Jo Cox Studentship Awarded

by Alice Oates

Pembroke is delighted to announce that Matthew Mahmoudi is the first recipient of the Jo Cox Studentship.

Matt said: “I am honoured, humbled, and grateful— and most of all feel a great sense of responsibility — to have received the Jo Cox Studentship in Refugee and Migration Studies.”

In his PhD research Matt is looking at how urban technologies intended to support diaspora communities may actually perpetuate marginalisation and inequality among refugees and migrants.

Matt (rights panel)

Matt (second from left) speaks at a panel he recently organised on the need for local and contextual technologies in human rights. (Photo courtesy of Matt Mahmoudi)

Matt is an active member of the Pembroke community and has founded and co-founded several initiatives during his time in Cambridge, including Declarations, a podcast connected to the Centre of Governance and Human Rights in Cambridge. He is currently raising funds to build an educational platform to address gaps in citizenship and political education in the UK and elsewhere, called The State of Things.

“The studentship will enable me to carry out research in technological marginalisation among refugees and asylum seekers, investigating the manner in which the push for deference to Urban Technologies in incipient diaspora communities potentially jeopardises incorporation, and – to reference Virginia Eubanks – “automates inequality”. I am eternally grateful to Pembroke College and its community, as well as the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, for bestowing me with this incredible honour and responsibility. I can’t hope to accomplish even a fraction of what Jo did in her life, but to have the opportunity to carry on the principles she stood for in my work – especially in the context of refugee justice – is a task that I do not take lightly.”

Lord Chris Smith, Baron of Finsbury, Master of Pembroke College said: “Jo Cox was a student here at Pembroke twenty-five years ago, and we were all devastated by her tragic death, and the wonderful promise of her parliamentary life being cut off so cruelly in 2016.  In her honour, we have raised the funds for a PhD Studentship here at Pembroke, in the field of refugee and migration studies.

“We are deeply grateful to the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, and to the many hundreds of our students, alumni, staff and Fellows who have contributed to the Studentship Fund.  This has enabled us to make our first appointment, and I’m delighted that Matt Mahmoudi will be the first recipient of the Jo Cox Studentship.  We were very proud of Jo, here in Pembroke, and we look forward to supporting Matt in taking forward this important research work in tribute to her.”

The College is close to securing the remaining funds needed to support a second PhD studentship once Matt has completed his.