Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research

Making sense of the social world


About

I am a Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Kent’s School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research. My research interests include:

  • Migration, diaspora and transnationalism
  • Religion among minorities and diasporas
  • Globalisation and development
  • South Asian diasporas and new African diasporas in Europe and North America
  • Politics of identity and ethnicity
  • Space, exclusion and urban processes
  • Youth and popular culture in urban settings

Prior to my appointment at the University of Kent in 2012, I was a research fellow at CRONEM (Centre for Research on Nationalism, Ethnicity and Multiculturalism, University of Surrey) working on several international research projects. One of them consisted of a study of African Christians, South Asian Muslims and Hindus in London as part of a wider comparative research project on religion and diaspora in the UK, South Africa and Malaysia (funded by the Ford Foundation/SSRC, New York). I also managed a comparative research project on minorities, civic engagement and citizenship in 9 European countries (with funding form the EU-Framework Programme 7). In collaboration with Dr Gareth Millington (University of York) I have also explored issues of postcolonialism, youth identities and urban/spatial marginalisation in post-riot France. I have taught Sociology and Anthropology at Brunel and Roehampton universities.

My doctoral work focused on the Bengali Muslim diaspora, exploring the relationship between place, identities and transnational politics, with ethnographic fieldwork in London (Tower Hamlets) and Bangladesh (Sylhet).

Contact Information

Address

Room E123
Cornwallis East
SSPSSR
University of Kent
Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NF

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Publications

Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

Article
Garbin, D. (2014). Regrounding the sacred: transnational religion, place making and the politics of diaspora among the Congolese in London and Atlanta. Global Networks [Online] 14:363-382. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/glob.12064.
Garbin, D. (2013). Visibility and invisibility of migrant faith in the city: diaspora religion and the politics of emplacement of Afro-Christian churches. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies [Online] 39:677-696. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2013.756658.
Garbin, D. and Godin, M. (2013). Saving the Congo: Transnational social fields and politics of home in the Congolese diaspora. African and Black Diaspora [Online] 6:113-130. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17528631.2013.793133.
Garbin, D. (2012). Introduction: Believing in the city. Culture and Religion [Online] 13:401-404. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14755610.2012.751789.
Garbin, D. (2012). Marching for God in the global city: Public space, religion anddiasporic identities in a transnational African church. Culture and Religion [Online] 13:425-447. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14755610.2012.728140.
Garbin, D. and Millington, G. (2012). Territorial Stigma and the Politics of Resistance in a Parisian Banlieue: La Courneuve and Beyond. Urban Studies [Online] 49:2067-2083 . Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0042098011422572 .
Eade, J. and Garbin, D. (2007). Reinterpreting the relationship between centre and periphery: Pilgrimage and sacred spatialisation among Polish and Congolese communities in Britain. Mobilities [Online] 2:413-424. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17450100701597384.
Eade, J. and Garbin, D. (2006). Competing visions of identity and space: Bangladeshi Muslims in Britain. Contemporary South Asia [Online] 15:181-193. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09584930600955291.
Eade, J. and Garbin, D. (2002). Changing narratives of violence, struggle and resistance: Bangladeshis and the competition for resources in the global city. Oxford Development Studies [Online] 30:137-149. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13600810220138258.
Garbin, D. (2002). Bideshi Taka: Argent, migration et politiques transnationales entre Banglatown (Londres) et Sylhet (Bangladesh). Journal des Anthropologues [Online] 90-91:55-77. Available at: http://jda.revues.org/2189.
Garbin, D. (2001). Représentation communautaire Bengali et politiques identitaires musulmanes dans l’East End de Londres. Journal des Anthropologues [Online] 87:183-194. Available at: http://jda.revues.org/2759.
Book section
Vasquez, M. and Garbin, D. (2016). 'Globalization'. in: The Oxford Handbook of the Study of Religion. Oxford University Press.
Garbin, D. and Barrett, M. (2014). PIDOP: Recommendations for policy, practice and intervention. in: Political and Civic Engagement: Multidisciplinary Perspectives. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 535-548.
Garbin, D. (2013). Global prayers in global cities: Notes on Afro-Christian spatiality in Atlanta and London. in: Becker, J., Klingan, K. and Lanz, S. eds. Global Prayers, Contemporary Manifestations of the Religious in the City. Lars Muller Publishers.
Garbin, D. and Vasquez, M. (2012). "God is Technology": Mediating the Sacred in the Congolese Diaspora . in: Fortunati, L., Pertierra, R. and Vincent, J. eds. Migration, Diaspora, and Information Technology in Global Societies. London: Taylor & Francis Ltd, pp. 157-171.
Garbin, D. (2011). Symbolic Geographies of the Sacred: Diasporic Territorialization and Charismatic Power in a Transnational Congolese Prophetic Church. in: Huwelmeier, G. and Krause, K. eds. Traveling Spirits: Migrants, Markets and Mobilities. Routledge. Available at: http://www.taylorandfrancis.com/books/details/9780415808002/.
Garbin, D. (2010). Embodied Spirit(s) and Charismatic power among Congolese migrants in London (Chapter 2). in: Dawson, A. ed. Summoning the Spirits: Possession and Invocation in Contemporary Religion. I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd. Available at: http://www.ibtauris.com/Search%20Results.aspx?query=Summoning+the+Spirits.
Garbin, D. (2008). A Diasporic Sense of Place:
Dynamics of Spatialization and Transnational Political Fields among Bangladeshi Muslims in Britain . in: Smith, M. P. and Eade, J. eds. Transnational Ties. Transaction Publishers. Available at: http://www.transactionpub.com/title/Transnational-Ties-978-1-4128-0806-4.html.
Garbin, D. (2007). An overview of religious and political dynamics among the Bangladeshi diaspora in Britain. in: Sahoo, A. K. ed. Sociology of Diaspora : A Reader . New Delhi: Rawat Publications. Available at: http://www.rawatbooks.com/book_more_detail.aspx?id=263.
Garbin, D. (2007). Territoires migratoires, dynamiques transnationales et ‘authenticité’ islamique: diaspora des Bengalis musulmans entre local et global, entre ici et ailleurs. in: Petit, V. ed. Migrations internationales de retour et pays d’origine. Véronique Petit, Paris: CEPED., pp. 171-181. Available at: http://www.ceped.org/IMG/pdf/migrations_internationales_de_retour_et_pays_d_origine.pdf.
Garbin, D. (2005). Bangladeshi diaspora in the UK: some observations on socio-cultural dynamics, religious trends and transnational politics. in: Menski, W. and Chanda, B. eds. Cancer of Extremism in Bangladesh. Proceedings of the European Human Rights Conference on Bangladesh: Extremism, Intolerance & Violence. . Centre for Ethnic Minority Studies, SOAS and Bangladesh Conference Steering Committee.
Garbin, D. and Fremeaux, I. (2002). Community, multi-culturalism and the diasporic negotiation of space and identity in the East End of London. in: Eckardt, F. and Hassenpflug, D. eds. Consumption and the Post-Industrial City. Peter Lang AG. Available at: http://www.peterlang.com/index.cfm?cid=83&rid=5825865.
Eade, J., Fremeaux, I. and Garbin, D. (2002). The political construction of diasporic communities in the global city (Chapter 9). in: Gilbert, P. K. ed. Imagined Londons. State University of New York Press. Available at: http://www.sunypress.edu/p-3647-imagined-londons.aspx.
Edited book
Garbin, D. and Strhan, A. eds. (2016). Religion and the Global City. London: Bloomsbury.
Garbin, D., Pambu, W. and Godin, M. (2015). Memory Matters: Journeys in the British Congolese diaspora. [Book]. Garbin, D. ed. London: CORECOG.
Garbin, D. and Pambu, W. (2009). Roots and Routes: Congolese diaspora in multicultural Britain. [Book]. Garbin, D. and Pambu, W. G. eds. London: Roehampton University/CORECOG.
Edited journal
Garbin, D. ed. (2012). Believing in the City: Urban Cultures, Religion and (Im)Materiality - special issue of 'Culture and Religion An Interdisciplinary Journal'. [Online] 13. Available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rcar20/13/4#.VkIRZrfhC70.
Visual media
Garbin, D. and Wazaki, S. (2015). 'This is how we see you'. [Film]. Available at: https://vimeo.com/133776895.
Garbin, D. and Masi, E. (2013). FAKI: Soldiers of God. [FILM].
Show / exhibition
Garbin, D. (2014). Diaspora: (post)colonial visions. [Photography].
Total publications in KAR: 30 [See all in KAR]
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Research Interests

I have conducted qualitative and ethnographic research on migrants and diasporic communities in many different spatial and cultural environments, in both sending and receiving contexts. As part of my doctoral work on the Bangladeshi diaspora I conducted fieldwork in the UK and Bangladesh. More recently, as part of my work on the role of religion among new African diasporas, I have undertaken fieldwork among Nigerian and Francophone African communities in London, Atlanta, Montreal, Paris, as well as in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in Kinshasa and Nkamba, the holy city of one of the largest African Independent Churches (the Kimbanguist church) located near the border with Angola.

Current projects

Religion and development in African context

I am currently the Principal Investigator of a British Academy/Leverhulme-funded research project exploring the politics of religion, space and transnational development. As part of this project I am conducting fieldwork in the Congo (DRC) and in the UK, among the Congolese diaspora. Here I am exploring various ‘development visions’ associated with religious expansion and territoriality building upon my longstanding ethnographic involvement with the Congolese diaspora and the Kimbanguist community in particular - in both Western and African settings. I am particularly interested in the connections between tropes of development and social change, quests for spiritual renewal and the wider ‘project’ for the city and the nation in a context of social and political crisis. I am also researching the role played by migrants and diasporic communities in the remaking and transformation of homeland religious spaces, in material and immaterial terms. As Christianity’s centre of gravity is shifting from North to South, it is important to document how this shift is shaping the 'development landscape' of African mega-cities (eg Lagos, Kinshasa or Accra), important nodes in the emerging transnational sphere of the Global South.

African village African people gathering

Memory Matters

I am coordinator of the Memory Matters project (funded by the HLF) and which explores notions of ‘home’, identities and belongings in the African diaspora, with a particular focus on the Congolese postcolonial memory and heritage. The project involves young British Congolese residing in London as well as researchers, academics, visual artists, heritage and museum experts. The ‘Memory Matters’ project is composed of several interconnected strands. Each strand combines research, engagement and participation activities and draws upon a diversity of methods (use of audio-visual tools, discussions, workshops, interviews, postcolonial urban walks etc). The project is managed and coordinated through a partnership between CORECOG (Congolese refugee organisation in London) and the University of Kent. Other partners include: Congolese Action Youth Platform (CAYP), The Royal Museum for Central Africa, Collectif Mémoire Coloniale et Lutte contre les Discriminations, Observatoire Ba ya ya, the Centre for Heritage at Kent (CH@K) and the Centre for Research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging (CMRB, University of East London).

The project has already produced a wide range of outputs including a short film about the Tervuren museum in postcolonial Brussels, an exhibition, various photographic and written materials. See more on www.memory-matters.net.

Artwork Sculpture

Past projects

  • The religious lives of migrants and minorities: a transnational perspective. An international research project on migration, minorities and religion in the UK, South Africa and Malaysia (funded by the Ford Foundation through the SSRC, New York) and coordinated by Professor Peggy Levitt (Harvard University), Professor Jose Casanova (Georgetown University), Professor Manuel Vasquez (University of Florida), Professor Josh DeWind (SSRC) and Professor Thomas Hansen (Stanford University). As part of this project, I conducted qualitative research among African and British Asian communities in the UK as well as in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In London I worked with Professor John Eade and Dr Ann David.
  • I researched the role of religion among African migrants in London and Atlanta as well as in the sending context in Africa (DRC) as part of my involvement in the ‘Global Prayers’ network, a large research programme, led by the European University of Viadrina in Frankfurt, and looking at the poetics and politics of urban religions in cities of the Global North and the Global South, in particular in Rio de Janeiro, Lagos, Kinshasa, Mumbai, Berlin, Istanbul, London and Beirut (see http://globalprayers.info/). I was also an International Adviser of the project.
  • I was the project manager of the FP7 EU-funded Project PIDOP investigating citizenship and civic engagement among youth, migrants and minorities in 9 different European countries.
  • Using a range of visual methodologies, including video and photography, and in collaboration with film-maker and artist Enrico Masi from the University of Bologna (Italy) and Studio Caucaso, I have worked on the dialectics of visibility and invisibility of migrant religion in London - in urban, suburban and post-industrial contexts.
  • In collaboration with Dr Gareth Millington (University of York) I have examined issues of postcolonialism, youth identities and urban marginalisation in France, taking as a case study a Parisian banlieue (funded by the British Academy).
  • I led a project on cultural identities and collective memory among Congolese in the UK in partnership with a refugee organisation (funded by the Heritage Lottery).
  • I co-led a pilot project on identities and religion among Brazilian and Congolese migrants in London and Atlanta funded by the American Academy of Religion (AAR) and in collaboration with Professor Manuel Vasquez (University of Florida).
  • I was a research fellow (University of Sussex) in a large FP7 EU-Funded project (MAFE) studying migration flows from Africa (DRC, Ghana, Senegal) to Europe (UK, Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy).
  • I worked on a Leverhulme Trust-funded research project exploring acculturation and new identity dynamics among British Bangladeshi and mixed-heritage youth in London in collaboration with Professor John Eade and Professor Martyn Barrett.

Supervision

I am interested in supervising students working on themes related to migration, religion, globalisation, development, race and ethnicity, identities, exclusion or multiculturalism.

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Teaching

I currently convene the postgraduate module ‘Race, Difference and Belonging’ and the undergraduate module ‘Sociology of Everyday Life’ as well as ‘Globalisation and Development’, which critically explores the interplay between globalisation and development and how particular representations and ideologies of ‘progress’ have shaped the common understanding of inequalities between ‘Global North’ and ‘Global South’. This module also looks at the role of diasporas and other emergent actors in the processes of development and ‘globalisation from below’.

I also teach on several other undergraduate and postgraduate modules within the school.

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Telephone: +44(0)1227 823072 Fax: +44(0)1227 827005 or email us

SSPSSR, Faculty of Social Sciences, Cornwallis North East, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NF

Last Updated: 27/09/2016