Tributes and Memories
If you would like to leave a message of your memories of Claire please use the form here and we will share them with her family and online.
Kim Knott, Lancaster University
Such terrible news about the death about Claire. I first met her when she was an early career researcher, and always enjoyed and benefited from my conversations with her. We shared many academic interests, but she always managed to find new ways of framing and expressing them. I will really miss the chance to exchange ideas and updates with her.
Avril Maddrell, University of Reading
It has been a privilege to know Claire. I enjoyed working together on the WGSG committee, have drawn widely on her innovative scholarship, and more recently appreciated being able to draw on Claire's expertise, and have her support, as an Advisory Board member for a research project. Most of our encounters were at conferences or workshops, but regardless of the context, every meeting was a treat, whether an intellectual exchange, the sharing of family news, a conference dinner, or post-conference sightseeing. Claire was bright, insightful, rigorous, fun - always interesting, and always interested in others. We only met a few times a year, but over near 20 years those encounters have been a precious thread, one which I will treasure looking back, and miss deeply going forward. I know the same is true for many others. My thoughts and prayers go to Claire's family, and close colleagues, as they deal with huge loss and find new ways to continue. Thank you Claire for being such a marvelous person - here's to a 2019 geographical community resolution: that we should all be a bit more like Claire Dwyer.
Ali Rogers, University of Oxford
I am really saddened by this news, and my thoughts go out to Claire's family, her colleagues at UCL and all who knew her well. I taught Claire at Lady Margaret Hall, back in the days when they admitted geographers (though, just two a year). She would have been among the first students I tutored and, in that sense, she shaped my approach to teaching. I remember her then as a non-nonsense, energetic, well-motivated student - especially in her undergraduate dissertation, which led on to some of her later research. A wonderful and inspiring person.
Yunci Cai, University of Leicester, UK
Professor Claire Dwyer was my internal examiner for my PhD viva examination conducted in November 2017, for a piece of research on Indigenous heritage in Malaysia undertaken at the UCL Institute of Archaeology. As a geography undergraduate at the National University of Singapore, I am a big fan of Professor Dwyer's work in gender and religion having read many of her articles, so you can imagine how privileged and excited I felt when she agreed to examine my PhD dissertation. I remember Professor Dwyer as an exceptionally kind and generous examiner, who went the extra mile to make me feel at ease at the examination and provided many helpful advice on my future aspirations. She asked many sharp questions about my research, which inspired me to think critically about my work, and offered many suggestions on how my research can be analysed from the geographical perspective drawing on her own research on culture and religion. Professor Dwyer, you will always have a special place in my heart.
Deborah Phillips, University of Oxford
I was greatly saddened to hear of the loss of Claire. I worked with Claire on a number of occasions and was inspired by her intellect, her enthusiasm for understanding social difference and her generosity of nature. She was a great colleague and a lovely, warm person to be with. My heart goes out to her family and friends. Claire was an inspiration to many, and her important legacy of friendship and scholarship will endure.
Chia-Yuan Huang, University College London
I am a former PhD student of Claire's. Studying abroad for the first time facing unfamiliar challenges as an international student often left me feeling overwhelmed and unsure of myself. Claire was like a guardian angel to me during my doctoral research journey and I could always rely on her patient guidance, persistent support, and enthusiastic encouragement. I will be forever grateful to Claire.
Helen Jarvis, Newcastle University
It has taken too long for me to settle on a form of words, by way of tribute to our dear friend and colleague Claire. At first the delay was due to shock, disbelief and a sense that others had greater claim to grief than I did - having known Claire for twenty years but mostly at distance, catching up rarely and fleetingly in recent years. But then I realised I couldn't formulate what I wanted to share because the memory that kept flooding back was one so personal and bitter-sweet that I could not let it go. It's because this memory is of when we were both mothers of young children. I was the nervous-novice mother - and on this occasion it showed. Claire had generously arranged for my daughter (age 3 at the time), to be looked after during a weekend WGSG conference at UCL. My daughter had a great time looking up to older children and kindly adult entertainment - until, in a moment of distraction, her finger caught in a heavy door. I didn't hear the commotion at first, because I was deep in session at the time, but Claire approached me, oh so calmly, and became the most capable woman on the planet. When I heard my daughter cry in pain, it was visceral, and I buckled, but Claire knew as a mother herself that this would happen and that I was useless: she took charge of me as much as she did my daughter and the entire situation. Anyone who has had the great fortune to encounter Claire as a friend or colleague will know that she is THE ONE and ONLY person you want by your side in a crisis: she calmly applied first aid, soothed away all tears, and displayed infinite wisdom in putting everything back into perspective. Over the following years, when I brought my daughter to RGS conferences (until that awkward age of refusal) Claire would comment how pleased she was to see all digits intact. She was then, and always, the most compassionate, genuinely unselfish person I have ever had the good grace to know. I wanted to share these thoughts with Claire's family, her precious boys.
Peter Jackson, University of Sheffield
So sad to hear the news of Claire's untimely death. I had the privilege to supervisor her PhD while I was working at UCL and, later, to work with her on the Transnational Communities project (with Phil Crang and others). Every meeting with Claire was a joy - enlightened by her self-deprecating humour, her boundless energy and her underlying commitment to her work. She cut through the pomp and circumstance of academic life with a twinkle in her eye, always ready to lend a hand to those who needed it. Her scholarly influence and the example she set will endure as we all get used to life without her. My condolences to Paul, her family and friends. Claire, you are much loved and dearly missed.
Jason Lim, University of Brighton
Claire was my lead PhD supervisor, and it is an understatement to say that I would never have got through my PhD without her. I was not the easiest student to supervise, and yet Claire was consistently calm, supportive and encouraging. When I needed it, she was compassionate and understanding; and when I needed to be challenged, she brought her incredible intellect and rigour to bear. Since then, whenever I met Claire at conferences or social events, it was always one of the highlights. Even if we had not seen each other for years, we could chat away as if we’d only seen each other yesterday. She had such a gift for putting people at ease, for connecting with others, for bringing joy to a conversation. I’m sure so many others will recognise this generosity of spirit. I learned so much from Claire: about research; about feminism, multiculturalism, and thinking across difference; but, above all, about how to conduct oneself, how to be better. She was not only an exemplary supervisor, scholar and colleague, but an exemplary person. I am so sad I don’t think I ever told her this, but in trying to be a good colleague and a good supervisor, Claire is the person I have tried to model myself on most. I and so many others will miss her so much. My thoughts and condolences to her family, her friends and her colleagues.
Suhasini Bostone, UCL Alumni
Professor Claire Dwyer was my personal tutor and supervisor during my MSc in Global Migration; she always extended her support outside of my academic studies and I will forever value her intellect, advice, kindness and compassion. Peace be upon you Claire.
Ben Cassidy, St. Joseph's Catholic Primary School, Hanwell, Ealing
Claire and Paul's two boys attended St Joseph's Catholic Primary School whilst I was headteacher of the school. My initial interactions with Claire were often based around the times childcare arrangements had fallen through, but Claire was so keen that the au pairs she welcomed into her home had to improve and study whilst in her care! Claire and Paul both carried their professional lives very lightly in school. As a parent Claire was so evidently supportive of her sons whilst very realistic about the nature of boys, she was a realist. She relished when the boys, who were super, rubbed up against authority seeing an opportunity to guide and mentor. Claire just exuded good sense and deeply embedded love whilst expecting the highest standards of the boys in the areas they showed an interest in. Paul and Claire's younger son faced additional physical challenges, but his sense of security and self image was remarkably strong as a result of the love his parents and brother had towards him, but in their view no disability could not be minimised by hard work and good relationships, both of which their children inherited in spades. Claire served as a school governor and her ability to cut through the ""faff"" to ask the most pertinent question which acknowledged the facts of a national curriculum and centrally directed educational system but, placed the child at the heart of all we were about. To paraphrase the Gospels, Claire spoke with authority, and that was as true in a Standards and Outcomes meeting or serving burgers at the school fete! Paul and Claire were a great team,and perhaps aware of the contradiction inherent in being a school governor, it was up to Paul to request leave of absence for the family's annual surburban truancy to the Latitude Festival which I was happy to authorise."
Natasha Cornea, University of Birmingham
I shared a hall with Claire during my time as a visiting post-doc at UCL. Each interaction we had, from hallway chats to responding to her insightful and difficult questions in seminars was collegial and supportive. She was the type of academic I aspire to be. My condolences to her family and to all of those who feel her loss at UCL and beyond.
Ulrich Tiedau, UCL
I am deeply saddened and shocked by the news and my thoughts are with Clare's family. I will always remember her as one of the most inspiring and joyful colleagues here at UCL.
Sarah Mills, Loughborough University
I was so sad to hear the news about Claire and my thoughts of course are with her family, friends and colleagues. Although I did not know her well personally, or through a research project/institution, she was always someone I looked forward to seeing at conferences and particularly the RGS. She was so encouraging and supportive. I first met Claire at a conference in Liverpool on Muslim Geographies as a first-year PhD student, and she asked me a fantastic and helpful question on my MA research on Muslim Scout Groups. Her early work on youth and religion was inspiring. I was really shocked that a few years later in the RGS tent, Claire remembered who I was and chatted enthusiastically about volunteering, charities and scouting (she had a personal/family connection too). She was definitely one of the people I really looked forward to seeing at the RGS and catching up with. Her more recent creative projects with different faith groups were so vibrant, and have featured in my teaching for a number of years and will continue to do so. I wish I’d told Claire this and how much her work engaged students here and continued to inspire me. It is clear from other messages on this website and on social media that she had a huge impact on undergraduates and PhD students, as well as colleagues, and will be greatly missed.
Richard Mole, UCL
When I arrived at UCL, Claire was one of the first people I met from outside my home department. The passion with which she spoke about her research made a lasting impression on me and her work was instrumental in the reorientation of my own research towards issues of migration, gender and diaspora. But it it for her kindness and generosity with her time that I will remember her most. You will be sorely missed.
Jenny Robinson, University College London
Each time in the last year as I have walked down the corridor where we worked together for 9 years, I have had Claire on my mind. I had such a celebratory feeling as I thought of her promotion to Chair, which I had supported eagerly. And then I sent winging her way wishes and prayers for fight against cancer. Claire stands for us as truly an exceptional and generous colleague. Always one with a great question at seminars, ready with a generous response to requests for help, and even as she ran from one meeting to another, a kind word and a smile. I was so aware of her energy in doing her work so well, and being a wonderful mum. She had beaming pride in her sons, and seemed to be so grounded in the life she shared with Paul and them. Her work was always creative, empirically rich and full of ideas. She has inspired so many of us with her academic contributions, but for me it is her everyday kindness and collegiality which stands out in my memories. Peace be with you, dear Claire.
Philip Crang Royal, Holloway University of London
I first worked with Claire as a colleague at UCL in the 1990s, and then when we were both collaborators with Peter Jackson, Nicola Thomas and Suman Prinjha on our research project looking at South Asian transnationality and food and fashion cultures. She was a perfect colleague: fun, generous, super smart. Above all, she was a quite brilliant researcher, always driven by her commitment to her subject matter and the people she was working with rather than her own ambitions. It was one of the privileges of my career, and life, to have worked with Claire.
Tessa Anderson, Danish Technical University
I graduated from UCL in 2007 having completed a Bachelors and PhD at UCL Geography. I had the pleasure of being taught by Claire at undergraduate level and she was amazing. I am so sad as she was such an inspirational academic especially for young women trying to make it in this field. My heart goes out to her family and friends.
Jonathan Holmes, UCL
I was deeply saddened to hear of Claire’s death. She was a long-serving and highly respected member of the Geography department at UCL and will be sorely missed. I extend my sincere condolences to Claire’s family
Sarah Holloway, Loughborough University
My first memory of meeting Claire was at a Women and Geography Study Group social event. I recall feeling awkward as group of PGRs and ECRs who didn’t know each other were thrown together. Claire and a friend cheerfully changed the atmosphere by circulating through the room and introducing themselves to everyone. For me, this was the start of a friendship that also led to a research collaboration. More broadly, it symbolises why everyone who knew Claire doesn’t just say she was intellectually gifted (though she undoubtedly was), but also that she was an entirely lovely person. Geography and geographers will miss her greatly. My sincere condolences to her husband and children.
Amy Horton, UCL
As my mentor when I joined UCL last year, Claire offered invaluable guidance and support in my first months as a lecturer. In our regular chats, on the picket line, from her writing and at her wonderful event at the Tate Modern, I learned so much from her about scholarship and teaching. We miss her immensely in the department. Her work and collegiality will always be an inspiration to us. My thoughts are with her family and friends.
Alastair Owens, Queen Mary, University of London
I am writing on behalf of all of us in the School of Geography at Queen Mary to express our deep sadness at the death Professor Claire Dwyer. We offer you and your colleagues our heartfelt condolences and would be grateful if you could also extend our deepest sympathies to Claire’s family. Claire was known and admired by many in our School. She was a friend, colleague and role model and her work was a great inspiration to lots of us, crossing mutual interests in gender, race, migration, transnationalism and religion. We are hugely fortunate to have such a rich and talented community of geographical scholars in London, but among these Claire was an exceptional figure of great intellectual significance whose work engaged with the complex social geographies of this remarkable city, through research that was impressively inclusive and collaborative. Reading the many appreciations of Claire, it is clear that she will be deeply missed but that she leaves a personal and intellectual legacy that will be long lasting. We share in your sadness but celebrate the life of a scholar whose geographical imagination and professional commitment to her colleagues and the wider discipline were inspirational.
Melanie Limb, University of Northampton
I had the honour of working with Claire on Qualitative Methodologies for Geographers. She was exceptional. Hard working and efficient yet so very kind and funny. Later, at a difficult time in my life, her message of support was personal and heartfelt. I was so sorry to hear she had died but she has left an amazing legacy for all her colleagues students and her family. A real leading light.
As others have commented, I too have fond memories of Claire from my time as a postgrad in the UK, mainly via the WGSG. I think it is notable she made so many of us feel welcome. Later, as a transatlantic colleague, I recall a lovely conversation that ensued over a piece she was writing on photographing faith for cultural geographies. She was intellectually sharp and generous, warm, kind. I am deeply sorry for her family’s great loss.
Pamela Moss, University of Victoria, Canada
It was so sad to read of Claire's passing. She was just as inspirational to those from afar as to those who knew her well. My deepest condolences to Claire's family. I trust that you all will find way to live with your loss in the moths and years to come.
Parvati Raghuram, The Open University
A wonderful person taken too early. Seeing her at the WGSG/GFGRG dinners always made the RGS conference special. It was a privilege and honour to have known her. My warmest regards to the UCL department and to her family.
Carl Sayer, Geography, UCL
Claire was the kindest and most supportive of people. Always interested and concerned for others and even when she was ill and I sent on my best wishes, typical of Claire, she re-focused on to me to wish me well for my sabbatical leave. Claire you were the definition of wonderful and you will be so greatly missed.
Fiona Adamson, SOAS, University of London
Claire was a lovely colleague, who reached out to me across departments soon after I arrived at UCL in 2003 and made me feel welcome. We shared interests in diaspora and transnationalism and even did some co-supervising. When I moved over to SOAS in 2007 we continued to work together as co-convenors of the London Migration Research Group (LMRG). Claire's steadfast and encouraging presence will be greatly missed -- it is hard to imagine the LMRG without her. I extend my deepest condolences to Claire's family, friends, colleagues and students.
Paige Isaacson, UCL
Claire was an absolutely lovely person. She was the course convener for my Master's and my personal tutor and I remember her most for always making everyone feel genuinely comfortable and at home. I remember walking into her office where inevitably a quick question would turn into an hours long conversations on anything from the value of a PhD to life in London. My cohort and I always knew she genuinely wanted the best for us and that came through in everything she did - from writing endless letters of recommendation to helping us cope with the stress of dissertation writing. She was a warm, kind-hearted person and brilliant academic and she will be greatly missed.
Professor Ann R David, University of Roehampton
Claire and I first met at a CRONEM (Centre for Research on Nationalism, Ethnicity and Multiculturalism) conference in 2009. She kindly and enthusiastically invited me to contribute a paper at a seminar on Religion and Transmigration that she was organising at UCL the following year, and we found we had many overlapping research interests that led to some thought-provoking, challenging and inspirational conversations. Claire then encouraged me to submit a paper for her panel on Travelling Faith at the RGS-IBG conference later that year. We were to meet up at occasional conferences and workshops in the years that followed - the last time meeting at my university (Roehampton) in 2017 for an invited conversation on Immigration, Spirituality and the Arts. This was the last time I saw her. Claire was immensely supportive, warm and encouraging, but also prepared to raise the difficult questions if needed. I much respected her as a scholar and fellow academic, as well as a warm, caring, intelligent colleague, and I am very saddened by this news, although delighted too, that she was awarded her well-earned Chair last year. My warmest condolences go to her family and close friends and other colleagues.
Michael J Richardson, Newcastle University
Claire generously made time to support the work of early career scholars. I benefited from her generosity as part of a session she had organised at the RGS-IBG on "Faith, Space and Youth" back in 2013. This led to Claire encouraging me to write a book chapter for her edited work with Nancy Worth on "Identities and Subjectivities" with the Springer collection, Geographies of Children and Young People, in 2016. For this I will always be grateful and she will be dearly missed in the academic community.
Dilraj Singh Sachdev, Ealing Gurdwara, London Sikh Centre
I got to know her during "Making Suburban Faith" project and met her few times during the project, she was a wonderful person and very pleased personality. It was an honoured to know her. Our sincere condolences and deepest sympathy with her family.
Jo Sharp, University of St Andrews
Like so many others here, I have happy memories of Claire and will miss her insightful, kind and generous presence. We first met at Syracuse where we were both doing our masters. I learned so much from our conversations then, but what I remember most is laughter. Since then, I always looked forward to catching up at conferences, and I know I will still expect to see her walking through the gardens at the RGS in August.
Clare Madge, University of Leicester
I first met Claire in the 1990s when we were starting our careers as academic geographers. We met through the (then) Women and Geography Study Group, as we were the Newsletter editors. I will remember Claire for her good ideas, academic precision, warmth and laughter. This is a huge loss. My thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues at this sad time.
Will Marks, UCL
Claire opened my eyes with her enthusiasm during my Urban Studies masters at UCL, especially in her teaching on the Migration and Urban Multicultures module. Her field trips around London were enthralling and it was this interest that ultimately led me to my dissertation topic. Exploring the urban multicultures of construction sites in London, Claire was instrumental in providing critique during the process and was a great supporter of this work.
Hester Parr, University of Glasgow
Claire's work was present during my whole academic life and was always a source of inspiration. I found her scholarship hugely socially relevant and sensitively done. I will always use her work. She was a trailblazer for truly excellent work on youth identities and gender and religion and this brilliant research will be just one aspects of her legacy. In person Claire was always kind and generous, quiet and purposeful. I admired her hugely and she will be much missed. My family is thinking of her family.
Anson Mackay, UCL
I feel like I've grown up in the department with Claire. When I started back in the 1990s Claire was a PhD student and I science post-doc, but she opened my eyes to the importance of geography for understanding young people and their identities, which forced me to look at the world more fully. And it's fair to say that I continued to learn from Claire all the time. She was the most considerate and thoughtful of colleagues, and also rightly critical when needed. The discipline, and our department especially, has lost a friend, a mentor.
Becky Elmhirst, University of Brighton
My thoughts and condolences to Claire's family, colleagues and many friends. My memories of Claire are from the mid 1990s when our paths crossed at a Gender and Geography conference at the National University of Singapore, and thereafter, at WGSG meetings. She was a true feminist geographer: kind, compassionate, insightful, and her work has been inspirational in so many ways. She will be greatly missed.
Elsbeth Robson, University of Hull
I was shocked and saddened to hear of Claire's death. I recall over the years meeting her at RGS-IBG conferences and particularly enjoyed talking to her over dinner in a Kensington restaurant at a WGSG/GFGRG social gathering. I have learnt more about Claire and her immense contributions to the discipline, UCL and the wider community from reading the tributes. My sincere condolences to her family, colleagues and former students. I am sorry to be unable to attend her funeral mass or cremation service, but I am sure they will be a fitting farewell. Requiescat In Pace.
Izzy Chapman, Making Suburban Faith
I had the opportunity to work with Claire in the ‘My life is but a weaving’ project. She was a genuinely good, kind and compassionate person. Who left a wonderful impact with her work. Claire will be dearly missed.
Jason Dittmer, UCL Geography
When I moved to London, I lived a few miles down the road from Claire and her family. She very kindly invited me to her house for a party and guided me through the confusion of the first few months. It was a taste of the collegiality that I would benefit from for the next 12 years. Claire, you are missed.
Alison Blunt, Queen Mary, University of London
I am so sad to read that Claire has died. She was wonderful and very inspiring, and always such a pleasure to talk to. Claire's humanity shone through all of her work - her commitment to teaching and research, her collegiality and support, particularly for other women and junior colleagues in Geography, and the great care and kindness with which she worked and engaged with other people.
Veronica della Dora, RHUL
Claire was one of the most innovative and passionate scholars working on the geographies of religion and multiculturalism. Her work has been pivotal in shaping this emerging field. Most importantly, Claire was a wonderful person and colleague. I had the fortune to interact with her at various conferences, workshops, and events she organized and I was always struck by her boundless energy, enthusiasm and generosity. We will miss her badly.
Jo Norcup, University of Warwick and Nottingham
It is hard to know where to begin my tribute to Claire. I could tell of my first encounter of Claire at an IBG in 1996 where she put me as a masters student at my ease, and took seriously my ambitions. Or in 2004, when appointed on a Fawcett Fellowship in the Department of Geography at UCL after teaching in secondary schools / pupil referral units, how Claire was genuinely interested in my commitment to recovering and making feminist and anti-racist geography education. That she never treated me as inferior because my path through academia differed from others, but rather saw the strengths I could bring, gently gifting me confidence in my voice and alternative route. Of her firm encouragement. Of her wicked sense of humour. Of her care. How she brooked no fools and modelled ways to stay firm and resolved with compassion and integrity. Claire was generous in listening, in sharing her insights into networks of people and organisations that might be a good match for my own academic interests, and in cultivating curiosity to make more capacious geographical knowledge communities. Mainly, though, she saw the shared trajectories we both had: from teaching in secondary school to working on PhDs while also working in HE, and making ways through. She saw that people mattered and how one makes people feel often lasts longer than the carefully crafted words on a pay-walled academic paper (but that getting on and getting your words and research out matters and changes things for the better too). Of the power of kindness. In 2007, Claire encouraged me to apply for a new post in CLIE at UCL in developing an international preparatory course in geography that was humanities focused but that made connections across the UCL Language Centre and the Department of Geography. The permanent job contract ensured I had the job security to complete my part time doctoral studies as well as the opportunity to work alongside her and others in Geography and CLIE in creating a course that has gone on to support many international students in subsequent years. Claire maintained interest in my post PhD work, invited me to give lunchtime seminars, mentored me when I found my own confidence lacking, and supported over a quick cuppa. Claire became a friend whom I wish I had spent more time in the company of. I am heartbroken she isn’t here for me to say these words to, but I know she knew, and send love to Paul and her boys, as well as her colleagues at UCL and beyond who will feel her loss immeasurably. I feel so very lucky to have known her, and her traits of quick humour, sharp brain and big heart remain traits to aspire.
Katharina Bamberg, UCL Graduate
I had the privilege of studying for the MSc Global Migration programme (2015/2016) that Claire convened at UCL. I will remember her as an excellent academic, fair and encouraging teacher, and compassionate person. My heartfelt condolences to her family and friends.
Charlotte Lemanski, University of Cambridge
I was extremely saddened to hear of Claire's death. I worked at UCL Geography 2007-2014, during which time I had both my children. Claire was a hugely supportive (informal) mentor and role model for me - reaching out to me as I was struggling with the demands of combining work with parenting young children, offering guidance and a listening ear. To me, she embodied all that I hoped to achieve in being a decent colleague and loving parent, whilst remaining committed to excellent teaching and research. It feels that she has been taken from us far far too soon. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.
Johanna Waters, UCL
I first met Claire when I was visiting UCL as a Masters student but had been aware of, and influenced by, her work throughout my undergraduate studies. One of my first publications was in a book she co-edited. She was one of those amazing people in geography that I sought to emulate. Her contribution to research on transnationalism and feminist geography was momentous. Over the next nearly 20 years I continued to bump into her at conferences (once, memorably, in the toilet) and was touched by the fact that she remembered me and always said hello. When the opportunity arose for me to apply for job at UCL, the thought of being able to work with Claire filled me with excitement. I was delighted that she had a hand in hiring me and delighted when she asked me to co-teach on her course Migration and Transnationalism. She fell ill shortly after our initial meetings. We taught one session together only (introducing the Masters programme). To say that Claire's death will leave a hole in the Department is an understatement. She was clearly an integral part of the place - a shining light, a person of great warmth, humility and kindness. She was just lovely to be around. I will treasure the last email I had from her just over three weeks ago, full of her characteristic enthusiasm and thoughfulness (was I doing OK?) and optimism. Our sadness at her death is beyond words.
Julian Holloway, Manchester Metropolitan University
I will always have very fond memories of Claire. As one of the few working on the geography of religion we met many times and examined various PhD theses together. She was always, without deviation, friendly, generous, funny, encouraging and extremely bright. Claire was always a person I actively sought out at conferences and the like - something that is very rare for me. A nicer person you could not meet. I will miss her.
Pushpa Arabindoo, University College London
You couldn't have asked for a better mentor for women in academia, always by your side to make UCL a better place of work. She was constantly reinventing herself and her enthusiasm for teaching and research was infectious. I would often tell myself, 'if only I could achieve half of what she has...'. Oh, Claire, how I will miss you!
Sam Randalls, UCL
Sometimes you read biographies and wonder whether it's really the same person you knew. There are no doubts in this case. It is a beautiful tribute to the eminent academic and wonderful colleague that Claire was, and in every respect reflects the great memories we will treasure of her life. A real loss for UCL and the wider geographical community. The department will be so much poorer without her liveliness, friendliness and ability to cut through the thick of it in meetings. My condolences to all the family.
Dr. Harshita Upadhyaya, IIS (deemed to be University), Jaipur, INDIA
My condolences to the family and may her soul rest in peace.
Margaret Walton-Roberts, Wilfrid Laurier University, Ontario Canada
I was shocked to hear that Claire has passed away. I knew Claire when I was a graduate student and presented in a session she and Peter Jackson and Phil Crang organized at the AAG, which resulted in their edited book on transnational spaces (2004). Since that time Claire was always a kind and supportive colleague, she was relentlessly enthusiastic in our discussions about research on gender, migration, religion and transnational migration. Her positivity was always so refreshing and recharging. I want to share my condolences with her family, her friends and colleagues, I know her joy, kindness and intellect will be deeply missed.
Chanan Kupietzky, 2i7 Investments Group & SPEAK ltd.
May you be comforted from heaven. A very very special woman. Chanan - Her student from Jerusalem, Israel.
Lynda Johnston and Robyn Longhurst, University of Waikato
We wish to add our message of condolence to Claire's geographical community, close colleagues and loved ones. Claire's influence went far beyond her UK geographical home. She was an internationally renowned feminist geographer who served for many years on the Gender, Place and Culture editorial board. Claire was also a member of the International Geographical Union Gender and Geography Commission Steering Group (2009 - 2012). It was through these networks that we, from Aotearoa New Zealand, met Claire. Her contributions were always thoughtful and vital to our communities. Her strong commitment to social justice, gender equality, diversity, and faith based groups was inspiring. Without a doubt, Claire's scholarship and leadership strongly influenced us here in Aotearoa New Zealand, as well as many many people - academics, students, and activists - from around the globe. As others have mentioned, not only was Claire an outstanding academic, she was a thoroughly warm and genuine individual who cared deeply about all of those around her. We will miss her.
Holly Hapke, University of California, Irvine
I met Claire in graduate school at Syracuse University in January 1991. I joined the Geography program mid-year -- always awkward, but Claire made a special effort to make me feel welcomed. We became fast friends, shared a flat for a semester, and kept in touch over the years. She was often my hotel roommate at the AAG, and on several occasions Claire generously opened her home to me when I visited London. Claire was my first collaborator as a geographer. As graduate students, we shared an interest in pedagogy and presented a colloquium on the subject, which shook up the department a bit when we rearranged the room to have attendees sit in a circle. We also convinced one of our professors (John Agnew) to allow us to submit a co-authored paper for a course requirement -- also a bit "radical" at the time, but he graciously allowed it, and I must say that that collaboration with Claire was one of the two most gratifying of my entire career. Claire's unassuming nature belied a sharp, incisive mind. She was clever, witty, compassionate and kind; quick to laugh and a great conversationalist. Each time we met up, we talked for hours about all manner of things -- such wonderful conversations! Such a dear, dear friend.
Emily Gilbert, University of Toronto
Very saddened to hear of Claire's death. I first met her when I was a postgrad in the UK at weekend meetings of Feminist Geographers. She was always so warm, open and generous. We had the chance to reconnect briefly when she was in Toronto a few years ago, when she gave a talk to our department. Still such a warm, open and generous person. She will be missed around the world. Sending all best thoughts to her family and loved ones.
Shubhra Gururani York University, Toronto
No words to express such a huge loss. Claire and I met three decades back as international students in Syracuse, and we stayed in touch ever since. She is the one who introduced me to Geography and our paths crossed often. I was really lucky to have Claire as a friend and colleague. Not only was she an amazing scholar and researcher, but I will fondly remember Claire for her warmth, great sense of humor, her incredible generosity and grace. I will miss you dearly always!
Sean Ashcroft, St Josephs RC Catholic School, Hanwell W7
I am not an academic. I knew Claire through being a parent governor at St Josephs Catholic School. Claire was a Foundation governor for the entirety of my 4-year term. Both of her sons attended the school. I was so saddened to learn of her death. In governor meetings, as is the way, one is hit by a blizzard of stats and tables, and an avalanche of acronyms and alien terms (to me, at least), such as quartiles, percentiles, cohorts, etc. I struggled to make much sense of it, but was always incredibly impressed at how Claire managed to not only digest and interpret all this data, but to then also ask laser-guided questions of the head. She also had a terrific vocabulary. I'm a journalist, and like to think of myself as being quite strong on that front too, but more than once, Claire had me reaching for the dictionary when I got home from meetings, to look up a word she had used. Oleaginous was one such example (I use it myself now, whenever I can!). Claire was clearly a gifted academic, but she was also fantastically community minded and such a positive person. I got the strong impression she was someone who gave of her best to everything she did. She will be missed by past and present governors, and the school and church community is poorer for her loss.
Sarah Glynn, currently working with Sustrans in Edinburgh
When I had been told firmly that I would never get support for a PhD, Claire, and others at UCL, showed confidence in me. Under her guidance I successfully applied for the ESRC grant that allowed me to return to academia and discover the riches of academic geography. In fact Claire and her colleagues helped win so many ESRC PhD grants that year that they were almost embarrassed to meet geographers from other UK universities. Thank you, Claire. I hope you knew what a difference this made for me.
Linda Peake, York University
Dear Claire, It has been a privilege to get to know you over the years, from since your Ph.D years with Peter to your later work that brought you to Canada, to York and UBC. As a reviewer of some of your unpublished work I was blown away by your intellectual ability, which you wore so lightly. Your research statements were master classes in academic thought and practice - if only they could be widely available. It was a joy to read your keen ability to take a theme, a concept, to bring it to life and follow its development into a research program, to thread it through from beginning to end. There was a remarkable level of detail in these plans, which never lost sight of theoretical insights and historical and geographical specificities, and without sacrificing one to the other. Your body of work was central to putting UK Social Geography onto a world stage as was your service to feminism, both inside and beyond the academy, and not least though all the wonderful Ph.D. students you brought into our world. And last but not least, I have you to thank for introducing me to White Linen. 'What's the wonderful perfume you're wearing?' I asked one day. 'White Linen' you replied, 'it seems so old fashioned, but it's my favourite'. It's been my favourite ever since too, and very time I wear it I will think of you. Thank you for that blessing Claire. Love, Linda.
Ingrid A. Medby, Oxford Brookes University
I am so sorry to hear the sad news. My heartfelt condolences to her family and friends. I met Claire when I took up a teaching fellowship at UCL in 2016. It was my first academic post, and Claire offered so much warmth and generosity with her time and support. She was a fantastic scholar and a wonderful colleague. She will be dearly missed. Thank you, Claire.
Leonie Porter, UCL Alumni
Claire was a wonderful lecturer, a deeply caring person and a truly gifted and unique being. She will truly missed.
Betsy Olson, UNC Chapel Hill (USA)
Claire was transformative. I settled on this adjective after considering the others that will rightly be used to describe her passion, kindness, and admirable professionalism. She had a remarkable ability to identify areas of research and theory at the thinest edge of their emergence. Whether writing about feminisms, race, immigration, or religion, Claire offered profound insights about the world that we were all living in, but had not yet appreciated in the fullness of everyday lives and devotions. Anyone who had the privilege of hearing her present a new piece of qualitative research would have witnessed the excitement and depth of understanding she had for each and every project, which she then processed for us through her fluid prose. She was generous to her scholarly communities and held all of us to a higher standard, to our mutual benefit. Our discipline loses much with the passing of this distinguished scholar. I'm honored to know (or know of) her collaborators and students, and I am certain that they will continue to carry on her legacy, as will those of us who have been inspired by her. I will miss seeing her and reading her new words. My heart goes out to her colleagues, friends, and especially to her family. May you find peace with her memory and her faith during this very sad time.
James D Sidaway, National University of Singapore
Claire’s research amongst Muslims in the UK set paths that many have followed there, and far beyond. These paths will endure. Hence we will continually be reminded just how much we have lost by her untimely passing.
Andre Carmo, University of Évora
In 2007, I was a student of Claire Dwyer at the MSc Modernity, Space and Place. I will always remember this period of my life and the importance of Professor Claire for my training as a geographer and social scientist. My condolences to the family.
Harry Pettit, University of Oxford
I met Claire only a couple of times as I was applying to a postdoc fellowship at UCL, with her as the mentor. She was just unbelievably generous and kind with her engagement throughout the process. Both her kindness during that time and her incredible work has left a lasting impression.
Mathias Disney, UCL
I'm so sorry to hear about Claire. She was someone who embodied what for me is best about the department - her welcoming and inclusive nature, thoughtfulness combined with great humour and calmness. I can only add my condolences to her family and friends and to say we are all much the worse off without her.
Pat Noxolo, University of Birmingham
Claire was an important scholar, particularly within feminist geography, where she was one of the most influential voices in the sub-discipline. Claire was also a warm and friendly presence at disciplinary conferences and at UCL - this is extremely important in academic disciplines, and she will be sorely missed. My thoughts are with all the people who knew her best and will miss her the most, especially her family, who were so important to her.
Susanna Trotta, UCL (2015-2016)
Claire was my co-supervisor at the MSc Global Migration a few years ago. The wealth and depth of her teaching and advice will always stay with me. I am especially grateful to her for giving me and other students the opportunity to explore critical analysis and narration through the use of sounds and images. I express my heartfelt condolences to her family and close friends.
Gone far too soon, sorely missed. You were a lovely human and I still can't believe I am writing this. May you rest in peace. Sahara xx
Claire was my first tutor at UCL in 2016-2017 and my first form of contact with university in a sense. Of course, she was kind and lovely- she helped me when I was nervous and was always interested in our (the group in the form) development. I just remember her smiling a lot and the comments she would give (always helpful!). I feel that I was lucky to have her as a tutor. I liked to go to her office and chat- I remember each time I looked in through the small window of the door, she would be working on her computer without fail. I think she had a lot of ideas that she needed to share. I don't have a bad memory of Claire. She was very inspirational- she showed us her work and I was always in awe of her writing style and ideas. I am glad that she has left an impact- not just in academia, but at UCL and on the thousands of people who got to listen to her and learn from her. I wish I could put more into words about Claire and write more beautifully about her. As long as I remember my time at Uni, I will remember her and I will pray for her. I wish I never had to write this at all- but in doing so I have realised how much of a great person Claire was and how blessed I am to have met her. I will be forever thankful.
Eoin O'Mahony, UCD
I met Claire only a handful of times and she was always very encouraging of me as a graduate student. I am sorry to hear this news. Deepest condolences to her family and friends.
Dion Georgiou, University of Chichester
A wonderful scholar whose work on suburban faith was really outstanding.
Rhys Dafydd Jones, Prifysgol Aberystwyth
I'm so sad to hear this sad news. Claire's work was a big influence on me, and she did so much to develop geographical work on religion and migration. I first met her at the Muslim Geographies conference at Liverpool in 2008, and happened to be in the same carriage as her on the train back (I seem to remember her mentioning that she was going to the zoo in Chester the following day). I was thrilled when she agreed to examine my thesis, and always found her supportive and generous with her time, and a really kind person. Her work on geographies of religion was groundbreaking, and her lecture at the 2011 AAG is one of the best, most thought-provoking talks I've heard. My thoughts are with her family, friends, and colleagues.
Megha Amrith Max, Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity
Claire was my undergraduate dissertation supervisor when I was at UCL as a young student from Singapore, away from home for the first time, discovering social and cultural geography and becoming interested in research. She was such an inspiration, ever so supportive, encouraging and kind. I was so pleased that I had a chance to visit and reconnect with her at UCL again a few years ago. As a teacher and person, she has left a lasting impression on me and shaped my aspirations to pursue academic research. Thank you, Claire Dwyer.
Rahul Bhatnagar, UCL
As great an academic as Claire was, in my eyes she was an even better person. She was such a caring and considerate person. I’ll never forget our conversation on the metro during the undergraduate trip to Paris where we were just simply talking about our lives, but the interest she took in learning about and listening to other people’s stories is something that lasts with me. I don’t know how but anything she said always seemed so reassuring - even if she wasn’t trying to reassure me! Claire may no longer be with us, but her legacy still lives on through her work, and crucially, in all the memories of the people who had the privilege of getting to know Claire - in that way she’ll always remain with us ❤️
Anparasan Sivakumaran, UCL
She was a wonderful person and a fantastic lecturer and it was a privilege to have been taught by her during my time at UCL. The passion for Geography she instilled in me will truly remain in my heart and stay with me for life. Thank you Claire for everything.
Divya P. Tolia-Kelly, Sussex Geography
Thank you for you care, honesty and good faith in us all. Sending much sympathy, peace and love to family and friends.
Sebastian Daly, Ucl
I am heavily indebted to the support and care I received from Claire when she was my dissertation supervisor at UCL. Her insights and willingness to see me (many many times) was critical to my success. She was a star in the department and loved by all her students. She will be sorely missed ❤️
Anna Denham, UCL Alumna
I am so saddened to hear this and send my thoughts to Claire's family, friends and colleagues at this very difficult time. Claire was my tutor on the MSc Global Migration course 2011-13 and dissertation supervisor. I was also fortunate to have volunteered as a Research Assistant on her Faith in Suburbia project in 2012, which I enjoyed greatly. I learnt so much from Claire. She was welcoming, supportive, kind and a great tutor. Rest in peace, Claire.
Anaka Nair, UCL
I've always felt very lucky to have been taught by Claire during my undergraduate degree. Her work was a great source of inspiration to me and she was such a wonderful teacher. Sending my condolences to her family and friends.
Linda Fuller, UCL
I am so saddened to hear of Claire’s untimely passing. I was an administrator in the geography office 2004-15, and remember Claire as such a warm, kind and positive colleague. She always had time for anyone, and always tried to help students, really caring for their welfare as well as their academic progress. She was a lovely person to be around. I remember once there was a tube strike, and most staff members grumbled through our office, bemoaning their bad start to their day. Then Claire came in and she told me all about the wonderful walk she’d had through London parks, and she’d already turned the problem into a fun adventure. I imagine even in the face of such a tragic and terrifying illness she would have faced it with such dignity. Sending my thoughts and love to her family and friends, colleagues and students, at this very sad time.
Lorraine Dowler, Penn State University
Claire and I crossed paths when we were graduate students at Syracuse University. During those years and then later over the course of our careers I greatly admired Claire because she was not only brilliant, kind, and funny but because she found an enviable work/ life balance. I was so very sad to hear the news of her passing.
Abdurrahman Pérez, UCL
Claire was my UG dissertation supervisor in 2016 and also one of my lecturers in my 3rd year at UCL. She was warm, supportive and understanding and I am truly saddened to hear about her passing; I wish I'd known about her condition as I would have certainly paid her a visit, something I was meaning to do ever since I graduated. May she rest in peace.
Gayle Munro, National Children's Bureau (NCB)
I am writing as one of Claire's many former PhD students. I have so much to be thankful to Claire for. Claire kindly took me on as a student because of a supervision gap. Claire wouldn't have known this at the time but she ended up being my supervisor for a good many years as the part-time nature of the study, combined with my job, children and general 'life' stuff meant I was still at it a long time after most PhD students have left with their doctorates. Claire didn't give up on me and I owe it to Claire's support and supervision that I finished at all. I couldn't have asked for a better supervisor than Claire. Her combination of patience and gentle encouragement with knowing when to crack the whip a bit at the right times was exactly what I needed. Over this past week, I have been reading online all the tributes to Claire and it is so overwhelmingly clear that so many, many of her friends and colleagues will feel her loss tremendously. Claire represented all the good things about the academic, collegiate community. Her generosity and willingness to give so much of herself to others made her the lovely person she was. The world needs more people like Claire and I am so very sad that she has died. I am sending love and condolences to Claire's loved ones. I hope there is some comfort amongst the sense of loss in knowing how much Claire was treasured and respected both as an academic and as a friend.
Asa Thomas, UCL Graduate
I am deeply saddened to hear of Claire's death. Although I was never directly taught by her, Claire supervised my MSc dissertation at the end of my time at UCL. I could not have been luckier then to be supported by such a wonderful person. Claire approached my cluttered ideas and research struggles with a much needed clarity and calm patience, she was deeply supportive and endlessly generous at a time that was clearly very difficult for her. Those conversations in her office in Bedford Way during the year of 2018 were deeply formative for me and I am so thankful for the time she gave. The glimpses I had of the way Claire approached her work, her commitment to bridging gaps between research and genuine community-centred action for example, have sincerely inspired me and are values that I will always take with me. My sincerest condolences to her family. I will miss her dearly.
Rose Sinclair, Dept of Design, Goldsmith’s, University of London
I had the opportunity to be invited by Claire to present my research at a seminar/workshop on Textiles Practice as part of the Surburban Faith project. She was so welcoming and so supportive of my PhD research. She offered a space to discuss and unpack really difficult questions in a safe and inviting environment. Always willing to share and so open. She will be sorely missed. So sorry for your loss. She leaves a lasting legacy.
Nichola Wood, University of Leeds
I got to know Claire through my involvement with the Gender and Feminist Geographies Research Group (formerly the Women and Geography Study Group) of which Claire was a committed and long-standing member. Claire's service to the committee and the warmth and wisdom that she shared at the many meetings and gatherings that we attended left a lasting impression on me. Claire was a role model for many in the discipline (including me). She was a brilliant scholar and a warm, supportive and generous colleague. I'll miss not being able to catch up with her at conferences and the laughs that we had over a meal or a drink. My thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues.
Owen Gibbons, UCL Alumni
Claire was my tutor in my first year at UCL, when she was a Reader. There was much that was new to me and and my tutor group colleagues, and possibly to Claire as well. But she was warm, understanding and encouraging in every way, as well as tolerant of some of the occasions when we would pitch up the worse for wear from a previous evening of 'studenting'. Since learning the sad news today, I've learned more about how Claire's career progressed and flourished in the past 20 years. Her family and colleagues - as well as her past students - can be proud of her contribution, her dedication to the causes in which she believed. She will be missed, but that is a tribute in itself to what she gave to us all.
Michael Keith COMPAS, University of Oxford
I heard this morning of the death of Claire Dwyer. I knew Claire since she was a postgraduate at UCL. At the time she always struck me as combining a self effacing presence with a committed sense of serious scholarship. Over the decades since then our paths crossed fairly often and I invariably felt privileged both to contribute to her edited work and to welcome her contributions to our overlapping interests in events and conferences at COMPAS in Oxford. Several decades ago I bumped into her at the Jagonari Bangladeshi Women’s Centre in Whitechapel where I was having a meeting at the time and she was conducting some pilot research. She invited me impromptu to join her workshop. So I saw at first hand how open minded, committed and kind she was, as much in the field as well as in person and in professional practice. She developed an understated but transparently generous praxis that translated into a significant contribution to the field of social geography and will be remembered and read long in to the future. But more importantly I - and I am sure very many others - shall miss her for her good humour, her generosity and for knowing what it means to be part of a collective endeavour animated by an individual of enormous integrity.
Caroline Nagel, University of South Carolina (USA)
I was so shocked and saddened to hear of Claire's death. She was such a lovely person and an amazing scholar. I first met her back in 1997, when I was a graduate student doing my dissertation fieldwork in London. I had finagled an affiliation at UCL, and I was very fortunate to have Claire as my mentor/supervisor. She was immensely helpful in introducing me to London and to a network of scholars doing work on migration in the UK. Later, I would run into Claire at conferences, and she kindly invited me to participate in a workshop on religion that she had organized with David Gilbert. It was always such a pleasure to see her and to talk religion and politics--she struck me as genuine, kind, and funny. She has left behind an extremely rich and influential body of scholarship on religion, faith, identity, and the built environment. Indeed, I was quoting from one of her recent articles on faith-based schools when I heard about her death. I send my deepest condolences to her family. I know you will miss her.
Janard Liew, NUS
I had the good fortune of being one of Prof. Dwyer's supervisees on the Global Migration MSc rather recently (graduated two years ago in 2017). What I really appreciated was the great amount of freedom she had given me during the entire dissertation process and her always-encouraging attitude which made those few months of writing really bearable. As the programme's coordinator/co-director, she was someone whom we saw frequently and never failed to enliven the class with her laughter and easygoing personality. Thank you Prof. Dwyer for everything. You will be dearly missed.
Sainabou Taal, UCL
Claire was my secondary supervisor when I did my PhD at UCL. She was always so kind, helpful and supportive. She should genuine interest in people and was so friendly and approachable. May her soul rest in perfect peace and May Allah grant her into the highest heaven. Claire will be missed by many not the least her family. I pray Allah brings comfort at this time of grief for her family and happiness in knowing that Claire was highly regarded, loved and respected by so many people and she contributed to the success of many.
Lindsey Brown, UCL MSc Global Migration Programme
I'm so sad today to hear that Claire has passed away. Claire was the convenor of my MSc programme in Global Migration and personal tutor for two years. She was so incredibly supportive and helpful, especially at the end of my second year when I was struggling with my studies. This was around the time last year that she was going for tests and she still took the time to call me and talk everything through. In our final conversation last spring she told me that nothing was as important than health and to get better. I didn't fully realise until much later on how ill she was. She really did give so much to all of us, inspired us all with her love of the subject and generally just held us all together really. I couldn't have asked for a better tutor and teacher and I'm very grateful for all that she gave to us and to me. I will endeavour to carry forward all that she gave to me and pay it forward when I can.
YuXin Yang, Accenture
My sincerest condolences to Claire’s family and friends. I graduated from UCL geography in 2017 and had the privilege to attend a few of Claire’s lectures, and remember her as an extremely knowledgeable, engaging and friendly professor.