Lesley Robinson

Lesley Robinson


Lesley comes from Dunfermline, Fife, and studied, for both her BA (Hons) and MRes, at the University of Stirling. Her main research interests lie in the study of migration and ethnicity, as well as displays of ethnic identity in migrant communities. Lesley is very excited to be moving to Newcastle to become part of such an interesting research project, and looks forward to starting a new life in the North East of England.

The English Diaspora

Given her previous work on migrant communities, Lesley is very excited to be embarking on her PhD as part of the English Diaspora Project at Northumbria University, especially as her PhD project allows Lesley to continue to pursue her interest in the study of culture and ethnicity. By embarking on her research into expressions of English identity in the 'near diaspora', Lesley hopes to uncover the ways in which Englishness was expressed closer to 'home', gaining important new insights into an understudied area of English history.

PhD Project

'English Identity in the "Near Diaspora": Associational Culture and National Celebrations in Britain and Ireland, 1890s-1950s'
Lesley's PhD project shares the wider objectives of the English Diaspora project in terms of its focus on associationalism, but adds a valuable and distinct dimension by extending the geographical remit of the project. Lesley's project will focus on the emergence of English associations and folk celebrations in Ireland and Scotland to determine whether the British model represents a miniature version of the wider North American trends. Lesley's research will interpret the development of English associations, such as the Royal Society of St George, in Britain and Ireland and will examine their role in 'near diaspora' English migrant communities; the activities and membership of such associations will also be examined. Ultimately, Lesley's project will interrogate the relationship between homeland and diaspora through transnational interaction. The final thesis will result in the first comprehensive history of English associational life within the British Isles, and will offer new insights into Englishness and English identity-building.


Lesley is supervised by Dr Tanja Bueltmann and Prof Don MacRaild.


Lesley's PhD is funded by an AHRC PhD project studentship as part of the AHRC English Diaspora Project grant.

Project Supporters



University of Ulster


Northumbria University