Dr Lena S Opfermann, PhD (York), MA (Uppsala)
I joined Durham University in September 2017 as MSc Programme Director at the Durham Global Security Institute (DGSI) and Teaching Fellow in Post-Conflict Reconstruction. Prior to this I was based at the Centre for Applied Human Rights, University of York (UK), and held an EUSA_ID Fellowship at the University of the Western Cape (South Africa). My PhD explored the experiences of unaccompanied and undocumented migrant children in Cape Town through a theatre-based methodology. This research paid particular attention to questions around the ethics and politics of arts-based research in (forced) migration studies.
I hold a Master degree in International Humanitarian Action from the University of Uppsala (Sweden) and a Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Sciences from the European University Viadrina (Germany). I have spent periods of study and research at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá (Colombia), the Universidad de Deusto in Bilbao (Spain) and the University of Cape Town (South Africa).
I also have several years of professional experience in human rights advocacy, humanitarian assistance and refugee protection acquired through working with NGOs and the UNHCR in Angola, Ecuador, South Africa and Portugal.
I am teaching and convening modules in the following programmes:
MSc Defence, Development and Diplomacy and MSc Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding
My office hours (2017/18) are Wednesday 14.00 – 15.00 & Thursday 12.00 – 13.00
- Forced and undocumented migration
- Child migration
- Critical humanitarianism
- Theatre-based research
- Regional focus: Southern and Central Africa; Colombia
- Opfermann, Lena Sophia (2017), Beyond vulnerability: Reflections on undocumented children's performative agency, Beyond Crisis: Rethinking Refugee Studies. Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford, United Kingdom.
- Opfermann, Lena Sophia (2017), Theatre-based migration research: Epistemological & ethical reflections, Ways of Telling: Methods, Narratives and Solidarities in Migration Studies. University of York, United Kingdom.
- Opfermann, Lena Sophia (2016), Theatre-based forced migration research in South Africa: Epistemological & ethical reflections, International Association of the Study of Forced Migration (IASFM) Conference. Póznan, Poland.
- Opfermann, Lena Sophia (2015), Finding hope in performing hopelessness? Undocumented migrant children in South Africa stage their stories, International Applied Theatre Symposium. Auckland, New Zealand.
- Opfermann, Lena Sophia (2014), Representing 'the Story' on Stage – Theatre as an alternative form of data representation?, Refugee Voices Conference. Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford, United Kingdom.
- Opfermann, Lena Sophia (2013), Using art to explore unaccompanied migrant children’s views on their rights, International Symposium “Illegality, Youth and Belonging”. Harvard University, USA.
- Opfermann, Lena Sophia (2015). Testing the “triple imperative” A drama-based exploration of migrant children’s views. Transnational Social Review 5(3): 224.
Other (Digital/Visual Media)
- Opfermann, Lena Sophia (2016). "Just show them that we have feelings." – Reflections on the representation of migrant children's stories.