Refugee Psychology and Psychosocial Interventions: A History


As part of the UEL Forced Migration 2020 on the theme of:  Psychosocial theory and practice: What is the evidence?, we are pleased to announce the launch of a new online digital archive entitled “Refugee Psychology and Psychosocial Interventions: A History.”  This will be a collaborative project between the Living Refugee Archive – hosted by the UEL Archives, in conjunction with the UEL School of Psychology. We have a long history of collaborative working including a successful civic engagement project which enabled the development of our Refugee Mental Health Wellbeing Portal for Refugees.

The Refugee Psychology and Psychosocial Interventions: A History digital archive will be hosted in our Living Refugee Archive online digital portal, which is managed by the UEL Archives as a tool to help us support ethical access to digital resources documenting broad issues of displacement; agency and activism. 


Call for Submissions (PDF Version)

The UEL Forced Migration Conference 2020: Psychosocial theory and practice: What is the evidence?

The University of East London Forced Migration Conference 2020 provides a platform for forced migrants (including refugees, asylum seekers, those who have had the experience of being internally displaced, undocumented migrants and other people with a precarious immigration status), as well as scholars, researchers, policy makers and practitioners who work in the field (e.g. humanitarian workers, NGO workers, or service providers). This platform is intended to promote knowledge exchange, challenge existing conceptualisations of what ‘psychosocial’ means in relation to forced migration, and propose alternative psychosocial practices (particularly evidence-based interventions).

In the contemporary context, issues of forced migration and ‘the refugee’ have become symbolic of wider social, cultural, epistemic, economic, political and psychological processes. One example is the securitisation of migration, bordering practices and representing the refugee as an emergency, a crisis or a problem to be solved. If we are to participate and promote a more ethical approach, the context out of which psychosocial theory and practice emerges, should be critically deconstructed.

The UEL Forced Migration Conference 2020
UEL FM Conference 2020: Full Programme Psychosocial Theory and Practice

Refugee Psychology and Psychosocial Interventions: A History

The Archive

The University of East London has been home to the Refugee Council Archive and a growing collection of community and third-sector archival collections and oral history resources documenting the history of displacement.  Through our civic engagement and outreach work, we have also established the Living Refugee Archive as an online resource for documenting the lived experiences of displacement.   We use the terms displacement and displaced persons here as a broad term to encompass refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants. 

UEL Archivist Paul Dudman, “it is important we look beyond traditional forms of archival collecting if we want to ensure that we capture an archive diverse in experiences, encapsulating the research, impact and narrative approaches to Refugee Psychology and Psychosocial Interventions.”

We are looking to establish a living archive and exhibition exploring a history which documents Refugee Psychology and Psychosocial Interventions and which can be accessible both virtually and also physically be collecting materials on displaced communities and how communities and support organisations have responded to these issues.  We are looking to incorporate a broad plethora of material into an online, free to access archive as part of the Living Refugee Archive, (LRA).  We will be utilising Omeka, an open-source web publishing platform, which we have installed on the LRA as the basis for documenting, cataloguing and make accessible the material that we receive.

Archive Form Submission

Examples of the range and scope of materials we would be interested in collecting, include:

  • Conference posters from the UEL Forced Migration Conference 2020
  • Presentation notes and slides from the UEL Forced Migration Conference 2020
  • Vox Pop videos (3-5 minutes in length) on a subject related to one of the UEL Forced Migration Conference themes. See here:
  • Academic Articles (open access)
  • Practitioner reports
  • Narratives and storytelling
  • Oral Histories
  • Photographs
  • Audio visual materials (e.g. videos, podcasts).
  • Artistic responses
  • Ephemera
Submit Your Story!


Frequently Asked Questions

What Materials Should I Submit?

This is a good question. We are flexible in terms of the range of scope of materials we are looking to collect for the Archive.  Broadly speaking, they should relate to the conference themes indicated for the UEL Forced Migration Conference 2020. 

Materials can be any form …. a written diary (digital or handwritten); a photograph(s); a video; a specially recorded Vox Pop for the Archive; artwork and/or multimedia responses documenting your experiences; poetry or creative writing. We are also looking to collect news stories; publications (physical and virtual); artwork and multimedia; photographs and videos; poety; research data and related materials on the impact of the global pandemic in relation to broad issues of displacement.

Do you prefer any particular formats for the Archive?

We can accept any format, so please select what options work best for you.

Can My Submission Include Multiple Formats?

Of course. The broader range of formats we receive, the more comprehensive the Archive will be and the more reflective of the stories that can be told.

Can Submissions be Anonymous or be Submitted using a Pseudonym?

Of course, we want this Archive to be as safe a place as e can make it to help enable participants to feel comfortable and honest with the materials they may want to submit.

Can My Submission be Restricted for a Period of Time?

Yes of course. We are currently planning to offer the option to restrict materials for a period of 5 years from the date of submission. If this would be of interest for you, please contact the UEL Archivist Paul Dudman via

How can I submit materials to the Archive?

For our virtual archive on the Living Refugee Archive and for enquiries, please complete and submit our dedicated Online Form. If you wish to submit physical items, you are welcome to drop this off at UEL Archives or post them to the following address once our Campuses have reopened (currently updated details can be found online here):

Paul V. Dudman
UEL Archives
Library, Archives and Learning Services
Docklands Campus
4-6 University Way
London, E16 2RD

When can I submit materials?

We are accepting submissions now and the call will ne open-ended for the foreseeable future.