Childhood in the camps: investigating the provision and effects of play-based interventions for displaced children living in refugee camps

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: Education


This PhD research will explore the pressing question of how to understand and attend to the wellbeing of children in refugee camps. It intersects research on feelings and relationships in learning (Youdell 2011, 2016); children's theatre and arts (Thomson 2006; Thomson and Hall 2014); children's experiences of refugee camps and asylum seeking (Fiddian Qasmiyeh et al 2014; Humphris and Sigona 2016); children's subjectivities (Youdell 2011); and biosocial influences on learning and wellbeing (Youdell 2016). It will work in close collaboration with a specialist children's circus charity engaged in sustained work in refugee camps in Europe and draw on developing ethnographic approaches to generate nuanced accounts of participatory play-based interventions and how these contribute to children's current and future wellbeing (Public Service Academy 2016; Sigona 2016). The research has potentially huge social importance given the refugee situation in Europe - it will provide much-needed insight into how playbased children's theatre and clowning work in trauma contexts and show how the effects of such interventions might go beyond individuals to create new forms of the social through the production of empathy, understanding, reciprocity, joy, and laughter.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/J50001X/1 30/09/2011 01/04/2022
1928944 Studentship ES/J50001X/1 30/09/2017 30/12/2021 Bobby Beaumont
ES/P000711/1 30/09/2017 29/09/2027
1928944 Studentship ES/P000711/1 30/09/2017 30/12/2021 Bobby Beaumont