The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


Carmen Abouamra

Carmen is a recipient of the DPU60 PhD scholarship, covering full fees, a monthly stipend for three years and fieldwork travel.


Name: Carmen Abouamra
Nationality: Egyptian
Thesis: The Other and Urbanism: The Queer Negotiation of Subjectivity and Otherness in Refuge
Key Topics: Subjectivity, Queer geography, Refugee studies, Spatial and embodied practices

My background intersects architecture and urban design practice with academic teaching and research, working on different projects in Egypt around urban segregation, street vending, and city upgrading; and currently focusing on questions of subjectivity and migration with the support of the DPU 60th Anniversary Doctoral Scholarship. I hold an MSc Building and Urban Design in Development (2018) from University College London, with a focus on the performativity of refugeeness, a PGDip in Urban Design (2015) and a BSc in Architecture (2014) from Helwan University.

My research examines the relationship between space and the varied ways subjects are un/able to normatively inhibit it, or navigate it as “Others” outside the borders of belonging. The research centres questions of becoming and subjectivity formation/abjection; approaching them from an interdisciplinary perspective that incorporates queer and feminist readings of the experience of queer migrants and refugees between the Middle East/North Africa, and Europe; not as opposed repressive and progressive geographies that queer subjects escape one towards the other, but rather as interrelated spaces, playing a constructive role in producing normalised subjectivities and abject others. Attempting to frame how autonomy manifests within strict normative regimes, through the use of discursive, embodied, and spatial practices, in a process of becoming, of negotiating oneself and their claim on subjecthood.

Primary supervisor: Haim Yacobi
Secondary Supervisor: Hanna Baumann