Ayesha Hussain

PhD Researcher

Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies
Room 3.018
Niebuhrstraße 5
D-53113 Bonn
Phone: +49 228 73 62569

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Ayesha Hussain
© Barbara Frommann

Academic Profile

I am a social and cultural anthropologist and a PhD Research Associate at BCDSS and affiliated with Research Area D "Labor and Spatiality." My research project, titled 'Interdependencies among Pakistani Migrants in Italy's Informal Labor Sectors: Exploring the Influence of Social Capital' delves into the intricacies of these interdependencies within the micro and meso-level structures of migration. This includes an analysis of family units, ethnic networks, and diasporas, with a particular emphasis on how social capital is harnessed within the unorganized labor sectors of Italy. The study seeks to illuminate the ever-evolving dynamics of gender and socio-economic class within the framework of translocational positionality and the mixed embeddedness approach. My specific focus is on the experiences of the Pakistani diaspora residing in Italy.

since 2019               
PhD studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Bonn, Germany

MBA in Corporate Social Responsibility and NGO Management

M.Phil. in Anthropology, Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan

M.Sc. in Anthropology, Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan

since 2019            
Research Associate in Research Area D, Labor and Spatiality. Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies (BCDSS), University of Bonn. 

August 2017–February 2018  
Research Fellow, United Nations Volunteer Bonn (HQ) Results Based Management, developing Theory of change and logic model for the strategic framework of UNV.

October 2015–December 2015    
Research Assistant with Welt Hunger Hilfe, Country Office Pakistan on "Gender responsive Monitoring and Evaluation of development projects of WHH in Pakistan."

August 2006–December 2006   
Research Assistant and Local Microfinance specialist, with Asian Development Bank Manila in Pakistan on the study "The demand for microinsurance in Pakistan."

April 2002–September 2003   
Research Anthropologist with Population Council on Qualitative part of the national level study "Unwanted pregnancy and post abortion complications in Pakistan"

July 2000–December 2000   
Research Assistant with Quaid-e-Azam University on a project entitled "Empirical Comparative Study of Culture-Area of Punjab"

since 2023

  • Coordination Team for PhD Forum, BCDSS
  • Dependency Blog Editorial Team, BCDSS
  • Deputy Representative for Doctoral Candidates, BCDSS

January 2020–December 2020

  • Coordinator for working group Contemporary Asymmetrical Dependencies (CAD), BCDSS
  • Participated and presented my PhD work in International Summer School in Ethnography 9th edition – Mobilities and Borders organized by the Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Trento from 5–8 September 2023.
  • Participated in the Executive Course on "Effective Migration Management" co-organized by the School of Transnational Governance (STG) and the Migration Policy Centre (MPC) of the EUI on 9–11 October 2023.
  • Presented a paper in the Panel on "Strategies of migrants to overcome barriers for entrance to the labour market" at 20th IMISCOE Annual Conference 2023 on "Migration and Inequalities: In search of answers and solutions" on 3–6 July 2023. 
  • Chair and discussant of a panel "Migrants social capital, ties and networks" at 20th IMISCOE Annual Conference 2023 on "Migration and Inequalities: In search of answers and solutions" on July 3–6 2023. 
  • Presented a paper on "Asymmetrical dependencies among labor migrants from Pakistan in Italy" in International PhD Seminar on Slavery Servitude and Extreme Dependency at Leiden University, jointly organized by BCDSS and Hull University in The Netherlands, in November 2021.
  • Attended a two-week summer school on "Research methods and ethics in Migration studies" in Istanbul jointly organized by MireKoc center at Koc University and IMISCOE (International Migration Research Network) from 11–22 October 2021.
  • Co-organized an International E-symposium with working group CAD at BCDSS on "Contemporary asymmetrical dependencies beyond the Pandemic: Covid-19, Migration and Global Labour" on March 25–26, 2021.
  • Participated as a Soroptimist International European delegate in the "Commission on the Status of Women 61st session" by United Nations Women at UN headquarter New York from 12th–24th March 2017. 
  • Forthcoming. "Networks of dependencies: Undocumented Pakistani migrants in publicity distribution jobs in Italy." In South Asians in Southern Europe: Labor Identity and Desire. Routledge Series on Asian Diasporas, Migrations and Mobilities .
  • 2022. "Field work among Pakistani migrants in Italy." In Dependent  22/1. Open access
  • 2021. With Katja Girr and Sinah Kloß. "BCDSS Researchers' challenges and coping strategies in times of unprecedented uncertainty." In Dependent 21/1. Open access
  • Gave a lecture at the BIMUN Lecture Series which is part of Studium Universale and a core component of the Certificate of Intercultural Competence program at the University of Bonn. The theme for the 2023 Summer Semester was "Hand-in-hand: Multilateralism in a New Age of Geopolitical Conflict." The title of my talk was "Questions raised to Multilateralism by asymmetrical dependencies among Pakistani migrants in Italy's informal labor sector."
  • Discussant after film screening of the film "Workingman's Death" by BCDSS in Kino in der Brotfabrik. The film was selected because of the thematic year of BCDSS i.e., Labor and Spatiality for the year 2023. It exposes the harsh realities faced by laborers in five distinct locations: the coal mines of Ukraine, the sulfur mines in Indonesia, the ship-breaking yards in Pakistan, the slaughterhouses in Nigeria, and the steelworks in China and confronts the disturbing aspects of these workers' lives, exploring human perseverance in the face of extreme hardship.
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