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Centre for Gender Studies

Nydia Swaby


Nydia A. Swaby
Nydia Swaby
Email address:
Thesis title:
The ‘black’ British women’s movement and the politics of ‘belonging’, ‘identity’, and ‘home’
Year of Study:
First year
Internal Supervisors


Nydia is a first year PhD student at the Centre for Gender Studies at SOAS, University of London. She holds a BA in Anthropology and a minor in African American Studies (Rollins College, Winter Park, FL) and a MA in Women's History (Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY).

PhD Research

Through an analysis of postcolonial feminist scholarship and the collection of empirical data my research on the ‘black’ British women’s movement from circa 1979 until the present examines women’s groups and feminist organizations as sites in which diaspora subjects engage the politics of ‘belonging’, ‘identity’, and ‘home’. In addition to composing a historical narrative on the ‘black’ British women’s movement as a whole, a central piece of my work will be to document the organizational history of specific groups and the ongoing activities of group members.

Using qualitative methods, my research will conceptualize ‘belonging’, ‘identity’, and ‘home’ via the lived experiences of women activists. To draw out the relationship between these themes and the salience of lived experience, I intend to incorporate mini life histories, or more appropriately activist life histories, of women who are involved in the movement. Ultimately, my research will question how conceptions of ‘belonging’ and ‘identity’ are negotiated through and alongside gender and the how the politics of ‘home’ are informed by the ‘marginal’ or ‘third space’ ‘black’ women in Britain occupy.

I have been awarded a research fellowship (2012-15) by the Marie Curie Initial Training Network to work on the transdisciplinary research project entitled Diasporic Constructions of Home and Belonging (CoHAB) at the SOAS Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies. The ethos of the project lies in promoting dialogue across disciplines, encouraging collaborative research, and pushing the boundaries of migration scholarship at a time when the movement of people across the globe provides new challenges for academics and migration practitioners alike. For more information on the project, please visit: http://www.itn-cohab.eu/


Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies
PhD Student Associate Member


Black feminist theory and praxis; ‘black’ women's activism in Britain; diasporic theory and diasporic subjectivities; post-colonial theory; 'black British' women's history