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Nathar Iqbal


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Personal profile

Personal Statement

I joined Strathclyde in March 2021 to work as a Knowledge Exchange Associate on the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Scottish Heritage project. With Dr Churnjeet Mahn (PI), Scottish heritage sector partners and community organisations, I am involved in impact-related work that explores, evaluates and addresses key equality, diversity and inclusion challenges and issues in the Scottish heritage sector, with the aim of democratising access and participation. I am involved in reviewing and evaluating current and past race-related heritage projects, facilitating surveys and interviews of heritage sector professionals and community groups, coordinating and mentoring work placements designed to address key issues in the sector and act as templates for future race and heritage related work, and disseminating this work in the form of webinars, policy reports and tool-kits for different audiences engaged in the work.

I completed my PhD at Newcastle University, where I also attained my MA Geography Research and BA Geography degrees. My PhD explored the experiences of LGBT+ British Muslims, focusing specifically on three areas: constructions, spaces and negotiations of the ‘closet’ and LGBT+ British Muslim reflections on the Eurocentricity of representations of sexual identities; urban encounters of race, nationhood and belonging and their relationships with (geo)political events; and the religious practices, spaces and everyday forms of resistance that LGBT+ British Muslims use to affirm what are often represented and/or (mis)understood as incongruent identities and communities.

In the final year of my PhD, I was involved in research highlighting and addressing equality, diversity and inclusion issues at Newcastle University. I worked on two strands: experiences of everyday sexism on campus and the experiences of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students and staff. I have also previously been involved in research on young Scottish people’s understanding of everyday geopolitics, belonging and nationhood, Black and Asian gay and bisexual experiences of London’s Soho gay scene, as well as a project exploring the transitions and mentoring of first-year students from a widening-participation scheme.

Research Interests

My interests are focused around three areas described below. I have either previously worked on these topics or am currently working on them. My understandings of these issues are developed through postcolonial and feminist theoretical and conceptual insights and framings.

Geographies of sexuality, race and religion:

-Everyday spaces and encounters of racism, homophobia and religious discrimination, particularly those experienced and negotiated by LGBT+ Muslims in the West

-Eurocentric discourses of the closet, LGBT+ identities and sexualities and their relationships with ideas of progress, modernity and liberation

-British urban spaces, encounters and communities of LGBT+ people and narratives of inclusion, exclusion and belonging

Memory, heritage and representation:

-Equality, diversity and inclusion issues and challenges in heritage and culture

-Colonial and postcolonial geographies, histories and legacies of the Partition of India

-British Asian histories and literature on migration, diaspora and belonging

Young people, belonging and higher education:

-Higher education experiences and the social and spatial mobilities of students from underrepresented communities

-Institutional structures of inequality within higher education and challenging tokenistic practices and policies

-Identifying issues and diversifying recruitment in subjects with lower levels of recruitment of students from underrepresented backgrounds

Academic / Professional qualifications

PhD (2020) in Human Geography The closet, encounters and lived religion: reflections on the experiences of LGBT+ British Muslims, Newcastle University (minor corrections)

MA (2015) Human Geography Research, Newcastle University (Distinction)

BA (2014) Geography, Newcastle University (1st)

Teaching Interests

I am not involved in teaching at Strathclyde but have previously led seminars and tutorials in the following areas:

-Introduction to Geographical Skills

-Culture, Development and Globalisation

-International and Historical Perspectives on Race




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  • Encounter

    Iqbal, N., 31 Oct 2020, Social Geographies: An Introduction. N. S. G. C. (ed.). London, p. 280-289 10 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  • Intersectionality

    Boussalem, A., Iqbal, N. & Hopkins, P., 31 Oct 2020, Social Geographies: An Introduction. N. S. G. C. (ed.). London, p. 200-208 9 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter