Isla Zavos-MacRae

Department of Sociological Studies

PhD Student

A photo of Isla Zavos-MacRae
Profile picture of A photo of Isla Zavos-MacRae

Full contact details

Isla Zavos-MacRae
Department of Sociological Studies
The Wave
2 Whitham Road
S10 2AH

Isla joined the Department of Sociological Studies in 2022, after completing an MA in Social Research at the University of Sheffield. Prior to this, Isla graduated from the University of Manchester with a first-class BA in Politics and Sociology in 2019, as well as a Distinction in MA Sociology in 2020.

Research interests

Working Thesis Title: Mapping Everyday Multiculture and Imagining Space “Otherwise” in a Northern Mill Town. 

Isla’s research explores the ways in which everyday multicultural space is lived, experienced and produced within a particular, post-industrial geography. It does so by critically mapping the ways in which space is practised and imagined “otherwise” amongst different migrant and ethnic minority communities living in a former textile town in northern England. By exploring these everyday vernacular geographies, Isla’s research highlights the experiential qualities and role of place for the construction and reconstruction of identities, as well as the ways in which everyday negotiations of difference manifest and are experienced at the micro-social scale. Using walking methods and practices of critical cartography, this project aims to provide new insights into the politics of contemporary co-existence, whilst shifting analytical attention towards the layers of migration which have come to make up the ‘post-industrial town’. 

Research Interests: 

  • Critical Cartography
  • Walking and Sensory Methods

  • Lived Multiculture and Conviviality

  • Everyday Life

  • Place, Space and Belonging

  • Embodiment and Affect

  • Northern Towns and Brexit

Research group

PhD Supervisors:


ESRC White Rose Social Science DTP 1+3 Award

Professional activities and memberships

Isla completed a Faculty of Social Sciences social research internship in 2022 at the University of Sheffield, working on Project Re-Emerge: (Post) Pandemic Mothering alongside Dr Jessica Bradley, School of Education. Utilising ethnographic and participatory methods, this involved exploring the possibilities and affordances of creative practice for new or expectant mothers who had experienced isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.