Dr Pia Jolliffe

Pia Jolliffe
Research and Teaching Associate

I am a Research and Teaching Associate at the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies and a Research Fellow at Blackfriars Hall. I hold a DPhil in International Development (Oxford), an MA in Japanese Studies (University of Vienna) and a DESS in Asian Studies (University of Geneva). In Geneva I have also worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and after my DPhil I have spent some time in a monastic community in Haifa before returning for post-doctoral work to Oxford.

My academic research and teaching interests include Modern Japanese History, Contemporary Japanese Society, and Qualitative Research Methods.  My research focuses on prisons and forced labour in Japan, the colonization/development of Ezo/Hokkaido as well as the history of Christianity in Japan, in particular Takayama Ukon and other martyrs. Also, I work on the history of education in Southeast Asia, especially migration for education among the Karen people from Burma and Thailand.

My publications include :


  • 2016 Learning, Migration and Intergenerational Relations. The Karen and the Gift of Education. London: Palgrave Macmillian.
  • 2016 Gefängnisse und Zwangsarbeit auf der japanischen Nordinsel Hokkaido. Vienna: LIT Verlag.

Academic articles

  • 2018 'Wirtschaftliche Tätigkeiten und soziale Wahrnehmungen der Natur im Kontext der Kolonialisierung von Ezo/Hokkaidō' (Economic activities and social perceptions of nature within the context of the colonization of Ezo/Hokkaido) Minikomi - Informationen des Akademischen Arbeitskreises Japan Nr 87, 45-52.
  • 2018 'Honouring the elders: The common good among Karen communities – a multi-sited ethnography' The Australian Journal of Anthropology https://doi.org/10.1111/taja.12275  (with Shirley Worland)
  • 2017 ‘Thomas Linacre – Humanist, Scholar, Physician and Priest’ Catholic Medical Quarterly 67/3, 17-18.
  • 2017 ‘Karen youth transitions at the Thai-Myanmar border’ Journal of Youth Studies 20/10, 1313-1327.
  • 2017 ‘Book Review- Researching the Lifecourse: Critical Reflections from the Social Sciences edited by Nancy Worth and Irene Hardill’ Journal of Population Ageing 10/1, 101-104
  • 2016 ‘Intergenerational relations and rural development among the Karen in Northern Thailand’ International Journal on Ageing in Developing Countries, 1 / 2, 143-157
  • 2016 ‘Night-time and refugees. Evidence from the Thai-Myanmar border’ Journal of Refugee Studies 29/1, 1-18.
  • 2007 ‘Into the jungle of bureaucracy: negotiating access to camps at the Thai-Burma border’, Refugee Survey Quarterly, 26/3, 51-60.
  • 2005 ‘Blurring the boundaries: prisons and settler society in Hokkaido’, International Institute of Asian Studies Newsletter 39, 8.
  • 2003 ‘Translating Academic Research to the Public’, Anthropology News 44/3, 22-23. (with Brigitte Steger)
  • 2003 ‘Über hikikomori sprechen. Unterschiedliche Darstellungsweisen im öffentlichen Diskurs’ Minikomi – Informationen des akademischen Arbeitskreises Japan 66, 28-34.
  • 2002 ‘Jōkō-san, tanōkō und maikā. Zur Wechselwirkung von Technologie und geschlechtlich segregiertem Arbeitsmarkt in Japan’ Minikomi Informationen des akademischen Arbeitskreises Japan 65, 13-18.
  • 2001 ‘One Team. One Scarf. One Neck? Strategischer Körpereinsatz bei der Tokyo Motor Show’ Minikomi – Informationen des akademischen Arbeitskreises Japan 62, 35-38 (with Sigrid Willibald)

Book chapters

  • 2008 ‘Child Migration tot he UK. Hopes and Realities', in Ben Ryan (ed) Fortress Britain? Ethical Approaches to Immigration Policy for a Post-Brexit Britain, London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 134-153 (with Samuel Burke OP)
  • 2008 ‘Sleeping as a Refuge? Embodied Vulnerability and Corporeal Security during Refugees' Sleep at the Thai-Burma Border’, in Lodewijk Brunt and Brigitte Steger (eds) Worlds of Sleep, Berlin: Frank and Timme, 193- 210.

Working papers

·       2017  ‘Participatory research methods with children and adolescents of the Karen people in the highlands of Chiang Mai – a research report’ The Vienna Psychoanalyst https://www.theviennapsychoanalyst.at/ (22 March 2017)

·       2009 Conceptualising and Measuring Children’s Time Use: A Technical Review for Young Lives, Young Lives Technical Note 14, Oxford: Young Lives. (with Virginia Morrow and Martin Woodhead)

·       2008 Early Childhood Transitions Research: A Review of Concepts, Theory, and Practice, Working Papers in Early Childhood Development 48, The Netherlands: Bernard van Leer Foundation. (with Gina Crivello and Martin Woodhead)

·       2006 In the absence of the humanitarian gaze: refugee camps after dark, New Issues in Refugee Research, Policy Development and Evaluation Service, Geneva: UNHCR (Research Paper; 137)

Contact Information