Dr Madeleine Hatfield

Supervised by

  • Katie Willis First/primary/lead supervisor


Research interests





Moving home?  Domestic geographies of British migrants returning to the UK from Singapore.

My PhD focuses on the domestic geographies of British migrants to Singapore who have returned ‘home’ to the UK.  Return migration has been much neglected in academic research due a taken-for-granted assumption that it is an easy move to make.  This research foregrounds the experience of return migration, interrogating how it is experienced at an everyday level. 

In order to do this, I have researched with ‘lead’ and ‘tied’, adult and child migrants within case study households to explore the way return is experienced by all individuals within the household.  I focus on domestic activities and material culture, asking participants to self-document through photography to produce images I then use to elicit narratives of return. 
This research has revealed the multiple ways in which return can be experienced, both within and across different households. 

Previously, I have researched the homemaking practices of students in halls of residence and of British skilled transients in Melbourne, Australia.



Hatfield, M. E. 2011. Translocal Geographies of Return Migration: British Households Moving Home. Pp. 55-70 in Brickell, K. and Datta, A. (Eds) Translocal Geographies:  Perceptions of Mobility within and beyond the Nation. Ashgate: Aldershot.

Hatfield, M.E. 2011. Review of: Loren Lerner (ed.), Depicting Canada’s Children (Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2009). British Journal of Canadian Studies 24 (1): 96.

Ho, E.L.-E. and Hatfield, M. E. 2010. Introduction to special issue: Migration and Everyday Matters: Sociality and Materiality. Population, Space and Place. DOI: 10.1002/psp.636.

Hatfield, M. E. 2010. Children moving ‘home’?: Everyday experiences of return migration in highly skilled households. Childhood: A Global Journal of Child Research 17 (2): 155-162.

Dobson, M. E. 2009. Unpacking children in migration research. Children's Geographies 7 (3): 355-360.


Conference and seminar presentations (selected)

September 2011; Papers presented:
Return, continuity and change amongst British households repatriating to the UK from Singapore
‘Diaspora’ and British households returning to the UK from Singapore: homes, homelands, and return migration
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Annual Conference, London 

June 2011; Paper presented: Return migration, home & family: theories, relationships & contributions. Travelling Towards Home: mobilities and home making, School of Oriental and African Studies.


May 2010; Paper presented: Moving ‘home’?: Home and homemaking amongst transnational return migrant households. Histories of Home SSN Second Annual Conference, British Library.


March 2010; Presenter and facilitator:
Paper: Conceptualizing Families’ Experiences of Repatriation: ‘Return’, ‘Continuity’ & ‘Change’.
Facilitated session: Optimizing Repatriation – Positive Experiences of Going Home.
Families in Global Transition Annual Conference, Houston, USA.


November 2009; Departmental seminar: Moving Home?: Exploring the domestic geographies of British households returning to the UK from Singapore. Human Geography Graduate Seminar, Department of Geography, University of Brighton.


May 2009; Paper presented: Continuity between outward and return migration: Rethinking the distinction through British households returning from Singapore. Remaking migration theory, International Conference of the Population Geography Research Group of the RGS-IBG and IGU Population Commission.


August 2008; Paper presented: Domestic Material Culture and Return Migration: Britons moving ‘home’. Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Annual Conference.


May 2008; Seminar given: British Highly Skilled Migrants Returning from Singapore: A Household Perspective. National University of Singapore Migration Research Cluster and Department of Geography.


April 2008: Paper presented: Household experiences of return migration: children’s narratives of coming ‘home’. Children and Migration: identities, mobilities and belonging(s), international conference at University College Cork, Ireland.


Conference chairing and organisation (selected)

September 2011;
Convenor: Imagining the future of the journal
Convenor and Chair: (Re-)Imagining ‘Return Migration’: Language, concepts and contexts (3 sessions, with Anastasia Christou, University of Sussex)
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Annual Conference, London 

August 2011; Chair: Identity transformations: Space and place. EUGEO Congress, London 

September 2010; Chair: Migrants, settlement and distance. RGS-IBG Annual Conference 2011


August 2008; Convenor: Migration and Everyday Matters: Sociality and Materiality (3 sessions, with Elaine Ho, University of British Columbia). RGS-IBG Annual Conference 2008

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