Dr. Léonie Newhouse, 2014-2018
Léonie Newhouse was a Senior Research Fellow/Group Leader associated with the “African Urban Diversity” research cluster in the Department of Socio-Cultural Diversity. Prior to joining the Institute, Léonie held a position as a Visiting Assistant Professor of African Studies at Pennsylvania State University. She earned her doctorate in Geography from the University of Washington, where she focused on an ethnographic examination of the political economy of refugee return migration to South Sudan. She holds an MSc in Forced Migration from the University of Oxford and a B.S. in Environmental Economics and Policy from the University of California at Berkeley. She has also held visiting positions at the Center for Peace and Development Studies at the University of Juba, the Centre for Migration and Refugee Studies at the American University in Cairo, and the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies at the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. Léonie’s research centers on the negotiation of the dynamic social assemblages that coalesce in times of uncertainty and flux, whether due to economic crisis, ongoing conflict, the arrival of vast aid infrastructures after social and natural disasters, and often all three. As a critical development scholar, she is interested in the articulations between geopolitics, a transforming global economy and diminishing opportunities for work, as played out in places in acute crisis. Her work builds on feminist, decolonial, and critical readings of political economy to understand the conditions of produced hyper-precarity that shape urban life, livelihoods and mobility strategies across much of Africa, and more broadly the developing world. Currently, she is working at the Department of Geography of the Durham University.