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The Australian National University

Mr Paul Hayes

Position: PhD Candidate in Anthropology

School or Centre:

School of Archaeology & Anthropology


Location: Location: LG 31 Graduate Centre A. D. Hope Building


B. Asian Studies (Arabic) with first class honours (ANU)

My ethnographic research is on internal wartime migration in (northern) Sudan, tentatively focusing on the case of migration between the Nuba Mountains and Khartoum. I am interested in the specificities of Nuba wartime migration, including how previous experiences and practices of pre-war labour migration, individual and household decision-making, social networks, and material infrastructures have produced particular patterns of wartime migration.


I graduated from The Australian National University in 2010 with first class honours in Arabic. My final honours sub-thesis dealt with the impact of mass labour immigration on national identity and parliamentary politics in Kuwait. I then spent several years as a senior analyst for the Australian Government, investigating global displacement trends and irregular migration.


I have a working proficiency in Modern Standard Arabic, and have completed formal language studies in Jordan (2007), Syria (2009), Lebanon (2013), and Egypt (2015). In 2009, I was the first Australian to complete the intensive 12-month Arabic research program at the Institut français du Proche-Orient (IFPO) in Damascus, Syria. In the last decade, I have travelled extensively in the Arabic-speaking and Islamic worlds, including to Sudan, Somaliland, Yemen, Iran, and former Soviet Central Asia.


Research Interests

Research interests

  • Migration within (and between) the Sudans
  • Migration processes in conflict situations
  • Decision-making and social networks in wartime migration
  • Intermediaries and infrastructures in wartime migration
  • Colonial state formation and the bureaucratisation of mobility
  • Materiality

Updated: 10 July 2017/ Responsible Officer:  Head of School / Page Contact:  Web Publisher