About this blog

I created this blog for several reasons. My colleague Ceri Oeppen inspired me to see what the combination of a twitter account and a blog could do in academia. After becoming more active on twitter, I discovered blogs — both personal and collective — that I greatly appreciate. I also started seeing how a blog could be useful for sharing information that I am now sharing in other ways or not at all. My aim is to have one new entry every month. Satisfaction comes from achievement, so I am setting the bar at a level that will inspire rather than intimidate.

Blog posts are in three main categories: Migration (related to my research field, people who cross borders and the connections they create), Research (about being a researcher and the craft and challenges of doing research), and Communication (about academic writing, research communication and design). There’s also a Personal category.

The photo in the header is from Rabat, Morocco. A man stands by the Kasbah of the Udayas and looks out at sea. This motive illustrates one of my core research themes: migration aspirations. A close up version a similar motive illustrated a story in The New York Times about my research in Cape Verde.

The background photo of a corrugated iron wall is from Lambaye, Senegal. I was there in connection with a research project on, precisely, migration aspirations: Imagining Europe from the Outside (EUMAGINE), financed by the European Commission. If I hadn’t become a social scientist, I would have been an architect or a graphic designer. When I travel in my current job (or on holidays) I savour the visual impressions of small things such as corrugated iron walls.