SOAS University of London

Centre for Gender Studies

Mrs Laurie Lijnders

BA Journalism (Tilburg); MSc Cultural Anthropology (Utrecht)
  • Research


Laurie Lijnders
Mrs Laurie Lijnders
Email address:
Thesis title:
Motherhood Across Borders (working title)
Year of Study:
Internal Supervisors


I am a PhD candidate with the Centre for Gender Studies at SOAS University of London. I am an anthropologist and my work has focused on human trafficking, asylum and border policies and violence along the migration route from the Horn of Africa to the Middle East and Europe. I have research, advocacy and community organising experience with universities, research institutes, charities, grass root movements and international organisations. In addition to my academic work, I trained as a doula.

PhD Research

My PhD research explores the experiences and everyday lives of displaced pregnant women, mothers and their children from Eritrea along the route into and through Europe. I will undertake a phenomenological ethnography of the everyday experiences of displaced mothers in different spaces of displacement (such as reception centres, asylum centres, informal settlements, temporary homes) in the United Kingdom, France and Israel.

By shedding light on past and present experiences of and with displacement I will provide an insight into the individual pregnant women and mother’s situation in their home countries, followed by their displacement to neighbouring countries, experiences in spaces of displacement, and experiences of irregularly crossing borders and everyday life in countries of asylum. I will attend to the everyday hopes, fears, and concerns that shape individual existential imperatives (Jackson 2005:369) of mothers and to the interrelated social, discursive, and political forces that underpin their lifeworlds.


  • EU Border Care Annual Conference – 1st edition 2016: ‘Pregnant Crossings, Borderland Births: Morality, Care, and Control in the Migration Encounter’. 27-28 June 2016, Florence, Italy, European University Institute.
  • Research Seminar: Unlocking Eritrea - Eritrea Research Network. 27 May 2016. London, United Kingdom, London South Bank University.


  • Centre for Gender Studies, SOAS
  • Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies
  • EU Border Care Project
  • Eritrea Research Network
  • Race on the Agenda
  • Network of Eritrean Women


  • Social and Medical Anthropology
  • Gender Studies
  • Forced Migration
  • Maternal Health and rights
  • Phenomenological Ethnography