Athanasia Francis 

Postgraduate Research Student


Athanasia (Nancy) was awarded with a BA (Hons) in English Language and Literature and a Master’s degree in European Studies. She holds a second Master’s degree in Social Anthropology and History focusing on gender and sexuality, and has worked as a field ethnographer in Greece. Nancy also holds a PGCert in History and Archaeology from the University of Leicester, focusing on phenomenological approaches and women’s history. She was awarded a European scholarship in 2004-5 for studies at the University of Cologne, and has attained First Class Honours awards across all degrees.

Outside academia, Nancy is a qualified teacher in the UK, has worked in education for over a decade, and has co-ordinated European student projects (Comenius- eTwinning). She has also worked in the heritage sector in audience engagement and learning programmes for several London museums, parallel to her work in refugee support services as a caseworker for refugee women seeking asylum in the UK. Nancy is a (trans)feminist activist involved in migrant women and non-binary people activist initiatives, and an advocate for campaign groups in support of European citizens in the UK post-Referendum. 

Research Interests

Thesis Title 

"Ahizpatasuna, Sororidad, Sisterhood: Embodied Entanglements of Iberian Feminisms and Transnational Socio-Political Claims in the Redefinition of Contemporary Political Agency- An Ethnography of Resistance, Othering and Belonging"

In this comparative approach, the researcher will follow the newly added and resurfaced initiatives in contemporary Basque/Iberian feminist activism, particularly as expressed after women’s general strike on 8th March 2018. This unprecedented coming together of the 8M Huelga/Greba, shortly followed by equally impressive demonstrations against the judiciary treatment of the Pamplona rape case of the male group calling themselves ‘La Manada’ in April 2018, suggested a new era in political reconfigurations. This paradigm shift was put forward by women and non-binary people in every major town in Spain and in the Basque Country, but also transnationally, including Latin America as well as the UK. In both cases, the enormous mobilisation brought together women and non-binary people from different backgrounds and political identifications under a unified feminist banner against systemic oppression and gender-based violence, redefining the political and its priorities in public discourse through the lens of their feminism and beyond national boundaries. Feminist activists in local and international groups aligned their specific interests to wider agendas, through solidarity against violence, illegal abortions, exploitation under neoliberal capitalism, and the rise of fascist, xenophobic discourse. Through the lens of a phenomenological paradigm, with its emphasis on corporeal and subjective lived experiences, combined with the multimodality of visual and digital anthropology, and applying sensuous ethnography, this project will trace the identifications and creative operations of feminist activists in initiatives that transform the notion of the ‘political’ and its resistance potential as advocated in these feminisms.

Research Funding

E. Allison Peers Scholarship