Aura Lounasmaa

Dr Aura Lounasmaa

Lecturer

Department of Social Sciences , School of Education and Communities

Dr Lounasmaa is a lecturer in Social Sciences and the director of the  Open Learning Initiative (OLIve) Course for refugees and asylum seekers at the University of East London. She is also a research fellow at the Centre for Narrative Research.

Qualifications

  • PhD

Areas Of Interest

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  • Ethics and methodologies of refugee activism and education
  • Forced migrant access to higher education
  • Narrative methods
  • Participatory research with forced migrants
  • Civil society activism
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On This Page

OVERVIEW

Dr Lounasmaa is a lecturer in Social Sciences and the director of the Open Learning Initiative (OLIve) Course for refugees and asylum seekers at the University of East London. She is also a research fellow at the Centre for Narrative Research.

She teaches on the foundations programme and in psychosocial studies. She is also a member of teaching staff on the Life Stories in the Jungle short course in the Calais refugee camp.

Aura's PhD research is on Moroccan women's NGO activism. In it she examined the activism and discursive strategies of rights-based and faith-based women's organisations in Morocco. Her current research interests include ethics and methodologies of refugee activism and education.

CURRENT RESEARCH

Dr Lounasmaa is researching forced migrant access to higher education, narrative methods, participatory research with forced migrants and civil society activism. Her PhD focused on women's NGOs' political discourses in Morocco.

Research Field 1: Forced migrant access to higher education

Research Field 2: Participatory and narrative research methods

PUBLICATIONS

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  • Lounasmaa, Hall and Squire (2019) 'From margin to centre? Practising new forms of European politics in the Calais "Jungle'" in Cantat, C., Sevinin, E, Maczynska, E. and Birey, T. (eds) Challenging the Political Across Borders: Migrants' and Solidarity Struggles, Budapest: Central European University Publishers Ch. 4, https://cps.ceu.edu/publications/books/challenging-political-across-borders-migrants-and-solidarity-struggles
  • Donà, G., Esin, C., & Lounasmaa, A. (2019). Qualitative Research in Refugee Studies. In P. Atkinson, S. Delamont, A. Cernat, J.W. Sakshaug, & R.A. Williams (Eds.), SAGE Research Methods Foundations. doi: 10.4135/9781526421036849022
  • Lounasmaa, A. and Esenowo, I. with OLIve course students (2019) 'Education is Key to Life: the importance of education from the perspective of displaced learners', Forced Migration Review 60 (March 2019) pp. 41-43
  • Co-editor: Calais authors (2017) Voices from the 'Jungle': stories from the Calais refugee camp, London: Pluto
  • Lounasmaa, A. (2016) 'Breaking down dichotomies in the narratives of women's activism in Morocco' in Schwabenland C., Lange, C., Onyx, J. & Nakagawa, S. (ed) The role of CSOs in women's emancipation: challenging or reinforcing the status quo? Policy Press
  • Brannlund, Kovacic and Lounasmaa (2013) 'Trialogue on narrative research and translation', Narrative Works, 3(2) autumn 2013 (https://journals.lib.unb.ca/index.php/NW/article/view/21469/0)
  • Breaking down dichotomies in the narratives of women's activism in Morocco, in Schwabenland, Lange, Onyx and Nakagawa, Women's emancipation and civil society organisations: challenging or maintaining the status quo?
  • Lounasmaa, A.. 2016. Policy Press.'Narratives in/of Translations: A Trialogue on Translating Narratives Cross-Culturally', Narrative Works. Brannlund, Kovacic and Lounasmaa. 2013.
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FUNDING

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  • Centre for Applied and Performing Arts seed funding 2018, Creative Spaces and Belonging
  • Winner of Most Inclusive Teaching Practices award at University of East London 2018 for the Open Learning Initiative (OLIve) course for refugees and asylum seekers
  • Erasmus+ KA3 Refugees Into Education 2 - Open Learning Initiative, 2018-2020 with Central European University (PI), University of Vienna and University of Thessaloniki
  • Global Research Challenge Fund, Refugee university education in Jordan: effects on education and employment progression, social integration, and personal wellbeing 2018-2019
  • Erasmus+ KA3 Refugees Into Education - Open Learning Initiative, 2016-2018, with Central European University (PI) and University of Vienna
  • Participant at British Council funded WISH Early Career workshop, Cape Town October 2017 http://www.cput.ac.za/blogs/wish/
  • Winner of Guardian University Awards 2017: Student Diversity and widening participation, Life Stories course in the Calais Jungle refugee camp
  • UEL Impact funding 'Creating multimodal narratives in the Calais jungle' 2016
  • UEL Civic Engagement funding 'Hard Edges - Lives behind the numbers' 2015
  • Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences Doctoral Scholarship 2012-2014
  • Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences Postgraduate Scholarship 2011 - 2012
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TEACHING

BA (Hons) Psychosocial Community Work

Psychosocial Studies derived out of a desire to develop a programme in the Social Sciences that enables us to think about individuals' lived experiences not just from a psychological perspective or a sociological one but in a much more holistic way.

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'Life Stories' at the Jungle Refugee Camp, Calais: 'University For All'

The Centre for Narrative Research has begun short university courses on ‘Life Stories’ with residents at the Jungle refugee camp in Calais.

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MODULES

  • Psychosocial studies dissertations
  • Foundation in Social Sciences
  • PhD supervision
  • Open Learning Initiative (OLIve) course for refugees and asylum seekers