Juliet Gilbert

Colleges, School and Institutes

Research interests

Since 2010 I have been carrying out fieldwork in Calabar, Nigeria. My doctoral research was based on fifteen months research between 2011 and 2012. It asked how young women imagine their futures amid uncertainty, and examined the strategies they use in the present to realise their aspirations. Focusing on how this group fashion themselves as respectable young urban women ready for various opportunities to arise, my research drew on various aspects of young women’s lives: the home, church, learning skills, and beauty and fashion. Much of my fieldwork was spent in Pentecostal churches and prayer ministries, and at a sewing shop where I undertook my own sewing apprenticeship. I also followed the Carnival Calabar Queen pageant for two years as a focus for my research on Nigerian beauty pageants.

I am currently publishing articles from my doctoral research, and continue to focus forthcoming fieldwork on the insecurities of young women’s livelihoods in Calabar, Nigeria.


For my first degree I read Geography at Newnham College, University of Cambridge. I moved to St Peter’s College, University of Oxford, to gain an MSc in Social
Anthropology. This was followed-up with another MSc and a DPhil in Social Anthropology at Lincoln College, University of Oxford. I successfully defended my thesis in May 2014, and joined DASA in September 2014.