Nicola Mai

Nicola Mai

dates de séjour

01/03/2012 - 31/07/2012
01/03/2013 - 31/07/2013






Institute for the Study of European Transformations (ISET) – London Metropolitan University

pays d'origine


projet de recherche

Embodied cosmopolitisms: migration, gender and sexuality in the global sex trade

While at IMéRA, I would like to engage in four main tasks. Firstly, I would like to work on a book bringing together selected aspects of my previous and current research under the framework of the emergence of embodied cosmopolitan/essentialist identities during the migratory process. Secondly, I would like to undertake an interdisciplinary, psychoanalytically informed and art-based pilot research project about the impact of social interventions on the wellbeing of vulnerable migrants in Marseille. Thirdly, I would like to contribute to the research activities of selected workshops at the Maison Méditerranéenne des Sciences de l’Homme (MMSH) in Aix en Provence and to organise three one-day events –one each year- on: circular migration; migration, gender and sexuality; and on the findings of the pilot research project, respectively. Finally, I would like to prepare an application for a joint ISET/MMSH research project to be submitted to the UK Economic and Social Research Council, in co-operation with its counterpart in France, as foreseen by the Open Research Area initiative of the ESRC.


Cette résidence a bénéficié d'une aide de l'État gérée par l'Agence nationale de la recherche dans le cadre des programmes d'Investissements d'avenir au titre du Laboratoire d'excellence RFIEA+.


Nick Studied Modern Italian Literature and Media Studies at Bologna University, 1990-1995, before going to the University of Sussex, where he obtained his PhD in 2001. Nick’s doctoral research was on the relationship between migration and transcultural media consumption and addressed the role played by Italian media in the Albanian migration to Italy. During his PhD fieldwork he was the director of an Italian development project aimed at the setting up and management of four youth centres in central and southern Albania, where he lived for over two years. In 2000 he was a researcher within the project 'Archives of the Memory: from an individual to a collective experience' funded by the International Organisation for Migrations and carried out in Belgrade and Pristina.


After he completed his PhD, from April 2001 to July 2003 Nick was Research Fellow in the Sussex Centre for Migration Research at the University of Sussex and worked on a Leverhulme Trust funded project on the social exclusion and stigmatisation of Albanian migrants in Italy and Greece. This project was integrated with a second research opportunity, funded by OXFAM UK, examining the specific realities of Albanians migrating to the UK, including the impact of their remittances at home and the issue of the sustainability of return.


From August 2003 to January 2005 he was Morris Ginsberg post-doctoral fellow at the Department of Sociology of the LSE working on the interplay between new forms of transcultural media consumption, the emergence of 'migratory' life trajectories and 'youth' identities, and the eliciting of migratory flows with reference to three transnational spaces: Italy-Albania, Morocco-Spain and Cuba-USA.


In 2005 Nick joined ISET and until 2007 he was part of the research team undertaking the 'Rhythms and Realities of Everyday Life' Joseph Rowntree Foundation flagship project on immigration and social integration in the UK. The project aimed at understanding the way different groups of long term residents and new arrivals negotiate everyday life across six different sites in the UK: Kilburn/Downham (London), Peterborough, Leicester, Glasgow, Dungannon (N. Ireland).


Between 2007 and 2009 Nick led the ESRC-funded project on ‘Migrants in the UK Sex Industry, addressing the nexus between migration and the sex industry, by interviewing migrant women, men and transgender people working in all sectors on the sex industry in central London and from the main areas of origins involved. The project was delivered in October 2009. For more information on this project, visit its webpage: /research-units/iset/projects/esrc-migrant-workers.cfm


Nick is currently involved in the METOIKOS project, funded by the EU and based at the EUI in Florence, analysing the  links between different types of circular migration and processes of integration (in the country of destination) and reintegration (in the source country). Within this project, he will study the Italo-Albanian migratory flow.


Nick has also been involved in a range of wider activities in the social sciences. He undertook research for international intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations, including the International Organisation for Migrations and Save the Children. Nick is member of the peer review boards of the ESRC and of the ESF. He is also member of the editorial boards of Sextures ( and of the Albanian Journal of Politics (


26/01/2012 - 14:30 - 27/01/2012 - 18:00
22/03/2012 - 10:00 - 23/03/2012 - 10:00
07/06/2012 - 14:00 - 08/06/2012 - 18:00
13/06/2013 - 13:30 - 14/06/2013 - 18:00