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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.