Yasmin Gunaratnam BSc MSc PhD

Staff details

Position Reader
Department Sociology
Email y.gunaratnam (@gold.ac.uk)
Phone +44 (0)20 7919 2957
Yasmin Gunaratnam BSc MSc PhD

Yasmin Gunaratnam joined the Department in 2008. She gained her doctorate and undergraduate degrees from the London School of Economics and her Masters at Royal Holloway. She has authored two books, 'Researching Race and Ethnicity: methods, knowledge and power' (Sage, 2003) and ‘Death and the Migrant’ (Bloomsbury Academic, 2013). She is one of the co-authors of ‘Go Home? The Politics of Immigration Controversies’ (Manchester University Press, 2017). Yasmin has edited seven collections including ‘A Jar of Wild Flowers: Essays in Celebration of John Berger’ (Zed Books, 2016). She is on the editorial collectives of Feminist Review and Media Diversified and is a published poet. She is co-director, with Professor Lisa Blackman (Media and Communications), of the Centre for Feminist Research and is a member of the Advisory Groups for Goldsmiths Press and the Environmental Humanities Collaborative (Linköping University).

Yasmin’s academic writing has been published in Body and Society, Dark Matter, European Journal of Women’s Studies, European Journal of Social Theory, Mortality, Sociological Review, Subjectivity, The Lancet, Qualitative Social Work, and Poem. She has also written for The Independent, The Guardian, Open Democracy, The Conversation and Red Pepper.


Yasmin has taught across all levels of the undergraduate curriculum and has expertise in culture and representation, post/de-colonial, disability, critical migration and feminist theory and social research methods. She has convened ‘Researching Society and Culture’ and the ‘Sociology of Visuality’. She convenes ‘Culture, Representation and Difference’ and co-convenes the BA Media and Sociology Programme with Liz Moor (Media and Communications) and its core module, ‘Media and the Social’. She has been the departmental undergraduate admissions tutor, Acting Director of Teaching and Learning and admissions tutor for the MA Gender, Media and Culture.

At Masters level, Yasmin convened the MA Gender, Media and Culture between 2010-12, teaching on the core module Introduction to Feminist Theory and convening and teaching on the Body and Affect module. She is part of the course team for the new MA Race, Media and Social Justice

Yasmin was awarded the Titmuss Prize in 1999 for the best PhD in the Department of Social Policy and Administration, London School of Economics.

She received a Peake Award for teaching in 2010 (awarded by Goldsmiths for excellence in teaching).  

In 2016, Yasmin received the first Goldsmiths Student Led Teaching Award for ‘Compelling or Diverse Curriculum Content’. Her work was highlighted for making a “much-needed effort to diversify the curriculum and talk about theory and works from people of colour both prominent and lesser known, making the course so much more exciting”.

Areas of supervision

Yasmin currently supervises 10 doctoral students whose projects include research on sensory worlds of autism, Black lone parent mothers, Turkish Cypriot nationalism, dementia and soundscapes, the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and young asylum seekers in Italy. She is especially interested in supervising students whose work engages with and is relevant to diverse audiences. 

Research Interests

Disability, gender and sexuality, health and illness, migration, methodologies, race.

The understanding and challenging of inequality and injustice is at the heart of Yasmin’s research. A longstanding interest is in how inequality can be normalised, how it impacts on bodies and minds and how it is resisted, informs both the content and methods of her work. Yasmin's empirical research includes an early ethnographic study of dying migrants in a London hospice (1999); a project using narrative interviews and psychoanalytic infant observation to examine and theorise identity transition among first-time mothers in a multicultural East London borough (2008); a fellowship investigating social pain and transnational dying (2013), and more recent work on hospitality and migration (2017). A driving force has been the pursuit of thought, methods and knowledge that bring into closer dialogue the worlds of theory, policy and practice. The productive interrelations between these worlds can be seen in her co-edited collection ‘Narrative and Stories in Health Care’ (Oxford University Press, 2009), which was shortlisted and ‘Highly Commended’ in the British Medical Association Book Awards 2010 and in ‘Go Home: The Politics of Immigration Controversy’ (Manchester University Press, 2017).

Research projects

2017-2018 Cultures of Consent: examining the complexity of sexual misconduct and power within universities (British Academy)

2017- 2018 Cartographies of Hospitality (Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, administered through Stockholm University)

2013-2015 Mapping Immigration Controversy (Economic and Social Research Council)

2012-2013 Case Stories: Social Pain and Transnational Dying (British Academy)

2006-9 - Involving people of diverse ethnicities in cancer research: An exploration of experiences, attitudes and barriers, Macmillan Research Unit, Southampton University (Macmillan Cancer Support)



Jones, Hannah; Gunaratnam, Yasmin; Dhaliwal, Sukhwant; Davies, Will; Jackson, Emma; Bhattacharyya, Gargi; Saltus,, Roiyah and Forkert, Kirsten. 2017. Go Home? The Politics of Immigration Controversies. Manchester: Manchester University Press. ISBN 9781526113221

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2013. Death and the Migrant: Bodies, borders, care. London: Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 1-208. ISBN 9781472515339

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2007. Palliative Care: Care for Life Limiting Illnesses - PALCOPE Information and Help for Older People. Leeds: PRIAE Policy Research Institute on Ageing & Ethnicity. ISBN 978-0953764273

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2006. Widening access to hospice care - A briefing paper for managers and trustees. London: Help The Hospices.

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2003. Researching Race and Ethnicity: Methods, Knowledge and Power. London: Sage. ISBN 978-0761972877

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 1993. Checklist: Health and Race - A Starting Point for Managers on Improving Services for Black Populations. London: King's Fund. ISBN 978-1857170429

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 1993. Design and Development of Carers' Support. London: King's Fund. ISBN 978-1857170443

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 1990. Call for Care (Bengali Edition). London: Health Education Authority. ISBN 978-1854481733

Edited Book

Gunaratnam, Yasmin and Chandon, Amarjit, eds. 2016. A Jar of Wild Flowers: essays in celebration of John Berger. London: Zed Books. ISBN 9781783608799

Chandan, Amarjit; Evans, Gareth and Gunaratnam, Yasmin, eds. 2016. The Long White Thread of Words: poems for John Berger. Ripon: Smokestack Books. ISBN 9780993454745

Gunaratnam, Yasmin and Oliviere, David, eds. 2009. Narrative and Stories in Health Care: Illness, Dying and Bereavement. Oxford: OUP. ISBN 978-0199546695

Edited Journal

Gunaratnam, Yasmin and Hollway, Wendy, eds. 2014. Rethinking Hybridity: Interrogating Mixedness, Subjectivity, 7(1). 1755-6341

Book Section

Gunaratnam, Yasmin and Jones, Hannah. 2020. Same Difference? Researching racism and immigration. In: John Solomos, ed. The Routledge International Handbook of Contemporary Racisms. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 391-405. ISBN 9781138485990

Clark, Nigel and Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2019. Exorbitant Responsibility: Geographies of Climate Justice. In: Kum-Kum Bhavnani; John Foran; Priya A. Kurian and Debashish Munshi, eds. Climate Futures: Reimagining Global Climate Justice. London: Zed Books. ISBN 9781786997821

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2019. On researching climates of hostility and weathering. In: Kevin Smets; Koen Leurs; Myria Georgiou; Saskia Witteborn and Radhika Gajjala, eds. The SAGE Handbook of Media and Migration. London: SAGE Publications, pp. 129-141. ISBN 9781526447210

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2019. Tenuous Moorings. In: Victoria Browne; Doerthe Rosenow and Jason Danely, eds. Vulnerability and the Politics of Care. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2018. Conversations Unfinished—in the company of Stuart Hall. In: Sandra Ponzanesi and Adriano José Habed, eds. Postcolonial Intellectuals in Europe: Critics, Artists, Movements, and their Publics. London: Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 9781786604125

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2016. Introduction — Learning by heart. In: Yasmin Gunaratnam and Amarjit Chandan, eds. A Jar of Wild Flowers: Essays in Celebration of John Berger. London: Zed. ISBN 9781783608799

Bell, Vikki. 2016. ‘A Present Moment, More Present: John Berger’s Politics of Intensity’. In: Yasmin Gunaratnam and Amarjit Chandan, eds. A Jar of Wild Flowers: Essays in Honour of John Berger. London: Zed. ISBN 9781783608799

Chandon, Amarjit; Evans, Gareth and Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2016. Editor's Introduction. In: Amarjit Chandon; Gareth Evans and Yasmin Gunaratnam, eds. The Long White Thread of Words: Poems for John Berger. Ripon: Smokestack Books. ISBN 978 0 9934547 4 5

Clark, Nigel and Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2013. Sustaining Difference: Climate Change, Diet and the Materiality of Race. In: Rachel Slocum and Arun Saldanha, eds. Geographies of Race and Food Fields, Bodies, Markets. Burlington: Ashgate, 00-00. ISBN 9781409469278

Gunaratnam, Yasmin; Elliott, Heather; Hollway, Wendy and Phoenix, Anna. 2009. Practices, Identification and Identity Change in the Transition to Motherhood. In: Margaret Wetherell, ed. Theorizing Identities and Social Action. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 19-37. ISBN 978-0230580886

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2009. Narrative Interviews and Research. In: David Oliviere, ed. Narrative and Stories in Healthcare: Illness, Dying and Bereavement. Oxford University Press, p. 224. ISBN 978-0-19-954669-5

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2009. What Difference Does Our Difference Make in Researching Infertility?. In: Lorraine Culley; Nicky Hudson and Floor van Rooij, eds. Marginalized Reproduction: Ethnicity, Infertility and Reproductive Technologies. Earthscan: London, pp. 80-94. ISBN 978-1-84407-576 8

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2008. Blind Date. In: Sarah Earle; Caroline Bartholomew and Carol Komaromy, eds. Making Sense of Death, Dying and Bereavement: An Anthology. London: Sage, pp. 45-46. ISBN 978-1847875129

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2008. Ethnicity, Difference and Care. In: Jessica Corner and Christopher Bailey, eds. Cancer Nursing - Care in Context. John Wiley & Sons, pp. 620-637. ISBN 978-1405122535

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2008. For Phyllis. In: Sarah Earle; Caroline Bartholomew and Carol Komaromy, eds. Making Sense of Death, Dying and Bereavement: An Anthology. London: Sage, p. 44. ISBN 978-1847875129

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2008. Where is the Love? Art, aesthetics and research. In: Prue Chamberlayne and Martin Smith, eds. Art, Creativity and Imagination in Social Work Practice. Routledge, pp. 13-29. ISBN 978-0415465083

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2006. Complexity and Complicity in Researching Ethnicity and Health. In: Jenny Douglas; Sarah Earle and Stephen Handsley, eds. A Reader in Promoting Public Health: Challenge and Controversy. Open University, pp. 147-156. ISBN 978-1412930758

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2004. The Bed. In: Liz Forbat; Caroline Malone; Matt Robb and Janet Seden, eds. Relating Experience: Stories from Health and Social Care: An Anthology About Communication and Relationships. London: Routledge, pp. 101-102. ISBN 978-0415326582

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2004. 'Bucking and Kicking’: ‘race’, gender and embodied resistance in health care. In: Ursula Apitzsch; Joanna Bornat and Prue Chamberlayne, eds. Biographical Methods and Professional Practice: An International Perspective. Bristol: Policy Press, pp. 205-219. ISBN 978-1861344922

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2004. Skin Matters: 'Race' and Care in the Health Services. In: Janet Fink, ed. Care: Personal Lives and Social Policy. Bristol: Policy Press, pp. 112-144. ISBN 978-1861345196

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2003. More Than Words: dialogue across difference. In: Moyra Sidell; Linda Jones; Jeanne Katz; Jenny Douglas and Alyson Peberdy, eds. Debates and Dilemmas in Promoting Health: A Reader. Basingstoke: Palgrave, pp. 112-121. ISBN 978-1403902283

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2001. Whiteness and Emotions in Social Care. In: Bill Bytheway; Vivien Bacigalupo; Joanna Bornat; Jenny Johnson and Susan Spurr, eds. Understanding Care, Welfare and Community: A Reader. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 158-167. ISBN 978-0415258609

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 1993. Breaking The Silence: Asian carers in Britain. In: Joanna Bornat; Charmaine Pereira; David Pilgrim and Fiona Williams, eds. Community Care – A Reader. Macmillan in Association with The Open University, pp. 114-123. ISBN 978-0333587157


Gunaratnam, Yasmin and Walker, Sarah. 2021. Young, unauthorised and Black: African unaccompanied minors and becoming an adult in Italy. Journal of Sociology, ISSN 1440-7833

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2020. ‘Not in my name’: empathy and intimacy in volunteer refugee hosting. Journal of Sociology, pp. 1-18. ISSN 1440-7833

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2020. Presentation Fever and Podium Affects. Feminist Theory, ISSN 1464-7001

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2020. Reimagining the frontline from heaven’s edge. New Politics,

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2020. Soap and solace scarce as Sri Lanka's tea pickers toil on amid lockdown. The Guardian, ISSN 0261-3077

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2020. People who need end-of-life care shouldn't have to die alone because of coronavirus. The Guardian, ISSN 0261-3077

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2020. When Doctors Die. Discover Society,

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2019. Those that resemble flies from a distance’: Performing Research. MAI: Feminism & Visual Culture, Summer(4),

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2018. Rewind, Replay, Repeat with Stuart Hall. 1000 Words, ISSN 2631-486X

Hamilton, Carrie and Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2018. Introduction - environment. Feminist Review, 118(1), pp. 1-6. ISSN 0141-7789

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2018. Fly. Podiun,

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2017. Race Traitor. Poem: International English Language Quarterly, 5(2-3), pp. 230-233. ISSN 2051-9842

Gunaratnam, Yasmin and Hamilton, Carrie. 2017. Introduction: The Wherewithal of Feminist Methods. Feminist Review, 115(1), pp. 1-12. ISSN 0141-7789

Clark, Nigel and Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2017. Earthing the Anthropos? From ‘socializing the Anthropocene’ to geologizing the social. European Journal of Social Theory, 20(1), pp. 146-163. ISSN 1368-4310

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2015. The Time of our Lives. The Lancet, 386(10007), pp. 1937-1938. ISSN 0140-6736

Mirza, Heidi and Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2014. 'The Branch on which I sit' Heidi Safia Mirza in conversation with Yasmin Gunaratnam. Feminist Review, 108, pp. 125-133. ISSN 0141-7789

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2014. black British feminisms: many chants. Feminist Review, 108, pp. 1-10.

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2014. Morbid mixtures: Hybridity, pain and transnational dying. Subjectivity, 7(1), pp. 74-91. ISSN 1755-6341

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2014. Rethinking Hybridity, Interrogating Mixedness. Subjectivity, 7(1), pp. 1-17. ISSN 1755-6341

Anim-Addo, Joan and Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2013. Secrets and lies: Narrative methods at the limits of research. Journal of Writing in Creative Practice, 5(3), pp. 383-396.

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2013. Roadworks: British Bangladeshi mothers, temporality and intimate citizenship in East London. European Journal of Women's Studies, 20(3), pp. 249-263. ISSN 1350-5068

Gunaratnam, Yasmin and Clark, Nigel. 2012. Pre-Race Post-Race: Climate Change and Planetary Humanism. Darkmatter,

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2012. Learning To Be Affected: Social suffering and total pain at life’s borders. The Sociological Review, 60(S1), pp. 108-123. ISSN 0038-0261

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2011. Cultural vulnerability: A narrative approach to intercultural care. Qualitative Social Work, pp. 1-15.

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2011. Cultural Vulnerability and Professional Narratives. Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life & Palliative Care, 7(4), pp. 338-3349. ISSN 1552-4256

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2011. Precarious Street Life. Street Signs, pp. 24-26.

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2011. Secrets and Lives (for James). You are here, the journal of creative geography, XIV, pp. 57-68.

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2010. Death in the City. Street Signs, pp. 31-33.

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2009. Care, artistry and what might be. Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care, 1(1), pp. 9-17. ISSN 1757-0980

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2009. Talking about breastfeeding: emotion, context and ‘good’ mothering. The Practising Midwife, 12(6), pp. 2-6. ISSN 1461-3123

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2008. From competence to vulnerability: Care, ethics, and elders from racialized minorities. Mortality, 13(1), pp. 24-41. ISSN 1357-6275

Corner, Jessica; Wright, David; Hopkinson, Jane; Gunaratnam, Yasmin; J W, MacDonald and Claire, Foster. 2007. The research priorities of patients attending UK cancer treatment centres: findings from a modified nominal group study. British Journal of Cancer, 96(6), 875 -881. ISSN 0007 – 0920/07

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2007. Dr Terrorist. Dark Matter,

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2007. Intercultural palliative care: do we need cultural competence? International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 13(10), pp. 470-477. ISSN 1357-6321

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2007. Where is the Love? Art, aesthetics and research. Journal of Social Work Practice, 21(3), pp. 271-287. ISSN 0265-0533

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2006. A Sweeter Palliative. Community Care, 28(4), pp. 36-37.

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2005. Awareness Differs by Ethnicity and Age. Practice Nursing, 16(11), pp. 528-530. ISSN 0964-9271

Gunaratnam, Yasmin and Lewis, Gail. 2001. Racialising emotional labour and emotionalising racialised labour: anger, fear and shame in social welfare. Journal of Social Work Practice, 15(2), pp. 125-142. ISSN 0265-0533

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2001. Eating into Multiculturalism: Hospice staff and service users talk food, ‘race’, ethnicity and identities. Critical Social Policy, 21(3), pp. 287-310. ISSN 0261-0183

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2001. We mustn’t judge people….but’: Staff dilemmas in dealing with racial harassment amongst hospice service users. Sociology of Health and Illness, 23(1), pp. 65-83. ISSN 0141-9889

Gunaratnam, Yasmin and Van Dyke, Ruth. 2000. Ethnic monitoring in higher education: some reflections on methodology. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 3(4), pp. 325-345. ISSN 1364-5579

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2000. Implications of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry for Palliative Care. International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 6(3), pp. 147-149. ISSN 1357-6321

Gunaratnam, Yasmin; Bremner, Isobel; Pollock, Lois and Weir, Catherine. 1998. Anti-discrimination, emotions and professional practice. European Journal of Palliative Care, 5(4), pp. 122-124. ISSN 1352-2779

Conference or Workshop Item

Puar, Jasbir; Gunaratnam, Yasmin; Hickey-Moody, Anna Catherine and Ahmed, Sara. 2014. 'Debilities: Sensing Bodies and Worlds'. In: Debilities: Sensing Bodies and Worlds. Goldsmiths, Universirty of London, United Kingdom.


Gunaratnam, Yasmin; Back, Les; Psarras, Bill and Feinstein, Sarah. 2017. Every Minute Of Every Day [Blog/Website].

Gunaratnam, Yasmin and Bell, Vikki. 2017. How John Berger Changed Our Way of Seeing Art.

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2015. The enigma of Departure; What can we learn from dying migrants.

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2014. Allegations of assault by guards at a UK detention centre.

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2014. Stephen Sutton and the Politics of the deathbed smile.

Jones, Hannah; Bhattacharyya, Gargi; Forkert, Kirsten; Davies, Will; Dhaliwal, Sukhwant; Gunaratnam, Yasmin; Jackson, Emma and Saltus,, Roiyah. 2014. "Swamped" by anti-immigration campaigns.

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2014. Complicit No More - Introduction.

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2014. Combating Racism at an English University - "I too, am Oxford'.

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2014. Diasporic Walking Sticks.

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2014. ‘Unwitting’ racism and rise in abuse makes it harder for NHS staff to do their job.

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2014. How should we prepare our children for racism?.

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2013. Plight of Sri Lanka's 'ghost' workers raises spectre of inequality and abuse.

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2013. Case Stories.

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2013. Zubeidat Tsarnaeva and the Muslim mother as terrorist.


Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2014. Medicine Unboxed 2014 FRONTIERS - Crossing - Daljit Nagra and Yasmin Gunaratnam.

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2014. Two Sighs - Transnational Dying and Care.


Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2007. Improving the quality of palliative care. Other. UNSPECIFIED, London.


Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2016. Breathe/Swallow/Feel. Feminist Review, London.

Gunaratnam, Yasmin. 2014. In extremis. Autograph ABP, London.

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