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Ashley Mehra

Ashley Mehra

Visiting Scholar at University of Cambridge, Centre for the Study of Global Human Movement


Ashley engages with both fieldwork on modern refugee spaces in Athens, Greece and historical and literary research on refugee-citizen relations in the socio-political context of ancient antiquity. She aims to synthesize theory and praxis, giving as much weight to considerations of the present as those of the past.

Ashley graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Virginia in 2018 with highest distinction in Classics and Government and Foreign Affairs Honors. Her political science research, which was distinguished with a Stevenson Award for best senior thesis, was published in an edited volume following a conference on shelter and displacement, hosted by the Oxford Refugee Studies Centre.  

Ashley’s Classics thesis, titled “Oedipus at Colonus: A Story of Refugee Identity, Space and Meditating Relationships,” was awarded the Anne Marye Owen Prize. Her thesis served as a guide for the production of the Greek Play on “Oedipus at Colonus," which was staged at the University of Cambridge in Michaelmas 2019. She was chosen as dramaturg for the play.

Ashley completed an MPhil in the Faculty of Classics as a Buckley Scholar at King’s College, University of Cambridge. She serves as a founding editor of the Centre's Global Human Movement Review.

Research Interests

  • Exile, displacement, asylum, and refugee-citizen relations
  • Spatial realization of identity in the ancient world
  • Digital rights and international law
  • Discourses of hospitality and dignity in theory and praxis

Key Publications

Mehra A. (2020) ‘Redignifying Refugees: A Critical Study of Citizen Run Shelters in Athens, Greece’ in Breeze M. and Scott-Smith T. (eds.) Structures of Protection? Rethinking Refugee Shelter. Berghahn Books: Oxford, pp. 135-149.