Dr Geetha Marcus

Background

Professional/teaching experience

Senior Lecturer, Psychology,Sociology and Education Division, Queen Margaret University

I am a sociologist, feminist and teacher activist whose research and teaching interests focus on social inequalities within public education systems. I have extensive professional experience in the field of primary education, both in classroom practice and in senior management, and in 2016 published a study for the Scottish Parliament, 'Closing the Attainment Gap', on educational achievement and equity. In 2012, I was awarded a jointly funded Scottish Government/ESRC doctoral research into the educational experiences of Gypsy/Traveller girls in Scotland. 

In the course of my research, I conducted in-depth interviews with young Traveller women about their racialised and gendered experiences within public spaces of school and private spaces of home. My book Gypsy/Traveller Girls: Silence, Agency andPoweris in press with Palgrave Macmillan. As a South Asian and advocate of black feminist thought and methodology, my work also explores research into the marginalised experiences and multiple identities of women of colour from a postcolonial perspective.

In June 2019, I joined Queen Margaret University and an updated profile detailing research interests and publications will be available shortly.

 

Qualifications

  • PhD (University of Edinburgh), Education
  • MSc (Distinction) (University of Edinburgh), Education
  • PG Cert (Distinction with Merit in Teaching)(Northern College of Education, Aberdeen), Primary Education
  • BA (Hons) (National University of Singapore), English

Responsibilities & affiliations

General Teaching Council of Scotland (Full Registration)

Member, British Sociological Association (BSA)

Member, Leadership in Scottish Education Network (LiSEN), Scottish Educational Research Association (SERA)

 

Research summary

Research Interests:

  • Race, class and gender inequalities in education, families and communities
  • Experiences of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller girls
  • Experiences of young women of colour and/or women on the margins
  • Closing the educational attainment gap

Project Title: Breaking The Silence: The Intersecting Invisible Experiences of Gypsy/Traveller Girls in Scotland

Supervisor: Dr Akwugo Emejulu, Dr Gillean McCluskey

The thesis explores the educational experiences of 17 Scottish Gypsy/Traveller girls supplemented by some 30 other informants involved with education and related areas impacting Gypsy/Travellers.  It incorporates published and unpublished literature on the topic and sets out a theoretical framework informed by intersectionality. The girls’ stories are highlighted and juxtaposed alongside the general problems encountered by Gypsy/Travellers in Scotland to reveal a complex narrative. This research attempts to address a gap in the literature in which Gypsy/Traveller girls’ experiences are misrecognised and erased through non-recognition. My thesis offers space for the voices of Gypsy/Traveller girls to be heard and highlights their agency in the private spaces of home and the public spaces of education. 

Publications

Marcus, G. (2019) Gypsy and Traveller Girls: Silence, agency and power. Monograph. London: Palgrave Macmillan

Marcus, G. (2018) Scotland's Attainment Gap: Three Ways to Bridge the Educational Divide, The Conversation

Marcus, G. (2017) The Colour of Scholarship, British Sociological Association

Marcus, G. (2016) Black Feminism, Womanism and the Politics of Women of Colour in Europe Conference Blog: Plenary Closing Remarks

Marcus, G. (2016) Closing the attainment gap: What can schools do?SPICe Briefing SB 16/68

Marcus, G. (2016) The intersecting invisible experiences of Gypsy/Traveller girls in Scotland, Childhood and Youth Studies Network Blog

Marcus, G. (2015) Marginalisation and the voices of Gypsy/Traveller girls, Cambridge Open-Review Educational Research e-Journal (CORERJ),1 (2): p.55-77.  Received 2016 CORERJ Editorial Board and Readership (CEBR) Award for most outstanding paper

 

Conference Paper/Presentations

Gypsy/Traveller Girls: A Case Study of the Dilemmas and Divisions in Feminist Thinking, Keynote Speaker,Young Women and Girls in Contemporary Scotland and Beyond, Girlhood Gang Conference 2018, Glasgow Women’s Library, Sept 2018.

The Politics of Silence in the Lives of Young Gypsy/Traveller Women in Scotland,Invited Speaker, College of Social Science, University of Hawaii, Manoa, April 2018. 

Closing the Attainment Gap: What Can Schools Do? Invited Speaker, Scottish Educational Research Association, University of Edinburgh, March 2018.

Power, Silence and Agency: The Educational Experiences of Gypsy/Traveller Girls in Scotland, Invited Speaker, Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services (Iriss), Glasgow, March 2018.

Scotland’s Imperial Past and Present: Patterns, Complexities and Contradictions. Invited Speaker, Rethinking Race in Scotland, Glasgow, Jan 2018. 

The Colour of Scholarship.Scottish Race Equality Network Meeting, Edinburgh, UK, Jan 2018 

Reclaiming Intersectionality, 2nd Annual Black Feminism, Womanism and the Politics of Women of Colour in Europe, Binnenpret, Amsterdam, Oct 2017. 

The Politics and Complexity of Silence in the Marginalised Lives of Young Gypsy/Traveller Women in Scotland, European Conference on Politics and Gender, University of Lausanne, June 2017  https://ecpr.eu/Events/PaperDetails.aspx?PaperID=33541&EventID=114

Piecing Together the Jigsaw: Connecting the politics of childhood poverty, education and welfare, Closing The Attainmen Gap, Invited Speaker, School of Education, University of Edinburgh, December 2016  https://www.commonspace.scot/articles/10017/piecing-together-jigsaw-policy-lab-2-notes

Power, Silence and Agency: The Educational Experiences of Gypsy/Traveller Girls in Scotland, Centre for Research in Families and Relationships, School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh, November 2016 Marcus seminar.pdf - JISCMail

Race, Gender, Class and Age: The Intersecting Experiences of Gypsy/Traveller Girls in Scotland, Critical Race and Ethnicities Network (CREN) Conference: Intersectional Interventions – Connecting oppression anywhere to oppression everywhere, Humanities Research Institute, University of Sheffield, October 2016

The Racialised and Gendered Experiences of Gypsy/Traveller Girls in Scotland, BSA Postgraduate Forum and BSA Race and Ethnicity Study Group Seminar, Postgraduate and Early Career Researchers in Race and Ethnicity Studies, BSA Meeting Room, Imperial Wharf, London. October 2016 https://blogs.city.ac.uk/cci/2016/10/16/bsa-race-and-ethnicity-studies-workshop-and-mentoring-scheme/

Black Feminism and the Racialised, Gendered Experiences of Gypsy/Traveller Girls in Scotland, Black Feminism, Womanism and the Politics of the Women of Colour in Europe, University of Edinburgh, September 2016

The Intersecting Invisible Experiences of Gypsy/Traveller Girls in Scotland, Childhood and Youth Studies Network Seminar, School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh, November 2015

From the Margins to the Centre: The Educational Experiences of Gypsy and Traveller Girls in Scottish Schools, British Educational Research Association (BERA) Annual Conference, Institute of Education, London,  September 2014

From the Margins to the Centre: The Educational Experiences of Gypsy and Traveller Girls in Scotland, Kaleidoscope Conference: Opening Up the Ivory Tower, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, May 2014

From the Margins to the Centre: The Educational Experiences of Gypsy and Traveller Girls in Scottish Schools, British Educational Research Association (BERA) Postgraduate Symposium, University of Glasgow, October 2013