Dr Gunvor Jónsson

Departmental Lecturer in Migration and Development

Gunvor Jónsson is an anthropologist working on migration and (im)mobilities in Africa with a focus on francophone West Africa (Mali/Senegal). She teaches on the MSc in Migration Studies. Her collaborative and independent research has tackled key aspects of mobility in Africa through pioneering projects which have privileged the perspectives of African scholars and migrants themselves.

Gunvor’s thesis examined the experiences of Malian women traders residing permanently or temporarily in the Senegalese capital, Dakar. The thesis used the transformations of the colonial-era railway that linked these neighbouring countries as a lens onto wider global changes during the past decades of economic liberalisation. The analysis highlighted the active roles that women played in income generation, mobility, and spatial flows by exploring their changing status in the region, and focusing on the lives and livelihoods of female household heads and mature unmarried women. Gunvor is currently editing the thesis for publication as a monograph. Her thesis was awarded the 2015 RAI/Sutasoma Award by the Royal Anthropological Institute.

From 2008 onwards Gunvor was a key member of the team at the International Migration Institute (IMI) where she worked on the African Migrations Programme and on projects including African Perspectives on Human Mobility; Mobility in the African Great Lakes; and Theorizing the Evolution of European Migration Systems (THEMIS). Gunvor is a founding member of IMIn (www.imi-n.org) and Review Editor of Migration & Society (Berghahn Journals). She holds a PhD from SOAS; an MA from Copenhagen; and undergraduate degrees from the University of Pretoria.

The end of the railway line: Malian women, mobility and trade in Dakar

Gunvor teaches the Migration, Globalisation and Social Transormation core course for the MSc in Migration Studies, as well as offering an option on Migration and Mobilities in Africa.

Research Students supervised

Books and monographs

Jonsson, Gunvor (with Robin Cohen) (eds) (2011) 'Migration and Culture', Cheltenham: Edward Elgar

Journal articles and special issues

Jonsson, Gunvor (with Oliver Bakewell) (eds) (2013) 'Special Issue: The Contribution of African Research to Migration Theory', Journal of Intercultural Studies 34 (5)
Jonsson, Gunvor (with Oliver Bakewell) (2013) 'Theory and the Study of Migration in Africa', Journal of Intercultural Studies 34 (5) 477-85
Jonsson, Gunvor (2012) 'Imagination and Connectedness: Consumption of Global Forms in a Malian Village', Mande Studies: The Journal of the Mande Studies Association 12


Jonsson, Gunvor (2016) 'Tar Baby: Migration and Culture'. In N Van Hear, S Molteno, O Bakewell (eds) From new helots to new diasporas: A retrospective for Robin Cohen , Oxford: Oxford Publishing Services
Jonsson, Gunvor (2015) 'Malian Traders in the Senegalese Capital'. In N Sigona, A Gamlen, G Liberatore, H Neveu Kringelbach (eds) Diasporas Reimagined , Oxford: Oxford Diasporas Programme
Jonsson, Gunvor (2014) 'Non-migrant, Sedentary, Immobile, or 'Left Behind'? Reflections on the Absence of Migration'. In EBM Abdalla, DD Barros, M Berthet (eds) Spaces in Movement: New Perspectives on Migration in African Settings , Cologne: Rudiger Koppe Verlag
Jonsson, Gunvor (2012) 'Migration, identity and immobility in a Malian Soninke Village'. In Knut Graw, Samuli Schielke (eds) The Global Horizon: Migratory Expectations in Africa and the Middle East , Leuven: Leuven University Press
Jonsson, Gunvor (with Robin Cohen) (2011) 'Connecting Migration and Culture'. In Gunvor Jonsson, Robin Cohen (eds) Migration and Culture , Cheltenham: Edward Elgar
04 January, 2018
Gunvor Jónsson wins Special Commendation Award in Enhancing Teaching Programme
Research interests:

Migration and mobilities; Africa (especially francophone West Africa); anthropology; trade; gender; space/place