huddersfield

2006

Warwick, I., Neville, R. and Smith, K. (2006) ‘My life in Huddersfield: Supporting young asylum seekers and refugees to record their experiences of living in HuddersfieldSocial Work Education , 25 (2), pp. 129-137. ISSN 0261-5479

Esteem

Key note lectures and seminars

  • ‘Narratives of vulnerability and the Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement Programme’ (April, 2017). Engage Festival, University of Huddersfield.
  • Vulnerability’: Rethinking stories about ‘the refugee’ (April, 2017). British Sociological Annual Conference, Manchester.
  • New and enduring vulnerabilities’: Rethinking stories about ‘the refugee’. (March, 2017). Europe, Migration and the New Politics of (In)Security: Experiencing (in)securities. White Rose Collaboration Fund Project: University of Leeds.
  • ‘Rethinking stories of migration with children, women and families’ (January 2017).  Improving lives: making a difference with childhood, youth and family research, Centre for Applied Childhood, Youth and Family Research, Annual Conference, University of Huddersfield.
  • ‘Women Speak Out’: Stories from women who have been affected by Female Genital Mutilation (December, 2017). Safeguarding workshop – An introduction to Female Genital Mutilation, Forced Marriage and Honour Based Violence, Calderdale Metropolitan Council.
  • ‘Stories of female genital mutilation - Voices of women’ (June 2016). Mother and Baby Conference, University of Huddersfield.
  • ‘Challenging dominant narratives: Stories of women seeking asylum’ (May, 2016). The School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work and Social Sciences Seminar Series, University of Salford.
  • ‘Women and Migration’ (March, 2016). Migration Yorkshire.
  • ‘Digital storytelling with women directly affected by FGM’ (March, 2016). Safeguarding, Female Genital Mutilation, North of England, NHS England.
  • ‘The Cruel Cut’ – Female genital mutilation, women and girls (March, 2015). International Women’s Day Conference, University of Huddersfield.
  • ‘A human rights approach to training and campaigning to end Female Genital Mutilation’ (September 2014) Midwifery Society FGM conference.
  • ‘The voice of the child and FGM’ (September 2014) Driving forward quality and improvement in Children and Family Services, Social Work Seminar series.
  • ‘Stories told by, for and about women refugees’ (March 2013). Women's Stories, Women's Lives. A Feminist Research Symposium.

View from the North

Invited positions

  • In November 2015, the Association of Professors of Social Work, the British Association of Social Workers, the Joint University Council Social Work Education Committee, and the Social Work Action Network (SWAN) agreed a joint statement and call for action on the refugee crisis across the EU. This statement was also supported by colleagues from the legal community in their call for action to the UK government and appeared on Monday 12 October 2015 in The Times and The Guardian. I was asked to comment on and contribute to drafting this statement.
     
  • In 2012 I was invited to represent the Centre for Applied Childhood Studies (now called the Centre for Applied Childhood, Youth and Family Research) at the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child special meeting in Geneva on "the rights of all children in the context of international migration".
     
  • In 2010 I was invited to become the Lead in Asylum and Migration Research and Practice’ in the Centre for Applied Childhood Studies (now called the Centre for Applied Childhood, Youth and Family Research).

Policy briefings and consultations

I have made numerous submissions to the United Nations and I have contributed to parliamentary inquiries, national consultations and policy briefings about women, children and families subject to immigration laws in the UK. Contributions include:

  • “Refugees Welcome?” All Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees Inquiry - which wanted to ask to what extent refugees are welcome in the UK and to explore the experiences of refugees who have either been recently recognised as refugees after making an application for asylum in the UK or who have been resettled to the UK (All Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees, with support from Refugee Council, 2016). Report published April, 2017 - copy of the report here.
  • Consultation into the use of Body Cameras by G4S on home visits and the potential breach of dignity and human rights to individuals in G4S accommodation (Migration Yorkshire, January 2017)
  • Consultation about the Post- COMPASS (Commercial and Operating Managers Procuring Asylum Support) Contract Arrangements - Asylum Accommodation Support Transformation (AAST) (Migration Yorkshire, December, 2016)
  • Mental Health Accommodation Strategy (women migrant focus) ((Kirklees Metropolitan Council, July 2016)
  • Department of Work and Pensions review of the 28 day transition period for new refugees (Still Human Still Here, April, 2016)
  • Joint Response to the Consultation on Charging for Primary Healthcare (Regional Asylum Activism, March, 2016)
  • Immigration Bill Second Reading in the House of Lords (House of Lords, December, 2015)

Conference and seminar organisation

I have been involved with bidding for funding, organising and running a number of conferences, seminars and workshops.

  • Women’s Stories, Women’s Lives. Feminist research symposium (2013).
  • Opportunities and Challenges of Feminist Narrative Research (2012).
  • Research Methods Workshop: Analysing interview narratives using the Listening Guide. Equinox conference – An Academic Conference for Teaching, Learning and Research (2012).
  • Methods workshop. Women's narratives. Women in the Frame conference, (2012).

Journal / reviewing

  • Policy Press (University of Bristol)
  • Journal of Gender Studies (Taylor and Francis)
  • Revista Migraciones (University Institute of Studies on Migration, Madrid)
  • ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies

Research Degree Supervision

Potential areas for supervision

I am interested in supervising students whose interests lie in the areas of migration, in particular women and/or children seeking asylum and refugees.

Postgraduate research opportunities with Dr Kate Smith

2017-18

PhD
MSc by Research

2018-19

MSc by Research
PhD

Teaching and Professional Activities

I teach on a range of postgraduate and undergraduate modules on asylum and migration and related issues affecting women, children and families. I facilitate a number of full and half-day ‘masterclasses’ with qualified professionals. I also contribute guest lectures on the topics of asylum, migration and narrative.

I am an experienced practitioner with more than two decades of experience at WomenCentre, Kirklees developing collaborative and participatory services and projects with women, families and children seeking asylum, refugees and new migrants. An advisor on asylum and migration issues, I collaborate with multiple stakeholders. I am contracted to work in partnership with different migration specialist organisations at a regional and national level on a range of training, resources and projects.